#WMHD2019: Jess's Story
Jess writes about struggling with anorexia through GCSEs and how a failed suicide attempt has given her a new lease on life
10th September 2019, 8.30am | Written by: Jess
Now, more than ever it’s important we show kindness to one other. Giving and receiving acts of kindness can help to improve mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings.
**trigger warning: references to suicide**
The 2nd of January is an important day to me. I used to dread it rolling round every year, as I saw it as a day of despair - the day I tried to end my life. But as the years have gone on, and I have moved on in my recovery, I have come to see this day as a celebration of how far I have come.
During my GCSE years, I struggled with a terrible eating disorder. Instead of making memories with my friends at school, I spent most of my time in and out of hospitals and clinics, taking time off school, and sitting exams at my kitchen table. I was steadily declining in my own little bubble, isolated from my friends and feeling misunderstood by professionals. Eventually, the pressure bubbled over and I couldn't take it anymore. Instead of feeling upset and angry, I started to feel nothing at all.
In the heat of mock GCSEs, bullying, despairing family members and baffled mental health professionals, I started to contemplate suicide. At the time, it seemed like the only option I had left. The only way I could escape everything around me and finally have some peace. However, after landing myself in hospital with a failed attempt, I felt even worse - another thing I have failed at... Or so I thought.
Looking back, I couldn't be more grateful for being saved that day. Ever since that dark time in my life, I have been able to rebuild my life and conquer so much; none of which I would have ever known if I hadn't survived. I managed to salvage friendships, have my first long and healthy relationship, defeat anorexia, achieve my GCSEs and A levels, go to university, every day inching closer and closer to my dreams. I even found a letter I had written to myself 5 years ago recently, where I had outlined what I thought to be several ridiculous and unachievable dreams I had hoped to be doing by now... I can happily report that I have done everything I listed in that letter already, and reading it brought tears to my eyes - I wish I could go back and tell myself how I need to believe in myself because I CAN do this life thing.
I am still fighting every day, and I am not ashamed to say I take medication to manage my depression even now. But no matter how tough times get, I will never see the 2nd of January as a bad day again. To me, it is a second chance, a day of rebirth. A day to celebrate the fact that I made it, and continue to fight to see many more January 2nds.
"At a time where suffering is a global commonality, kindness is easy to practice and makes a huge difference. Being kind is usually seen as something we do for others, but for me, being kind to myself is just as important and can be much more…Find out more
Connor wrote a blog about why he chose to be a Time to Change Wales Champion and how it has helped him to share his story, gain new skills and meet new people.Find out more