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World Mental Health Day 2016

*warning: this may be triggering for some people, so please, if you find it hard, don't feel guilty and just stop reading! I promise I'll be posting something happy and Disney and sparkly and all that again soon ;) Take care x 



#WMHD2016... World Mental Health Day: What does this mean for me? 

Well, you may or may not know this about me, but I've had my battles and struggles for years. Though many didn't believe me or helped me as good as they should've, the demons were there!

At school I was always bullied, from first or second grade up untill first year of uni. I was always called 'fat', 'ugly' and 'stupid'. I was the 'dumb blonde, fat, ugly girl'. Even people very close to me called me that, so I started to believe them, 'cause if even those people said it, well then it must be true, right?

WRONG! When I look at pictures now from when I was in school....I really don't get why they called me fat? I wasn't. I was just normal. Not too skinny, but still not too fat either!

But all those years of being bullied, it made my mental health go very dark. I started eating less until I just stopped eating. In High School I told my mom in the morning that I would make my lunch so she didn't have to. At first I only took some biscuit or a slice of toasted bread...but after a few days...I only took the crumbs and I told the teachers in school I had already eaten my lunch during playtime. I then only drank some water and maybe ate some carrots or cucumber as I was sure that wouldn't make me any fatter.

But the bullying continued and I kept getting sick and very pale. So that's when I started cutting myself. I didn't do that for a long time though and the scars aren't really visible anymore, but still...I did it. 

I never had help from anyone, I just wandered around the online-world and made some online friends who I could talk to and thankfully they could eventually open my eyes.
But up until now, I am 33 yo now, I still have issues eating in public. Sometimes it goes ok, but there are moments I'd rather starve then eat something because I (think I) can see people thinking: look at that fat pig stuffing all the food in her ugly face. 

I know they aren't thinking that, but the demons in my head make me think that.
By getting older, I was slowly able to put things in perspective and to give things a place although it often is still hard. Mostly in stressfull moments and when I'm feeling sad or upset.

But a few years ago, I had a melt down. A burn-out. I couldn't sleep and I couldn't stop crying and I just didn't feel good. I ended up being home from work for almost a year. I went to some sort of therapist to do some excercises to be calm and relax because I just couldn't relax anymore. I didn't have joy anymore. 
So she taught me to enjoy the little things in live: the sunshine, a nice walk with the dog, a butterfly, the sound of the wind throught the leaves , etc. 

It helped so much. After a few months, I could breathe again. I didn't have the palpitations anymore, it felt as if I was free again. I could smile again. 

There will always be triggering moments and dark places in my head and I do my very best not to let those demons take over again. But it's not always that easy and sometimes you really need to put yourself and your health first and even 'delete' negative people out of your life. It helps!

So to all of you battling the same kind of demons: Be strong, stay positive, try to enjoy the littles things in life like a butterfly or the sound of the sea, the smile on a child's face, silence...it can be anything, as long as it makes you feel happy again. Give it a try and let me know if it helps, or maybe if I can help you!



Take care
x
Annelies

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