30 April 2018
One Role at a Time...
This time of year is hard at university. Three assignments submitted in one week, exam dates creeping closer, yet revision is an uphill battle. I feel like my brain is crammed with so much information but the negative thoughts are constantly convincing me of how unprepared I am. I keep telling myself that this is the hardest thing that I have ever done and that final year is going to be 100 times worse, if I am lucky enough to make it to that point. But then I stop and think…
Where was I this time 3 years ago? I was probably sat in my living room, wearing jumpers, dressing gowns, fluffy socks, trying to stay warm. I was scared to have a shower for the fear of seeing how much of my hair would have fallen out. I was crying walking up and down the stairs because of how painful my knees were, but felt compelled to make those agonising journeys because of the horrible thoughts circulating in my head. I was constantly calculating calories, monitoring my food intake, scrutinising my body. I didn’t care about anything else; I didn’t even care about myself.
It was only when I had a break from revision on Saturday to attend an amazing training day to become an Ambassador for the wonderful eating disorder charity, Beat, that I was able to reflect on where I am today. Travelling back to Sheffield, I was overwhelmed with an enormous feeling of gratitude towards everybody that has enabled me to even be studying at university, let alone all of the other incredible opportunities that I have been able to get involved with!
Being a Beat Ambassador has always been a goal of mine, but for the past two years I have unfortunately missed any of the recruitment opportunities that have taken place in the north of the country. However, this year I was lucky and was quick to apply as soon as the opportunity became available!
As I arrived to the training session, I cannot describe that feeling of meeting and talking to people that know exactly what you have been through. I am sure that a few people are getting tired of hearing me share my experiences of suffering with a mental illness, but honestly I could not care less. When I was ill, the one thing I wanted to know was that I was not the only person suffering with this horrible eating disorder. But I never found that person. I never had that opportunity to speak to somebody that had been through it and had managed to achieve recovery. I didn’t even know if recovery was possible and in all honesty, after 6 assessments before being admitted into hospital, I didn’t even believe that the medical professionals thought I was worthy of achieving recovery. So to be at the Ambassador training day, surrounded by all of these amazing and inspiring individuals, who have all fought so hard for recovery and now want to go on and help other people, I truly felt blessed.
Hearing of all of the opportunities that the role of a Beat Ambassador offers, I cannot wait to develop my skills, meet new people and hopefully help others on a bigger scale. To be able to influence change through campaigning, support the vital work of Beat through fundraising and to challenge the stigma associated with eating disorders through raising awareness, I truly feel like within this role I can make a difference. I am excited to see where this opportunity will lead and I just hope that I can contribute to improving the lives of those that are affected by eating disorders.