When I Finally Chose To Live

The healing process is such an interesting topic to explore. Every story is unique but often the same as well. We’re all working towards something in regards to a better future and improved health, among other things. It isn’t an easy journey to navigate nor is it ever one that seems particularly black and white. In this series, we will hear from different individuals within the mental health community about their healing process, how it began, what the journey has been like and where they are today.

Tell us about yourself and your background
My name is Iesha, I am 20 years old. I have have been diagnosed with Anorexia, Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and I’ve self harmed since the age of 15/16.

When did your healing journey begin and what lead you to take the route that you did?
My healing journey begun when I was admitted to general hospital for a week, because my mental health (specifically Anorexia) had caused my body to start to give up. I then got told I was going to be transferred to a residential inpatient center. It was then that I realized that I needed to take back my life, accept the help and start the healing and recovery process. I proved it all and ended up being able to go home instead of the residential center! I knew I needed to eat and live instead of just survive, I decided this wasn’t the life I wanted to live anymore. So, I put all the work in with the help of my community mental health teams. It was and still is the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I know it’s the right thing to do, I just keep reminding myself that on the hardest days!

What were some of the highs and lows you have encountered along the way?
The lows I have encountered are: seeing my family in absolute pieces because they couldn’t cope with seeing me like I was, they said I looked like I was going to die at one point. As well as this, it’s continuing with the recovery process when everything in my mind is telling me I’m wrong. It’s fighting against every thought process I’ve lived by for so long, it’s life changing the process itself everyday.

The highs are: being able to go out and actually enjoy days out with friends and family, without being too weak and not feeling well enough. As well as, being over 100 days self harm free when before that was a dream and not a reality. Finally I’m slowly learning to accept myself for exactly who I am, day by day.

What has the process been like with trying to find what works best for you?
The things that helped me the most were the 8/9 months I spent in a psychiatric day hospital recovering daily therapy groups, support and 1:1s. The process is the worst, but you soon learn that if you keep going you might actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. The staff I met there and the friendships I’ve formed are a huge part of the process for me, because they believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself.
I now have a community team who are amazing and support me the best they can, to help keep me on track. I am currently on a waiting list for outpatient dialectical Behaviour therapy and trauma therapy for my past traumas, as well as possible CBT. I am on medication everyday as well to help me.

What is one thing you didn’t expect to learn from this journey?
The one thing I didn’t expect to learn was the amount of different therapy and support there is in the community. It really isn’t until I reached my worst that these options became available and I wish for others that it could be stopped before you have to reach the point I did.

Where are you at today with everything?
Today, I am as stable as I’ve been in years but still struggling some days. I follow meal plans and try and stay hydrated, haven’t self harmed since a week before the admission, I am out there living my life and that’s the best feeling. I still really struggle to stay on track and the thought of relapsing still crosses my mind. I still get the suicidal thoughts, I still don’t know if I’m strong enough some days. But, that’s the reality of it all! This therapy should really help with the bad days too, hopefully it won’t be too long. My emotions are still beyond a nightmare, but meds are helping that as well. I didn’t think I’d get to where I am today, but here’s hoping staying on the right track continues and I’m determined to do everything I can to make sure of that!

Where can people follow you on social media?

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