We are excited to introduce you to this amazing girl, Sarah Carman. She wanted to share her story with you, to encourage and inspire you to be healthy and whole! We love the journey she is on and look forward to hearing more about it...
I'm just a person like you, living on this planet of ours and watching the world go by. I breathe, sleep, talk, eat, walk around occasionally; that sort of thing.
In short, I'm nothing special.
What I am is, well, I don't know. I'm young, I'm lost, and I'm unsure as to where I'm going in life.
I thought I knew, but I was wrong. So. Very. Wrong.
For three years, I lived a life in which my head and my body didn't really get along. A bit like how small children with different ideas fail to play nicely together. I filled my days with running long distances and eating not much, all the while thinking that I was treating myself well. I filtered everything I said, trying to do the right thing by everyone, but in truth I was extremely afraid of putting a foot wrong. I studied incredibly hard, but even if I did well, it was never enough. I tried, I tried, I tried. But nothing got me "there", wherever "there" even is.
These things that defined me - exercise, study and trying to be liked by everyone - turned out to be incredibly bad for a number of reasons. First of all, my body started to break and I wasn't able to run anymore. Then it became increasingly difficult to cope with the workload at university and my rigid study regimen started to unravel. When I couldn't keep that up like I had before, I didn't think I was worth anything at all, and life was a bit touch-and-go for a while.
By letting my identity get tied up in (what seemed like) a healthy exercise habit, a noble academic pursuit and the idea of perfectionism, I got really sick. I developed anorexia, and depression.
Frankly, I was a mess.
Late last year, it became clear to the people around me that I would have to make some serious changes if I wanted to start living in a healthier and happier way. They could see that I was struggling, but I didn't want to change. In truth, I didn't know how. My head was stuck, rendering me unable to escape the default thoughts and actions I had used for so long to cope.
Days kept passing, and I wasn't getting any better. If anything, I was getting worse and worse. In my head, my life was still all about running and studying. And it was about to get ripped out from under me, which made me very scared indeed. Who on Earth would I be without those things?
When nothing else was working and I wanted it all to end, something clicked.
I needed to find out who I was underneath it all.
Gifting myself the time and space to get well is the best thing I have ever done. I can honestly say that this is the sort of gift that keeps on giving.
I stopped running. I stopped studying. For a while, I pretty much stopped everything. All I did was breathe, sleep, talk, eat, walk around occasionally. You know, that sort of thing.
And when I did that, I started to emerge. Me. The real Sarah.
These days I am happily discovering who I am. I'm not completely better yet, but I'm so close it's exciting. Life is good. Now that I have a functional volume dial for my thoughts, I can turn down the destructive ones and get on with my day. Perceived inadequacies don't stop me doing what I love anymore. Whilst I almost can't believe how badly my head was injuring me for all those years, I am living proof that anorexia and depression are illnesses that can be beaten.
It's not easy. It's not even remotely easy. Which is why I'm writing this, to let you know, despite how hard it is, as long as you keep applying gentle pressure to yourself, you can get better.
So keep fighting, because you can come out on top. You can, you can, you can!
We will be sharing more personal stories from our Blussh Sisterhood over the coming months. If you would like to be a part of the "Your Story" project by sharing your journey, please email us here. We look forward to hearing from you.