Share Your Story

Katy shared her experience of Binge Eating Disorder alongside her fundraising to help raise awareness and challenge the stigma surrounding this serious mental illness.

Katy shares how she approached writing her experience with tips and advice for others who want to share their experience to help raise awareness.

I knew I'd wanted to share my experience for a while. I wanted to do what I could to help others who may be in a similar position to know there is help out there, and help to raise money for Beat at the same time. I was really excited and happy to do it, published it and shared it on social media.

Then I had a sudden feeling of "oh my god it's all out there". These were feelings and experiences I'd kept a secret in shame for years and now I was putting it out there for everyone to see.

Afterwards I felt a strong feeling of contentment, feeling I was finally able to share my whole self with the people I love. I gained confidence in myself and ability to share my story eloquently.

I had wonderful comments from loads of friends and family - including people I hadn't spoken to in ages. People said I was brave for sharing and complimented my writing style. I also heard from two people who were friends-of-friends that read the story and felt they had gone through something similar. That made me feel incredible - that I had potentially helped people with my story, which is the main thing I wanted to achieve, especially because Binge Eating Disorder has so little known about it and is often very misunderstood.

I would share your story with someone you trust prior to putting it out for everyone to see. This will help you feel confident in what you've written, and will give you feedback on the flow and grammar, spelling etc. This is always useful in writing but especially when talking about something so personal.

I ended up writing a lot over several days, and also adapted some things I wrote while I was in the midst of treatment. This allowed me to then select which bits I felt ready and comfortable to share, whilst keeping other parts potentially for future or just to keep to myself!

Here are our and Katy’s top tips before sharing your story.

  • Write and share about only what you feel comfortable doing so, remember this is your story and is unique to you.
  • If you’re looking for a place to start, it might be helpful to explain about the isolation and shame eating disorders can cause. As Katy says, the importance of raising awareness by sharing your story will help others know they aren’t alone.
  • Don’t include information that could be considered triggering, this includes specific weights and behaviours. Instead try to explore your emotions, the impact your eating disorder/s (or the experience of the person you care about) has had upon your relationships, career, education, happiness and life as a whole.
  • Speak to friends and family or someone you trust before sharing it publicly to help build your confidence.

Looking after yourself

It’s great that you are keen to share your story to help raise awareness and as part of your fundraising. But we ask that you only choose to do this if you feel completely comfortable in doing so. If at any stage, you change your mind or feel uncomfortable - stop straight away.

We always suggest before sharing your story you follow the points below to help support your mental health and wellbeing. We ask that you:

  • Have friends or family that will be able to support you with the process and you can reach out to after answering the questions if needed
  • Have a plan in place and know who to reach out to for help should you feel triggered in any way
  • Know you can contact Beat’s Helpline for support 9am – 8pm weekdays and 4pm – 8pm on weekends

Why not set up a Just Giving page and get started sharing your story now?