Mental wealth

Why being honest about my deepest flaws was one of best decisions I've ever made

You might know that recently I decided to open up about my eating disorder and mental health history by publishing a series of posts about my recovery. I was petrified of making myself so vulnerable, feeling sick and shaking as I wrote and my heart beat thumped in my temples as I hit publish each time.

What I was actually so terrified of was judgment. Of confirmation that the thing that has made me weakest of all does in fact, weaken and define me when I have fought so hard against that.

I worried that showing people what was truly going on in my head would open me up to ridicule.

The response was the polar opposite.

I’m writing this post to convey one message: If you are suffering, I implore you to share it. The more you share it, the better. Being honest about what we see as our weaknesses or failures is in fact, the best thing we can do.

I’ve been on the receiving end of limitless compassion since I decided to publish my story. I’ve received messages from all over the world from people who have found the courage to share their own life battles with me, which is such a beautiful thing.

I wrote the series to help others to see that they’re not alone. I had no idea how freeing it would be though for me, and for the first time I can see that period of my life as a strength and an asset.

I’m vulnerable, and I have extreme weaknesses. But I have confidence in that now. Those weaknesses have made me who I am, and I’m fiercely proud of my reflection.

This doesn’t mean that I’m happy about what I went through. I will always be sad to have been robbed of so many years in the grip of an illness that ate me alive.

We don’t have to be happy about what has happened to us, but we can learn to be better humans because of it.

Perhaps this is all part of getting older. Maybe that beautiful feeling of liberation is something that can only come once we endure these tests life throws at us. All I know is that I have spent a huge proportion of my life unduly concerned by what others must think of me, and what they would think if I was open-heartedly honest.

Coming out and talking about mental health stuff (which doesn’t get talked about enough – even now) is one of the best decisions I have ever made and it has taught me so much about what people really do think. And the best bit? It was nothing whatsoever like I’d imagined it might be.

If we can find the courage from somewhere to fight through the terror, the nerves and all the worry about the unknown and let people in to what is happening to us, we can not only help others but we can heal ourselves as well. To give others the inspiration to do the same thing is a privilege. This is how change – real, fundamental change – happens.

Our issues and experiences are not weaknesses. They are all part of the human experience. And no-one, even if we think we are, is ever alone.

It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed by how tiny we feel in this huge, complicated world. I often ask myself how on earth it could be possible that one person – any of us – could create any sort of lasting change.

But it’s dawned on me that it’s not just me who cares about changing attitudes towards this stuff that so many of us endure in different guises.

In deciding to write about this stuff, many others have written to me to say they’re going to do the same. Many have said that my words have helped in some way. That’s one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.

This is how change happens. It’s a domino effect. It’s a movement.

I’ve been guilty of trying so hard to be there to support the people I love (and I don’t always get it right) that I’d completely overlooked how I could help others, and myself, by letting people in.

So here’s the message of this post.

Be bold. Be brave. Wear your scars, no matter how deep or raw they are, with pride. Be brutally honest. Be vulnerable, and be proud of all that you are. The chances are, it won’t be as scary or awful as you think. It may just be the best thing you ever do.

Much love. Xxxx

 

 

Mummuddlingthrough
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5 Comments

  1. 2nd February 2017 at 12:31 pm — Reply

    Oh this made me feel really emotional reading this. Bloggers get such a rough deal sometimes but when I read this and the support you received it’s overwhelming that there is such a wonderful support work of women out there that do care. I’m so thrilled for you that you had such a response and I hope that this gives courage to others to come forward and speak up – we are terrible for sheltering everything from the world – scared of how we will be received but actually it’s the deep honest people that reap the benefits of the wonderful community so this should be a lesson to many that don’t keep it inside – there will always be love and help and support out there for you. Ursula this post gives such hope to others – seriously well done on sharing my lovely xx #CoolMumClub

    • 2nd February 2017 at 7:54 pm — Reply

      Wow, thank you so much for these beautiful words Helen. My greatest hope is that others will feel like my experience can give them courage to be brave. I felt so strongly that I needed to write this after having had such a wave of love and support come my way. It’s so powerful. And we need more messaging like this to combat the overwhelming messages of hostility and fear we’re bombarded with. Thank you so much for your support – it really does mean so much. I’m so thrilled we met at the weekend and can’t wait for the next one! So much love to you Xxx #coolmumclub

  2. 2nd February 2017 at 2:16 pm — Reply

    Oh I love this post. You are so right, we shouldn’t feel scared of sharing our feels and what has happened. Like you say we need to “be bold. Be brave” You are such an inspiration lovely lady! xx #CoolMumClub

    • 2nd February 2017 at 7:50 pm — Reply

      What a beautiful comment, Emma. Thank you so much lovely! I had no idea that today was ‘time to talk’ day when I wrote this! And I can’t help feeling like that’s some kind of beautiful coincidence! Just think what would happen in the world if we all adopted the mantra of ‘be bold, be brave’. Thanks for reading! Much love xxxx #coolmumclub

  3. 3rd February 2017 at 8:22 am — Reply

    I love this post darling and I totally agree, if we are suffering we should take our masks off to the world because only then can we truly get back on the road to wellbeing. Thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub and fab to hang the other day xoxo

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