Give it a year …

It’s so easy in times of darkness to feel so wholly consumed by the position you are in. You get trapped in those moments of pain and can’t see past the situation you are currently in. It’s difficult to look past the pain you are feeling to imagine things being different. To see life in any other way than it is now. But trust me, in time things start to change. Not right away or all at once. Certainly not over night or without a battle. But it changes. A shift happens and gradually you find a place of content.

I’m not going to pretend in any way that life suddenly gets so drastically different that everything becomes sparkles and rainbows. That’s simply not the way the world works. However, you learn how to cope with what you’ve been though. You eventually, in time learn how to function past the thing that caused you to fall so hard. Sometimes it’s a huge life event. Sometimes it’s an illness. It could be a break up, yours or within the family/ friend group. Something that shakes up your reality just enough to break your natural routine. Sometimes it’s nothing. Something can just change, and you have no idea why. you feel scared and out of place and can’t explain what the source was. It’s important in this time to be gentle with yourself. to listen to your body and not push yourself beyond your basic needs.

A year ago, my life crumbled.

My drink was spiked. I was assaulted. I was interrogated. I had to go through intrusive testing. I had my integrity questioned. I fell into a haze and didn’t surface for a good six months. My eating disorder resurfaced. I took medication. I tried three types before refusing to take it out of fear of weight gain. I stopped sleeping. I couldn’t get out of bed. I considered daily how much easier it would be if I didn’t have to live though it all. I had ups and downs as I worked through everything. My relationship was tested. Our bond pushed to its limits as I pushed him away for things he never knew. I was put on waiting list after waiting list that I’m still on today and my willpower was tested beyond measure.

However, I made it out the other side. I was thrown other tasks as I tried to recover from such an earth-shattering point in my life. I had relationships to work on, lost friends in the process as well as having two miscarriages. I was struggling with work and balancing my life and not having everything I wanted. We had great financial strain as we are on a reduced income this year as Scott studies, but we managed. We are still getting there. I still have bad days. But in comparison to a year ago when I struggled to move, talk or shower, I’m doing better. Life is still tough, I’m still not over our loss we suffered six weeks ago. I’m struggling with that more that I care to admit, but we are in a good place. I’ve found happiness in small things, in myself. I’ve realised I cannot expect happiness to find me or others to provide it for me.

That is how life works though. It tests us in ways we cannot imagine and in ways we don’t want to be tested. But each challenge faced is a lesson learned. You’ll find our things about yourself you never knew. You work out what you want, need and deserve from life. You’ll see opportunities you want to take for yourself. You may find a new job in that time you would never had had the nerve to take had things not seemed so chaotic. You will find the strength you didn’t know existed. Passion you long forgot, and in time you’ll find your worth. The thing you didn’t think you had, or others told you didn’t warrant.

Know that if your life has crashed today, that it will not be this way forever. Slowly you’ll start to see the colour and joy in life again. You just have to look for it in small ways. The sun being out, a new bag of coffee, being able to read a book again and clothing that has pockets. Congratulate yourself for the little things, like the fact you managed to change, eat, drink, survive another day although its hard at times. Take time. Take as much as you need. There is noting that should cause you to rush into a situation you are not ready for. Take time off work, spend some time focusing on you. Learn how to live with this new part of you. Learn how to move forward but in a way that works for you. Grieve. For the process, the time, the person and the thing that happened. Feel those emotions and process them. Don’t hide from things that will later catch up with you.

Above all, try to reach out to as many people as you can. Be honest. The more honest the better. People can help you get though things when they know exactly what you need from them. Contact your GP, reach out to help groups, charities and tell work what you need from them. This is your life; you deserve the best so help people give you just that. If your social circle isn’t supportive know you have a world full of people out there who are looking to find someone just like you to fill their hearts. And know that you matter to so many of us, you probably don’t even realise it.

know you are more loved, needed and important than you can ever imagine.

Take care of you,

Love and hugs,

Hayleigh xo

Useful helplines in tough times:

Beated support Mon-Fri 12-8pm, weekends 4-8pm
Call 0808 801 0677 or email help@beateatingdisorders.org.uk
Samaritans – ALL – 116 123 (24h)
Papyrus – UNDER 35 – 0800 068 41 41(mon-fri 10am – 10pm. Weekends 2pm-10pm. Bank holidays 2pm – 5pm)

Childline – UNDER 19 – *number will not show on phone bill* 0800 1111 (24h)
The silver line uk – OVER 55 – 0800 4 70 80 90 (24h)
breathing space scotland – ALL – 0800 83 85 87 (Mon-Thurs 6pm-2am Friday lines open at 6pm and stay open untill 6am Monday) .

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