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Tal​king really does help

Hope Virgo

Author of 'Stand Tall Little Girl' & Ambassador for the Shaw Mind Foundation: A personal plea if you are suffering from anorexia.

Being able to talk about how you feel can be hard. I used to often feel like it was a sign of weakness. I was so afraid of emotion that when I was 13 I did everything I could to switch off from the world. And I was good at switching off. Good at masking up and pretending life was good. And the thing that helped me so this was anorexia. Anorexia helped me to ignore family arguments, helped me to not feel guilt or pain when I was sexually abused. Anorexia made me feel good, and I well and truly felt like it made me feel like I was winning at life. But the reality I wasn’t. The reality was, I was actually completely alone with this voice in my head. My best friend anorexia controlled me. Made me lose my social life. Stopped me eating out and stopped me enjoying life. The truth was anorexia no longer gave me happiness but instead was ruining me. I was slowly killing myself and I didn’t know why I was feeling certain things and I didn’t know what to do about it all. So instead of talking I continued to let the life be sucked out of me. All up until I ended up being admitted to hospital where I spent a year learning the importance of eating. Learning how to exercise in a healthy way. And yes it was hard work but I leant that truth about anorexia and wanted nothing to do with her!

There are so many people who are now like I was all those years ago. People around the world who are afraid to speak out, afraid that they are weird for feeling things, and ashamed of not living this amazing life.

We cannot let anyone else suffer in silence and it is essential we work together to empower each other to talk.

For me it took my hitting rock bottom to realising I needed help. And realising that talking is really okay. If this is you, please do:

  1. Try and talk - send someone a text who you trust just explaining you aren’t okay. Conversations have the power to save lives 
  2. Realise your worth and know that whatever anorexia tells you is a lie 
  3. Recovery is possible - yes it is hard getting there but it is well worth fighting for

Next time you are struggling please try and reach out to someone and explain you aren’t okay! I guarantee it will help!

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