Saturday, 24 August 2013

I am still Lizzi.

So, this is me being brave, being honest, being open, being real. This is me deciding not to be ashamed, not even in secret. This is me trying to do my bit to talk about something so many people find difficult to talk about.
I have a mental health disorder. 
And I'm not going to be ashamed of it.
I am me. I am Lizzi. I always have been. I always will be. I have not changed now that I have been diagnosed. I am still the same.
Sometimes I cope well, sometimes I do not. 
Sometimes I let it show, sometimes I do not. 
I have Anxious and Avoidance personality disorder, an eating disorder and suspected borderline personality disorder. 
I am not a disorder, I have a disorder, I am Lizzi.
Do not ask me why I have these disorders, because you would not ask someone why they have a cold. 
Do not refer to me by my disorder, because you wouldn't say to someone oh yes, you are a cold. That would be ridiculous.  
I did not chose to have a disorder, but I am choosing to fight it.

And you know what? God understands my disorder, I'm not any less to him because of my disorder, I am still his child, I am still made in his image. I am still Lizzi. 

If you know someone struggling with mental health, the best advice I can give you is listen and do not judge. You aren't them, you've not walked there path, only them and God know what their life is like and what difficulties they find. Try your best to get information about what they struggle with, and accept them as they are. Never tell them they are stupid for the way they are. Sometimes the person struggles to understand or explain what they are feeling or thinking, accept that too.

If you want to know more, speak to someone with a mental health problem, or have a look at one of the following websites. 
And if you have a mental health problem, I encourage you to be brave and speak up, (yes I know it's hard, I'm half hoping no one reads this)!

Some useful websites: eating disorders self harm suicide depression

While I'm here I would really like to thank a few people who have really supported me, and some services too. Thank you too my Birchfield Church family (#teambirchfield), especially Matt and Claire Merriam, Bekki Watts and Michael Flaherty. Thank you too my close friends - Rachel, Dan, Ellie, Nai&Mark, Susie, Lily, Emily, Claire and Stacey. Thank you to my mummy and Angela. Thank you to YDH, Holly Court, HTT and Rowan. Thank you to everyone else too, I cant mention you all, but you know who you are, and how much I appreciate you :) And the biggest thank you I have is to God, who has never once left me on my own. 

Remember, God can make something beautiful out of dust, so just be brave.