When I was twelve years old, I grabbed a pair of scissors from my parent’s desk and made a small cut.
In case you’ve arrived late…
For as long as I can remember I have always felt the need to look after others. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, friend, or even someone that I barely know. I have an inherent need to help “fix” the lives of others whether they want me to or not. Now wanting to help others is not a bad thing, unless it begins to be at the cost of your own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. I am extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, and I find it very difficult to take a step back and remove myself from situations in which I over-empathize with someone else. This is especially true if it is someone I care about. I became almost obsessive in my need to help others, and I would often begin to sacrifice my own mental health and financial stability to support someone who I believed to need my help. When I look back now, I realize that I was providing support to people who hadn’t even asked for my help. I truly believed that they needed me, they just didn’t know it yet. My feelings of self-worth began to “depend” on my ability and need to make things better for those whose lives I believed needed to be fixed.
I have always wanted to share my story with people, as I think I could bring on some wisdom, advice, and comfort to others. This is just one part of my huge story, just a day in my life with mental illness.
For the benefit of any newcomers…
Being diagnosed with Anorexia at the age of 16 was not a part of my plan. I dreamed of being an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor while gigging in a band as a drummer on the side. For as long as I can remember being a doctor and a drummer was my plan, that plan took a huge turn after my parents made the decision to pull me out of the art school I was attending and put me back in the public school system. The short story for why they made this decision is that while I was already knee-deep in Anorexia at this point, yet still went unnoticed, I had decided I wanted to be a psychologist to help other people so therefore I did not want to take percussion as my elective any longer which my parents did not approve of.
Where do I begin? Ashley, for all intents and purposes is my life line.
Almost to the exact date of my momentous mindset shift just last year.. this story will tell a different path decision going into 2020.
In October 2019, I spent two weeks on a psychiatric ward.
When I was younger than 16, I had already started suffering from my first eating disorder. Anorexia.