I’d suffered with mental health issues since my pre-teens, so when I developed Anorexia at 22 I refused to accept the truth. A few years before I had been at the side of one of my closest friends when she lost her battle with Anorexia, it broke my heart. When I was blind sighted by the same disorder, I couldn’t recognise my experiences as valid or legitimate in comparison to hers. Even after hospitalisation, supported housing and new diagnoses of Anorexia and Borderline Personality Disorder, I ran away and rejected all of my friends, families and doctors convictions.
It took a further 2 and a half years, another major relapse with Anorexia, hospitalisation and the worst depression I’d ever experienced, before I was ready to accept treatment for my eating disorder--even then it took months for me to accept my diagnosis. My journey actively trying to heal myself still feels comparatively tiny to the time I have spent hiding. Where even my treatment from the NHS was not optional at the time of my relapse, Sweet Cavanagh has been the first step I have made for myself to confront my disorder and take ownership of my recovery.
It’s given me with a safe space, where anything I want or need to talk about is welcomed and supported by like-minded women. It has challenged me to confront my anxieties each week and continue progressing with my recovery. Learning new skills and being in a creative space has been such a positive experience which has carried through to other areas of my life and given me a sense of myself again that I have been missing for a long time.