27th October 2015
There was a time not so long ago when I use to wake up every day and dread what the day would bring. Controlled by my urges to starve myself, run up and down the stairs and walk until I was crying through sheer exhaustion. I spent hours every day cleaning, and staring or using blades to inflict pain upon myself and to rid myself of whatever it was I was scared to feel that day. I would wake up each day wishing I had died in my sleep and hate the fact I was still alive. I would even dream and fantasize about dying.
My family and friends would be terrified that I wouldn’t make it through the day, scared to get in touch in case someone had to tell them that I had died or that they would be the one to find me but now I wake up dreading the thought of getting out of my nice warm bed but knowing I would be getting my morning cuddles with my puppy dog always makes me smile and which is just the best way to start the day.
You see a little over two years ago I was fighting for my life well others were fighting for it for me because I couldn’t see my life any other way, I actually wanted to die. I spent so much time in hospital I might as well have had my own bed. My anorexia depression anxiety was so bad, my weight plummeted to a dangerously low weight and my bloods were ridiculous, doctors and nurses thought they had been a mix up with the results, they had never seen bloods so bad I should have been dead let alone standing up. At one point I had to have 7 pints of blood along with intravenous vitamins etc, I was hucked up to all sorts of different machines and under constant monitoring. I was given just days to live if things didn’t change.
I was lucky enough to get a place at a specialist unit in the retreat in York. It was while I was in there that I first realised I wanted a life worth living not just an existence.
The fight wasn’t and isn’t easy there have been so many tears blips distressing and painful times but there has also been some highly amusing times, pillow fights with the night staff playing tricks with a fake syringe and running round with a water gun. I met some of the most amazing people and closest friends in this place and I would not be where I am today without all the people I have met in my life.
What started off as a journey of recovery quickly turned into a journey of self-discovery. I have gone from being scared of living without my anorexia and self-harm to been terrified of living with them.
I have found out so much about myself, enjoying things I never thought I would. I have even started gardening much to the amusement of my friends and therapists. I have even found myself pulling weeds out of my herb garden in my pyjamas before 8am on a Sunday morning, at least I can wear gloves to I don’t get covered in mud, I hate dirt I like things CLEAN. I can spend hours doing jigsaws or competing with my friend on panda pop, and my flat resembles hobby craft. I never thought I had a creative side but now I love sitting and making things for those I love and care about that are personal for them and that they really like, the satisfaction from it is huge.
My life now is unbelievable, I’m always busy using my experiences to help others. I run workshops for people struggling to help them develop skills to help them in their own journeys, raising money for the charity I love and will continue to work with until I can no more SEED eating disorder support service. Also giving presentations and workshops for professionals working with people who are struggling to help improve the support and care they offer.
I also get to spend time with my amazing nieces and nephews who keep me amused for hours and all 8 of them have me wrapped around their sticky little fingers. When I was ill I couldn’t even hold my youngest nephew who as just 6 months old at the time because I was too weak and now I get to play the tooth fairy and be the auntie who they don’t say hello to but rather when can I come and sleep at your house, was doing my ironing the other day only it wasn’t mine there was more of the kids clothes then mine.
I couldn’t want for anything in my life right now, ok maybe a significant other but she’ll come in time and if not I’ll just be that crazy dog lady in the corner.
When I look back on my life I can’t believe how far I have come in such a short space of time. People often ask me if I could go back and change things would I and the answer is easy no everything I’ve been through has made me the person I am today and it is because of what I have been through and all the people I have met along the way that I have been able to find out who I am and build a life for myself that I love.
I recently heard a song for the first time that I think describes me its Whitney Houston I didn’t know my own strength.
So my advice to all those trying to help and support those who are struggling is don’t give up on them, they can recover but only with your love care and support. And my advice to those who are struggling at the moment is never give up there is light at the end and I promise you it will be worth it.
Life is for living and you only get one so live it for you and make it count.
Arnie will be taking part in the London Marathon to help raise money for SEED
If you would like to make a donation you can click the link above, all donations are appreciated and help us greatly