*This post may be triggering to some*

Before we get down to the tough stuff, I just want to say that all this post is, is honesty. It's me sharing a part of my life with you in hope that if anyone out there feels the same way, I can help them. It's not an X Factor sob story (cause god knows, I can't stand that show) and to be honest, it's something that I've wanted to write about for a while and I guess I wanted to wait until this day so that it would feel a little more significant...

So, never did I think I would be sat on my couch, wearing at least 3 jumpers, in front of a bowl of pea and ham soup, crying. Yes, you read that right, crying. Now, I've cried over a lot of things in my 17 years of life, but I just never thought pea and ham soup would be one of them. You might be thinking where the hell am I going with this? and well, basically, I had (I don't really know how to label it) Anorexia. Not only Anorexia, but also Depression, Anxiety and OCD. On October 13th 2014 I was diagnosed and well, it's one year later and now I'm going to talk about it...

The only moment I really remember from that day is when my doctor said 'Have you heard of anorexia?'. I remember that I didn't really have any reaction. See, the thing is, I kind of already knew. Most people do. People know that that the voice in their head telling them that they shouldn't eat the last few carrots on their plate, isn't them, it's something out of their control. In fact, it's controlling them and yes, I definitely lost all control to it. 

Okay, let's go back to about 2012.

I've always had the same group of friends and they are well and truly the best people in the world. Out of us all though, I was always the fat friend. I was kind of this chubby ginger girl, who came across as the joker and the funny one, but who was really the one who abused food and felt sad deep down inside. I ate way too much and I now know that I was suppressing my feelings. I felt inadequate and I'd been bullied for a lot of things and well, I guess what ever people bullied me for... it ended up screwing me up a bit. I was around 165lbs and I would cry and cry over how 'fat' I felt. I just dreamed of being slim and gorgeous. It got to a point at the end of 2012 where I decided I didn't want to eat my feelings away any more and I decided to do something about it.

For a few months, things were great, I was getting fit and healthy. I was working out, eating healthier foods and I was starting to gain a bit of confidence. Slowly but surely however, things changed and something just wasn't right. Unfortunately, I became bulimic. I can't really comment much on this point in my life because I can't really remember anything, I seemed to have blocked it all out. All I really remember is waiting for my parents to go out so that I could throw up the food I just binged on or turning the shower on in the bathroom so that no one would hear me gagging over the toilet. It wasn't until what was probably the most dramatic night in existence for me and friends, at the end of 2013, that I just couldn't keep it a secret any more. Do you know what the weirdest thing is? For this one, I actually have to thank alcohol... thanks vodka.

I'd gotten myself in a state (as I usually would when completely drinking my feelings away) and was walking round this house party in some sort of manic mess looking for one of my friends. Essentially, in a drunk crying slur of emotion I told my friends what I had been doing and then we spent the majority of the night locked in a bathroom together crying (which now when we talk about it, is actually pretty funny... (you had to be there.)) My friends told me to talk to my Mum and try and help myself and so I did. It took a lot of hard work and struggles to stop what I was doing, but eventually, I got there. 

Anyway let's skip to about March 2014. I was no longer purging, but definitely still on the mission to loose weight and finally feel fulfilled in liking myself ...(you'll learn as this story goes on that doing all of these silly things to myself, didn't result in that). Since I no longer had bulimia to hold me down it started to allow other irrational thoughts to creep in. I began restricting my food, I'd skip lunch, I was counting calories and I was weighing myself constantly. I exercised excessively everyday and would cut out calories if I hadn't exercised enough. I was becoming anorexic and I couldn't see it. 

By the time of my Prom in June I was beginning to become lifeless. (I'm talking girl possessed by the creepy spirit in Paranormal Activity, lifeless.) Don't get me wrong, I remember my high school prom really clearly because I guess it kind of brought some life back into me and I think I might have even actually felt good for once. However, I remember the whole day before I left, all I thought about was food. 'How am I going to eat in-front of my friends?' 'I don't want to eat dessert!'...etc etc. Every time I went for a prom dress fitting they were taking my dress in a few inches more and I no longer had any boobs to fill the front of it. On the day of my Prom I did feel excited, but all I really thought about was the food and when it came to the after prom party I just went home because I didn't want to drink the calories in the alcohol. I mean, how sad is that?..

When I started college in September last year, my illnesses had completely taken over. I was emotion-less and so cold all the time that one day I wore all 3 of my friends coats on top of mine and still felt freezing... yes, that's completely true. I studied Psychology, so spent my days basically learning about illnesses I had and hearing people say naive things about them. I had panic attacks constantly and could never handle getting the bus so would get my Mum to come and get me pretty much everyday (sorry Mum!). My hair fell out everywhere and I had a bruised back and bum because my bones knocked against my seat. By October, I was 96lbs and the number just kept dropping and dropping. Eventually, I just had to call it quits and kind of say goodbye to what my life was going to be and I dropped out of college.

Sadly there were a lot of times last year and even this year where I just felt like I couldn't do it all any more. I thought about death a lot and that wasn't okay. I began thinking of easy ways that I could kill myself and often thought about self harm. I thought about over dosing and even thought about stabbing myself. One time, I nearly just went for it. I ran out of my front door and well, I live on a main road so you can imagine what I was going to do. Weirdly though, there always seemed to be this tiny voice in my head that would scream 'What are you doing?!' and I guess that was my rational thoughts kicking in. They were what my head was really thinking and not what my illnesses were brainwashing me with. (please remember this if you're dealing with something similar)

I felt extremely alone, but wouldn't let anyone in. Everything I thought was one big contradiction. I felt trapped and didn't know how to get out of this vicious circle. I remember I used to describe it like I was trapped in a bubble looking at myself from the outside and there was no way of popping the bubble to get out to save myself. I barely saw my friends and barely did anything with my time and just couldn't comprehend a thing. It was like everything hurt, but I still felt nothing. Every emotion just felt fake and it was like I was playing a character every time I'd stand pretending to be okay. 

Now, for anyone who knows me in real life...this will now explain why I disappeared off the face of the earth for 5 months - I hope this answers your questions, because, yes, there were questions. People were obviously going to wonder where the bloody hell I'd gone but people don't always have the best way of going about things. Being asked 'Are you not at college any more?' 'Where are you hol?' when you've not been in college for 3 months is a little bit patronising (like come on, what do you think I'm doing? I ain't no Harry Potter, I ain't got no invisibility cloak.) I just found it daft... I feel like it was pretty obvious where I'd gone..

Anyway, I just felt so embarrassed of my life. I was spending my days going to visit therapists, the hospital and psychiatrists. I'd basically vanished from life and my days had become, what seemed to be, pointless. 

I became completely detached from everything. I just felt nothing. All that was in my head was calories, numbers and calculations - nothing else mattered. I would literally sit and watch minutes and seconds pass me by because it just seemed like time had stood still and spend hours looking in the mirror and just despising every little inch of myself. I'd take millions of body checking photos and sit wondering when the day would come that I would finally love myself. It consumed my life and became the only thing I was living for.

My Mum had taken me to see two doctors before I was eventually diagnosed. These two doctors were incredibly dismissive and acted like my Mum was overreacting (at the time I thought she was too, but I was obviously completely wrong). It left me feeling confused and basically had me thinking 'you're not skinny enough to be an anorexic' and made me want to loose even more weight. (If anything like this happens to you, still persist. YOU know YOU better than anyone, and so do your loved ones. If something doesn't seem right, you go and you fight for the help you need and deserve. I finally spoke to a doctor that understood me and my situation and it was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.)

Although it took me a few weeks after being diagnosed and the thought of ending up at a centre until I sat crying to my parents saying 'I'll eat, I swear, I'm going to eat!' , It did eventually happen. The next day, there I was, crying into my pea and ham soup, but yes...eating it too.

It's one year later and all of that just seems like it happened to a completely different person. I've spent the past year recovering and trying to find out who I am again. I'm definitely not 100% there yet, but I think I would definitely say I'm getting into the 90% barrier. If I'm really honest, I have to say that I'm really proud of what I've done this year. I've pieced everything back together and whilst doing that, made sure that I wasn't wasting the time. I've created a new career, which I love, and I've made some fantastic friends. I thought that starving myself would make me happy but look what happened. I didn't even think that I would be alive today, but I am. I am alive and I think I'm doing pretty darn good. 

If you're feeling confused and lost and have no one to talk to - please talk to me, I'm here. Feeling down and alone isn't good if you're feeling that way constantly. I never thought that I would laugh or feel happy again, but I did and I do! Talking to someone is completely terrifying - I know that - but it's the only way you can figure out how to get better. Life is meant to be lived and not controlled. Be open and honest and I assure you that everything will be okay.

I hope that me sharing this story with you encourages you to open up, be honest and stop. Within 1 year, my life is a completely different thing. Last year, I was thinking about killing myself and this year I'm thinking about what outfit I'm going to be wearing on the next night out with my friends.

Life is a damn good thing and although it might feel like the world's against you sometimes, it isn't. If you found it tough to get out of bed today, but you did it anyway, I'm incredibly proud. I want you to know that everyday will get a little bit better and better and you will feel brighter and brighter. I never thought things would get better, but they did and I'm so so happy now.

I feel so overwhelmed that I can actually say that I have body confidence now and that I can go and have drinks with my friends and even just sit here, behind this laptop screen and just open up to the world and not give a f*ck! I can look at a photo of myself and think that I look pretty or see a photo of someone else and not always instantly compare myself to them. I love food now, it gives me the energy to live. I have so many goals that I want to achieve in my life and I'm determined to make them happen. I want to be fulfilled in myself and my life and not be wishing it away like I used to be. I'm determined to be a fit an healthy person with a life worth living.

Thank you to my family and friends who have helped me to get to the point where I am today. People's help and support really helps to carry you through hard times like that and without it, it would have been very difficult.

I'd love to elaborate more on this kind of thing and let you in on my story a bit more too, so let me know if you would like to see that!

I guess I have nothing else left to say so I'll just leave you with this quote: 

"Strength grows in the moments when you think you can't go on but you keep going anyway. Keep going"

Thank you so much for making me a happier person today and if you need to talk to me message me on any social media or pop me an email - I love you all.