Thursday 6 February 2014

time to talk | the sick desire for self abuse.

Today, Time to Change are trying to spark one million conversations about mental health, so I thought I'd use this as a good opportunity to talk a little bit about the struggles I've had lately, and to hopefully encourage some of you to talk about your problems, or to talk to someone you know about what's bothering them.

I'm trying to challenge the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health by sharing my story.

Let's just ease ourselves in with a little song..

I am definitely guilty of trying to hate myself into non-existence. I don't know if it's a gender thing, an age thing, or if something has gone awfully wrong in my brain. The fact is, we'd all function a little better with a bit of time and love. But how do you change the habit of a lifetime? 

When I'm anxious about something, I can't help but focus on the tiny imperfections on myself. My usual vice is pulling at my split ends and picking at skin on my hands and legs. Kind of gross, I know, but that's what I do. And let me tell you, it's a darn sight better than what I used to do.

From what I remember, during my teens I barely used to cry about all the upsetting things that happened. I recall feeling incredibly numb for a lot of it, so I used to cut myself in order to deal with everything. I don't even really know if I did it to feel something, to feel in control, to punish myself.. all I know is it made me feel better in some strange way.

For a long time I was incredibly ashamed of my scars and wanted to hide them with pretty tattoos, but now I almost wear them with a sense of pride - they are my battle scars. I lived to tell my tales.

Lately, I've been having a really tough time loving myself. I put on a bit of weight (just less than a stone, but boy does it show when you're little) and just when I had started to take control of what I was eating again, something knocked me back. I was eating healthily, exercising daily, and then it happened.

I can't go into detail, but I trembled from head to toe and shut down a little bit. I felt sick, numb. This is a horrible thing to have to admit, something that makes me feel like an embarrassment and a failure, but I turned back to my old vice, which resulted in me feeling like I'd destroyed all of the progress I've made in the past 5 years.

I was punishing myself. It was a brief and silly thing to do, it was in no way a solution, and I'm hoping I never return to it. I just felt very alone at that moment.

I then tried to change those feelings into a positive reaction, but it's so difficult when you're doubting almost everything about yourself. That's the trouble with anxiety and depression - it makes everything seem so wrong and impossible.

The other day, after an unsuccessful shopping trip, I walked home beating myself up for the clothes not suiting me or fitting how I'd imagined. It felt quite liberating to say what was bothering me out loud to Doug, followed by "NO! I may be squidgy around the edges, maybe my boobs aren't totally symmetrical and pert, and maybe I haven't shaved my legs for 3 days, but I'm ok! I'm alright!"

I'm hoping one day I can replace the words "ok" and "alright" with something along the lines of "beautiful" or "inspiring".

Most of us could learn to love ourselves a little more, and we should start right now. It's not something you should put off, or say you'll start tomorrow. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Visit the Time To Change website and pledge to end mental health stigma - this could be by talking about it, blogging about it, or just checking up on those vulnerable friends more often.  

• Talk to someone about what's bothering you - no matter what it is, chances are someone else out there has felt the same at one time or another. It can really help to know that you're not alone, and that there's someone willing to listen to you. If you want, you can email me to chat about anything -

• Start putting yourself first - your needs, your desires.. it's good to love others & look out for them, but you have to remember yourself. Taking time out for yourself is really important, too. Go get yourself some me-time! And if something upsets you, don't be afraid to say so!

• Look in the mirror, and compliment yourself - do it out loud! It can feel a little silly, but even if you end up laughing at yourself you'll be releasing those endorphines!

Read this collection of quotes that will make you feel beautiful.

• Start keeping a gratitude journal.

• Listen to this song and realise that people are just people like you:

• follow on: twitterfacebookbloglovin'


  1. You should wear your scars with pride- look at the past, how you used to feel, and you have survived! I never give mine a second thought- I'm wearing a sleeveless dress on my wedding day!

  2. Well done for powering through everything you've been through! It takes a strong person to survive all of this and to write about it so openly and to admit to something that embarrasses you.

    I suffer from depression and anxiety, which I've talked about on my blog so you're not alone!

    You're advice for loving ourselves more is spot on too. I'm definitely guilty of doing things because I feel like I 'should' or to please other people. Putting yourself first is so important, even if it's just sometimes. You're no good to anyone if you're burned out.

    Big love to you and thank you for sharing your story :))

  3. Brilliant blog post, and well done for sharing your story :) x

  4. This is such a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing your story, your advice is brilliant x

  5. Thanks for sharing your story and shedding some light on such an important issue. I hope I'll be brave enough to share mine some day...


  6. Thank-you so much for writing this post. It's inspired me to write my own. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

  7. This made me cry. I've had a post about suffering from self harm in my drafts for months but you have inspired me to finally press publish. It's not something to be ashamed about anymore and if we can help others then I think that will just make us even stronger. Thank you for being such an inspiration
    Nina from little nomad

  8. This is a brave post. Thanks for sharing your story. I shared mine today as well. Felt so anxious after the post went live, worrying if I was over-sharing but I've decided that if it starts a conversation that might help someone like me it's worth it.
    Here's the link to mine if you fancy reading it

  9. I decided to take part in the time to talk challenge too - it was harder than I thought to write about my struggles in a post and I am in complete awe about how amazing yours is. Such a brave thing to do, you should be so proud of yourself. Everyone should be able to think positively about themselves! xx

    D Is For...

  10. I feel honoured to read your story. You write it so well and I can feel the emotions in between the lines.
    I hope one day you can change the reactions into positive ones but 'OK' and 'all right' and just as good a start as any.

    ~ K

  11. This spoke to me a lot.
    You're really brave for writing about this.

  12. This is very beautifully written. hope you're ok lovely x

  13. Very brave post, well done you :)

  14. i've said it on twitter already but this post is so brave and you're amazing for sharing your story! self harm definitely isn't something to be ashamed of, neither are scars and neither is slipping up every now and again...also congrats for being five years cut free, that's an incredible achievement and you should be very proud, next step realising how beautiful and inspiring you are :) x

  15. Sending lots of love to you, mental health is so complex and you have managed to achieve so much!

    Maria xxx

  16. Thank you for posting this. It's posts like these that inspire others to share their stories and help work towards changing the attitude that anxiety, depression and self harm are things to be ashamed of - they certainly aren't. I rarely talk about my own struggles, but your post has really inspired me, so thank you.

  17. such an inspiring post and i really admire you for having the courage to write it! I wish you well on your road to overcoming the negativity. Never be ashamed because you have more strength than most people!

  18. this is so brave and inspiring, I see my scars as battle wounds too. Although I still relapse and it makes me angry that I don't have the strength to stop. Your courage is greatly admired you beauty. I guess it's taking one day at a time xx

  19. such a brave post, thank you for sharing your story with us xx

  20. Thanks for sharing this with us. More people need to talk about mental health issues and get it out in the open. Keep up the amazing progress you've made :) xx

  21. I love these posts so much. They're such eye openers and everything you said was said so well. Very brave for you to announce this, and thank you for sharing your story.

    You're beautiful x

    Jes | Naturally Jes

  22. I love this post so so much and want to thank you for being so willing to share and talk about this experience. You use perfect songs as well.

    I've gained a bit of weight recently too and it's amazing how quickly that can make you feel horrid about yourself when you finally notice the weight. This was really helpful to read and I love that you say that it is ok to just be ok for a while before you switch to beautiful.

    Thank you for this!

    Tightrope to the Sun

  23. Dear Lyzi, thanks for sharing this! Yes, people are just people. You are a very kind and beautiful lady. I am really happy when I read your blog posts! So,write lots of it.
    Don't give up and just be happy! :)

  24. you are so very brave to share this on your blog. i admire you deeply for having the courage to press post. keep up with your amazing blog, and i hope that you feel better soon. keep positive! xxxx

  25. I want to first say you are a very beautiful woman and you need to remember that when you are down no matter whether you believe it many people think it.

    I have also, like many people, been through times like these, I like to think that I no longer suffer with the debilitating depression I used to have to deal with regularly. There is no easy way to do it, when I am down it is hard to get back up but with support from people who love you and with a bit of self-belief you can not let it ruin your life. I still regularly find things wrong with myself and although I no longer scratch into my skin with a sharp object I find myself hitting my legs in frustration causing me bruises.

    Its small steps that help you get through it, like others have said looking at scars can help you see how far you have come and to remind you not to go back.

    I try now to focus on something that is positive no matter how small it is (it could just be my hair looks good) and use that as a starting block to build on. I have even a couple of times looked in a mirror and not hated what I see which is a huge progress from a few years ago.

    I hope you continue to be strong on your journey and enjoy this beautiful life as you only get one chance to live it to the fullest.

    I hope I haven't rambled too much xx

  26. Thank you for sharing this, you are incredible, beautiful and an inspiration to me Lyzi. Be brave and you can do anything lovely lass, all my love Becki xx

  27. Thank you for sharing this. I have been through similar things in the past, and can relate to what you are saying. But you *are* beautiful, and very brave for sharing things so openly in a way that I still can't.

  28. This is a great post. I can definitely relate to some of the things you've mentioned - like the beating myself up for the clothes not suiting me or fitting.
    I also loved this post because you've mentioned two of my favourite singers. I have a playlist filled with songs that make me happy (helps when times are bad), and they both are on there.
    Thank you for writing this post.
    Madhavi x

  29. I wish I could wear my scars with pride, I suffer with self harm too!

  30. Thank you for this. Your post really resounds with me, because I've also felt like body image (to put it very simply) has definitely been a trigger for me in the past, too. Missteps are a natural part of the course of recovery, and I wish you all of the best - the internet needs more posts like this and more honesty like yours.


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