Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 74

This is the 74th story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Anonymous is still fighting her mental disorders, but has come far from where she used to be. This is her story:

Anonymous is from The Netherlands and she loves animals, dancing and being active in general. Besides sports she is grateful to be with friends and family and is always busy with music, baking and drawing. Anonymous wants a happy future, she said, “In 5 years from now I would hope to have finished my studies and have a job. I would really hope that my boyfriend and I will live together by then and have a dog together. Besides that I hope that my mental illness does not affect my daily life anymore.”

Anonymous was diagnosed with anorexia mixed with a tendency to bulimia. Not only that, but she also has panic disorder, that leads to many panic attacks. At times she has obsessive compulsive behaviors and had depression before. She believes her disorders has been caused by a wide range of factors. She said, “For one I have always been a very insecure child, I have been bullied all throughout elementary school, parts of high school and also outside of school the bullying continued. Besides bullying my mother was very conscious about her health and weight, as a child I grew up with that. I also got molested by a good friend and lost really close friend.”

Her depression kicked in when her eating disorder developed and her panic attacks started when she began treatment, affecting her even during social events. Anonymous obsessive behavior is linked to the eating disorder as well, because when her anorexia sky rocketed she obsessed that everything had to be perfectly straight on a table. Her treatment lasted for about 2.5 years. She also asked for help at the university campus, but sadly got denied and is now currently following an online program to get her life back in track.

She felt a wide range of symptoms, she said: “I was weak, often dizzy, and nauseous all the time. I had barely any energy, I was isolated and often felt alone. I always was very cold and shaking a lot. I had very bad joint pain and stomach cramps. I was always tired and often very moody.” Anonymous was barely eating and had no social life because she focused on school so much, it would help her forgot about the next meal. Not only that, but she lied a lot, hurting those around her. She said, “I only wanted to be good enough. I wanted people to be proud of me and of what I had achieved, not realizing I was destroying myself.” The depression caused her to miss out on fun activities with friends because she isolated herself. Anonymous panic disorder made daily life harder than it already was. She randomly had to leave places, would be late to appointments or cancelled in last minute.

Unfortunately she attempted suicide and self-harmed before, she said, “I attempted suicide a couple of times, only to get too scared and stopped. One time a friend saved my life as she was knocking on the door, to tell my parents what was going on.” Anonymous sadly lost many friends because they did not understand. She also lost her boyfriend, because he did not know how to handle her. Because of this she lost trust in everyone and felt devastated. She said, “I felt trapped in a world that I couldn’t get out of. Nobody could hear me and nobody could help me. It was a life where I was sort of brainwashed to do a certain things and if I didn’t do it right, it would get hellish inside my head.”

The turning point for anonymous was when she broke her foot because her parents discovered what she was doing, and sent her to treatment. She realized the death of her friend affected her because she didn’t care anymore, stopped eating, stopped taking care of herself, and stopped many things. She said, “Her wish was to see me healthy, after a while that motivated me but that wasn’t enough. I relapsed multiple times and stayed at an okay weight with an okay daily life.” After a while anonymous started to realize what life can offer and decided to start a program. Her friends and family have helped by simply being there for anonymous when she needs it the most, it being to talk or simply a hug.

This is what anonymous has learned for her ordeal:

“I am much stronger than I think I am, and no matter what the problem is, there is always a solution. As long as you feel like your voice matters and you want to recover for yourself you will get there. I learned that it is impossible to recover on your own, you may get far but you will fall hard. I have learned to talk about things, to say what is going on and to be honest to the people trying to support me.”

Not only that, but her outlook in life has changed as well. Anonymous feels more grown up and is happy to help others with her story. She is aware that she might not be able to stop her mental illness from taking over again, but she as hell knows she can fight back.

This is her advice for everyone going through similar problems:

“Talk. You don’t have to get treatment right away, but talk to someone you can trust, someone you can fall back on. Be honest with that person, no lies, not keeping anything from them, and when you’re ready start talking to a professional, try to find your motivation and try to get some kind of treatment. If one treatment doesn’t work, try something else, there will be something out there that can help you start living your life again.”

She would also like to share this:

“I like to give all my love to people that read this story and feel the same way I have felt and still feel it some days. Recovery is possible, I truly believe that 100% recovery is possible, I also believe that it is only possible when you want to do is for YOU. You are worth so much more than you think, you can be loved if you start to love yourself. And I know it is hard, but that doesn’t make it impossible.

I am glad anonymous has realized how valuable life is. I’m sure with her positive attitude she can get to where she wants to be. Help me make a difference by sharing your story. If you or anyone you know needs a safe place to vent out and recieve advice feel free to become a member of the Mental Illness Recovery Series Group on Facebook.

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