Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Inspirational?

Firstly, I am not writing this because I'm fishing for compliments, more to discuss what defines an inspiration.

Today during my volunteering, I listened to a lady practise a speech on her experiences with mental health, in which she will deliver tomorrow for 300 people. To me, that is inspirational. She is getting up, completely unashamed, to talk about her mental health so that others are encouraged to talk more openly about their mental health, and hopefully to reduce some of the stigma which is attached to it.

Shortly afterwards, I felt like I should disclose why I was there. It's something I ever intended on doing really - which is kind of stupid because surely they would speak more openly with me if they actually knew that I know what it feels like. Anyway, it was perhaps the hardest conversation about mental health in which I've had in a long time. Yes, people know about my experiences with Anorexia, but only close friends and some family members. If you see me in the street now, you wouldn't know that I still frantically google a menu when asked to go out for dinner or that I have difficulty eating more when I've done some exercise etc. It's a very hidden illness now. More so than it ever has been because I look normal (whatever that is).

I am all for raising awareness but in reality, I don't actually do it. I don't promote this blog due to the fear of being judged or certain people finding out. I'm afraid that people will think I'm crazy, or that it will affect future career opportunities. I don't tell people who I meet regularly about what it's like. It's awful that I still feel very ashamed but it's just me being honest.

However, today I have been given a different spin on this. Imagine if I were to actively speak out - I could be the voice of so many eating disorder sufferers. I could inspire them and be living proof that things do and can get better. Sure, it's not easy but it's worth the struggle. I know I've come a long way, and to some that may be inspirational, but maybe it's time to actually stop thinking about myself and put others first - be a real inspiration?
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3 comments

Tanya Beetham said...

just by writing this, you are doing exactly what you have so eloquently put into words. You ARE doing this

hannah said...

Like Tanya says above, you can and you are doing exactly what you wanted to do. Maybe this blog post is just the first step, and there are many more steps to go until you feel like you've achieved what you want to. I know how you feel not wanting to put it out there, especially to people who know you in real life like those from school, or distant family members. But who are they to judge you? I think anyone who has anything negative to say isn't worth considering, and doesn't deserve to know you anyway. You can do this :) xxx

Josie said...

I get what you mean! My family only just found out about my blog after two years (only because my brother is a snoop and found me on instagram!) and I was so scared in case they thought the CF stuff was silly. Of course they didn't (although I still won't let my mum read it!) so I reckon if you put your blog out there you'd get loads of support. As Hannah says, any mean people aren't worth worrying about. I'm sad that you feel ashamed, if I said that about CF you would tell me off haha! You should be the opposite, you should be proud that you've come so far in such a short amount of time xxx

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