I don’t often talk about this sort of thing. I think on some level when most people have presumed you have completely ‘got over it’ or have ‘recovered’ they a) stop asking and b) act like you don’t need to talk about things. This is far from the truth I am still fighting onwards for true freedom still, no matter what the cost. I have dark days, happy days, joyful days and days where I want to crawl up in a ball and have a good cry.
My story starts with betrayal and loss of love (mainly for myself). At such a young age I made the scary decision that I was worth nothing. This mindset then led to years of starvation, depression and anxiety. My main source of negative comfort through out this was negative attention that I craved to prove my negative view of myself. I think most people would agree with me that the mental health care system in this country (especially for young people) is a shocker. I have learnt on some level to forgive the poor treatment my family and I received during this time but it will always still hurt.
Sarah and I then became closer friends and chatted more about what I was going through and the support I actually believed I needed. Most people would presume that modelling could have a negative impact on someones mental health, and on some level I would totally agree. However, for me (inspired by Sarah) I was introduced to modelling and did regular shoots with We Are Hairy People.
It was through getting to know each other, that Sarah created the WeAreHairyPeople ethos that people know today… Our dream together was and is, that through a fashion brand, we could impact hope and freedom for young people with eating disorders and those suffering with their mental health. I’m called ‘the original’ by Sarah, because I was kind of the first blueprint of how love can make a difference through modelling, painting, sharing, caring and community.
Anxiety is crippling. For me, it makes me want to check if all the doors are locked, I wouldn’t sleep with a window open for pure fear of safety. I was scared to eat or to enjoy food incase something bad would happen to my family or myself. I have been on and off medication for this for years and truly I personally believe that a pill will never solve my problems. I personally believe we need to find inner peace and a coping strategy to be able to deal with things. Through CBT therapy I have began to question my irrational beliefs and I can see a minor improvement.
I think my personal freedom comes from allowing myself room to breathe and room to fail.
I have always feared failure and not being good enough, but through the love of my boyfriend, Liam, my friends and my family I am learning that I am pretty cool and who I am is enough. Community is key.
My biggest advice I guess I want to say from this piece of writing, is that in relationships we need to find a balance of happiness in ourselves to be able to give fully to another person. If we give everything we have to make that other person happy, but don’t give time to look after ourselves, we will be trying to give from a place of emptiness.
I have learnt so much in the last few years. Living with Liam has taught me truth, forgiveness and a new giving side to a relationship I had never experienced before. Trust is always hard, no matter what we have been through but finding that inner peace and balance of trust was the deal breaker for me and in that sense I couldn’t be happier to have found it.
Love is always patient and love is always kind, love never fails.
My trials have pushed me forward towards my dreams. I love inspiring, helping and looking after people. This is another source of great healing for me, as in my darkest days I can give the love and the goodness that I want to feel, to others.
My lovely dream would be able to use extra rooms in our house to look after people, love people and offer a sense of creative community. This would mainly be for those dealing with grief and anxiety.
I remember my first Christmas dinner that I decided to have, a fair few years back now, and boy oh boy did it taste delicious. Only some will understand that feeling of the fear of being full… but for me that Christmas it was so worth it. In recent years I have managed to fall in love with Terry’s chocolate oranges and I think that is the change in my life, the new level of relationship I can chose to have with food.
Some ask how I got there? You were so ill? How? Why? When?
I have done years in hospitals, therapy and counselling and I guess for me I decided I couldn’t live like this anymore.
Don’t get me wrong I still have my struggles with mental health and I am still living with the scars of what I put my body through. But right now whilst writing this I am choosing to live and I cant ask for any more than this.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas that the voices in our heads can let us breathe so we can truly celebrate with our loved ones and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas.
Some thank yous that need addressing are firstly my crazy cool folks. My mum and dad are the most selfless people going. They dedicate their lives to the good of others and I aspire to be as generous as you. Having learnt to love myself, I want to love the way you love.
My amazingly cool brother, wow what a journey we have had ehhh??? You are awesome; you are gentle, funny and compassionate. When I have kids you will inspire them so much with your bravery.
Tori my gorgeous best friend, thank you for introducing me to drunken party nights, pretty little liars and for shoveling kebab meat into my mouth and then for introducing me to garlic mayo sauce. Every girl needs a best friend like you. Lily you rock girly, who knew pizza, queer eye and a sheer love of pink gin would bind us together so strongly. I can’t wait to dance in a field with you every year at festivals.
Final thank you to my Liam. I am the luckiest girl in the whole world. Thank you for telling me you loved me the first time when I cooked you a bacon sandwich and I put a 12 pack of bacon in there. Thank you for loving me, laughing with me and being my bestest friend. Thank you for understanding me, knowing me and keeping me going when I don’t want to keep going myself.