10 February 2016

One Positive Outcome at a Time...

I was going to start this post by saying “I know this sounds crazy”, or “you are going to think I am stupid”, but do you know what, I really could not care less what people think. Due to my personal experiences of living with this illness, and the difficulties I had with trying to find help, I have decided that I want to pursue a career in the medical and care profession. To help me along this path, it became apparent that I would have to consider going back to university in order to enhance my knowledge in the specific field that I want to enter. I spent a lot of time thinking about this, particularly considering how my past experience in this academic venture was not a successful one, I had to take careful consideration into whether I wanted to do it again.

I thought back to how I was mentally before I started university the first time, and speaking to my parents, it was highlighted that I really wasn’t well at all, but we just wasn’t aware of it. I was already riding the slippery slope down into poor health, and at that point, there was nothing that could be done to stop me. I have looked into the frame of mind I was in at that point in time, and compared it to where I am now. I have definitive goals, I have a focus and most importantly I have a passion. This time I am ready. I know what went wrong, I know how to cope and I know how to create a balance in my life. My therapy will continue right up until I go, and I will ask for support when I need it. I am not going to let this illness grasp on to another inch of my life as I push myself to progress forward and help change the lives of others that are affected. In order to do this, I applied to study a BSc Nutrition and Public Health at Sheffield Hallam University. I attended the Open Day on Sunday and I spent the whole time grinning from ear to ear. The course sounds fascinating, and I was completely engrossed in every aspect that I was shown. I realised that this course isn’t just going to help me into an exciting and varied career; it is also going to give me so much knowledge about a topic that has been so distorted in my mind from my past- the link between food and health. As soon as we got home I sent off my application and I have come home this evening to see that I have got an unconditional offer! I couldn’t be happier, and even though I know that everybody will be thinking I have just took the biggest risk of my life, well my answer to that is, you don’t know if you don’t try. I am certain that I would have spent the rest of my life thinking about everything that I could have done if I hadn’t have pushed myself to take this step forward; and I don’t want to live my life like that.

I am struggling to find the words to describe exactly how I am feeling at moment. The one at the forefront of my mind is excitement, but this is tinged with a complex mix of apprehension, uncertainty and disbelief. The fear of going back to university and having a repeat episode of before is playing on my mind, but I have to consider just how much of a better place I am in now. I think in all honesty, whilst I have been waiting for a response from the university, I have been more worried how other people will view the decision I have made; but not now. Everybody close to me knows how much I want to help others, and whether that be an individual with an eating disorder, or providing advice to those in deprived countries; who knows which path I may be diverted down whilst studying, and that excites me. The main thing is that I will be doing something that I want to do, not what I think I should be doing in order to exceed everybody’s expectations. I know how much of a challenge this is going to be for me, and I know that it may not be a smooth ride, but if it isn’t, I will have the strength to seek advice and view the bigger picture as to where this course will take me in the future.

'Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.'


  1. I'm so happy for you! Honestly, if I could give you one piece of advice - don't worry about "other people" who are they anyway? Not the family and friends who have loved you unconditionally and will continue to do so. The doubts you are having are perfectly normal and valid. When I started my degree last year at the grand old age if 49 I had so many doubts and worries but now I'm on course to get a first. You know yourself better than anyone and you can manage your condition with the help of your parents, good friends and professionals. There is absolutely no reason why you can't do this - go for it girl!

    1. Thank you Debbie, that has given me such a boost, and it is so true what you are saying! I always think about how everyone else will perceive my decisions, but in reality it is my life and not theirs, and I am starting to focus on myself. Thank you for being so supportive!