I’ve always wanted to write a book to document how I have tackled some of life’s big challenges, from abuse, mental health problems to self-harm, an eating disorder and recovering from addictions. I want to share the real side of my recovery journey, sometimes very dark side.. due to the negative coping mechanisms I used.

But sometimes the funny moments too! Most of all, I want to offer hope to others that no matter how bad you feel things are, you can make progress.

Managing my mental illnesses

I knew, however, it would not only be a difficult road to recovery but also a rollercoaster journey to writing a book because I knew I needed it to be published, so that someone outside of my bubble of anxiety, depression, self-doubt and dyslexia, could edit me but most of all make sure that others would understand voices like mine.

It’s taken me YEARS to write this book

It documents my story from being abused to self-harm and a severe eating disorder, not to mention a plethora of other addictive behaviour along the way.

It’s not a pretty tale of eating disorder recovery however, it is gritty and honest as my life may have looked glamorous to the outside world but it was far from that inside my attic bedroom where I lived in squalor. 

My first book is set to be published this year called:  ‘Eat. Sleep. Control. Repeat’ on how I went from having the “worst” case of an eating disorder medics had ever seen to working as a mental health, wellbeing & fitness blogger/vlogger and film-maker today (based from home which allows me to work and manage my mental health and single parenting).  

I want to show the true reality of living with addictive behaviours such as an eating disorder and other destructive coping mechanisms. Not to accuse my former broken self or others or to just ‘shock.’ I want it to comfort those reading, that you too have nothing to be ashamed about because shame will only hold us back from being set free from the addiction.

Guilt is about feeling guilty for our actions ‘what we did’ but shame is much worse… it’s about being ashamed of who we are.

My own story was going to be focused on Bulimia originally as this was the label placed on a lot of my struggles as a teenager by professionals.

So, I was going to call the book “The Bully Inside Me,” playing on the word Bulimia because my crutch which at times felt like my best friend “Bulimia” who helped me survive life’s challenges was actually my worst enemy, because she was inside me.

But whilst writing the book, and thanks to the help of my amazing publisher Diane Hall, I also started to see that it wasn’t ‘just’ the Bulimia… it was so many aspects of my life I had spent time invested and escaping in addictive behaviours that had given me a false sense of control.

So whilst the name of my book has rightly changed, as my journey isn’t focused on being an eating disorder patient… it is about how we are engulfed with pressure to ‘have it all’ even when life is difficult and how we look to manage it in unhelpful ways.

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I share how much I have lost through eating disorders (not just weight, although I actually gained more weight the worst I got), addictions and negative crutches. From workaholic behaviours (which I still have to an extent) to accepting toxic relationships, to self-harm, alcohol and far too much ‘retail therapy.’

But I also appreciate how much I have gained. I appreciate still being alive, despite attempts to ease the agonising pain that this world sometimes brings me, I appreciate the gift and outlook my recovery journey has given me… so I cannot judge others. I just want to help others who are a few or several steps behind me.

I want to tell you to stop beating yourself up. You are in a pain. A deep pain that only those who have known suffering can truly understand. You have used these destructive methods to cope.

But if I can be well on my way to recovery and embracing who I am and even beginning to love myself… then so can you.

I like to tackle serious issues in style!

Unfortunately this difficult journey starts with ourselves.

But hopefully you’ll take a pause to read my book where I share the ugly truth to some of our darkest addictive behaviours and you can see that no matter how bad things get, you can live a fulfilling life.

I don’t say I am recovered because that would put pressure on myself and others and I am not sure that full recovery is ever possible for me… but managing it, learning to understand myself and using it to be able to no longer hinder my career, home or friendships but instead my challenges enable me to share my story in work, life and relationships.

Yes, I am much better now but of course I still have my demons, as do most of us, I choose life and freedom though these days.

Resilience is about getting up faster than we did before when life knocks us down.

I have found my own way to be free to express myself through life’s positives and negatives.

For me my therapy is through healthy relationships, feel-good fitness, healthy mantras and routines (forget the crazy cat lady, I am now the crazy positive affirmation lady!), a good mental health team, dance therapy and writing/blogging/vlogging are really therapeutic for me (especially the vlog as I still manage mental health problems but am stable so sometimes I find talking to a camera easier than a person to express myself). 

I also continue to love teaching and performing bellydance and feel-good dance fitness and making mental health documentaries through my own all-female company.

evokemediagroup.co.uk

 I blog and vlog very openly about my mental health and wellbeing and recovery journey because I believe we should talk about it as much as we talk about our physical health, if not more.  And the book is an insight where I share experiences I have never spoke about before and what I have learned as a result. In some places it may be “shocking” but you need to see how bad things can get to see the beauty of how things can still get better.

The book documents the ugly side of addiction so that people feel less ashamed and alone. bIt also offers hope that you can build your life back up and replace negative coping mechanisms with positive ones.

There’s also funny parts too (as well as all the dark stuff) of what people say when they’re trying to be helpful. And the light and shade moments of life which I have to laugh at, even if I have dark sense of humour (namely, I took all my self-employed receipts into the eating disorder unit as an inpatient as well as other admin I had been putting off due to my chaotic brain as I thought that I may as well make the most of the enforced ‘rest).

This book is for all of you who strive to be your best selves, you have had a colourful past that has made you the beautiful human being you are, you will not always feel broken, you will heal and I want you to join me for a journey of self-reflection and mending. Or maybe you just need to read this if you’re supporting a loved one with addiction or eating disorders and other destructive behaviours.

This isn’t about blame or glamourising anything, far from it, this is about setting us all free from the pain which is causing our negative behaviours.

I am prepared to lay some of my darkest “secrets” down so that I can move forward and hopefully offer you comfort or an insight into the brain of an “addict.”

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I am so passionate to show the “dark” side too because I always have a genuine smile and lots of sparkles so people never expect to hear my past or even the fact that I still manage mental health problems whilst being successful in what I do e.g. having a home, single parenting, working online and performing. 

I will always have an “addictive” personality, whilst writing this I have a pint of filter coffee in front of me, it is the second of the day and it’s only 9am. But coffee is not in control of my life and all I can do is recognise and challenge my own behaviours each day and each moment, trying to be better than I was in my last decision.

After all, we have had the determination to be the “worst addict”… so we can use this drive to choose to live a fulfilling life.

My mission is to make mental health / self love sexy to speak about so people can be honest in order to heal and get the right support for them.

Hopefully, Eat. Sleep. Control. Repeat will also show others who don’t have addictive personalities just how much any disorder can end up controlling a person and it is not always them speaking, it is often the disorder which has overtaken their mind, body and soul. BUT with the right support, desire, belief and positive influences anyone can thrive on the (long) road to recovery.

I am grateful to have this platform and all the support to open up about my past to help others to see that eventually we can learn to control the bully inside of us. I am grateful to you for reading, of course my family/friends/ supporters/professionals. It is an honour to have finished writing this book (finally!) and I have a heart of gratitude for my publisher/cheerleader and very patient advocate Diane.

BUT… This book isn’t about celebrating me… it is about all of us who get trapped in the rat race of life which feels like… Eat. Sleep. Control. Repeat.

Most of all, I want you to embrace your past, let go of the shame and focus on feeling empowered for a fulfilling future.

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