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My only regret about treatment is that I didn’t access it sooner

I’ve struggled with my mental health for most of my life but didn’t see it as that. I always believed I was just ‘too sensitive’, ‘too emotional’ and needed to ‘get a thicker skin’.

I thought self-help, faith practices and other informal methods of support were enough to help me change myself so life wouldn’t affect me so much. Although these things helped me to survive and build resilience, it wasn’t until I reached breaking point, went to my GP and found myself in a group therapy programme, that I realised this was exactly what I’d needed for many years.

My only regret about treatment is that I didn’t access it sooner.

I had preconceived ideas about it, was afraid to be officially labelled with a mental illness and whenever I felt bad and considered reaching out, I would draw on my resilience and ‘get myself together’ because, “Anny, you’re stronger than you think” - a phrase that although probably true, still bothers me a lot.

I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to have treatment - it was mind and life changing because…

I understand the fears, barriers and hesitation to reach out for treatment, but it truly helps recovery. I had never even considered that an eating disorder was what I was dealing with, but the way I was treated by my GP was how I ended up getting treatment and recovering. That’s why I’m now committed to advocate for more awareness and access to treatment. I’m also keen to support research and ensure that the treatment being provided is consistent and meets the needs of the diverse communities it serves.

Treatment isn’t a quick fix, and recovery, even after binges stop, isn’t linear or easy. However, the practical tools and strategies I learned in therapy have given me the confidence to know that I am equipped with what I need to continue taking one step at a time, one day at a time.

Contributed by Anny.

Anny is an Author and blogs about her recovery at thefatuglyblog.com

Anny attended our Introduction to Campaigning webinar in 2021, to find out more about campaigning for change. We're holding this webinar again, so if Anny's blog has inspired you to consider campaigning for change, you can find out more about the session below