**Trigger Warning, Mentions of E*ting D*sorders!**
Today, Holly shares her mental health journey and what steps she is taking to recovery.
“Looking at these photos of myself was a “holy shit I’ve come so far” moment for me. I couldn’t pick out anything I didn’t like about myself and my smile was 100% genuine.
I used to think going on trips with partners/friends/family and having my photos taken was something I’d never be able to do, never mind doing it, enjoying myself AND wanting to post about it.
A few years ago having my photo taken was one of my biggest fears and I couldn’t figure out how people did it so effortlessly. I’d have to suck my stomach in, make sure my make up was perfect, stand on my good side, try cover myself up a little and make sure I didn’t feel gross before even CONSIDERING standing in front of a camera. And when the photo was taken I’d stare at it for hours picking out and editing all the things I didn’t like. Pushing myself into worse habits to change all the things I didn’t like about myself.
I started showing signs of depression and an eating disorder at 11 and it controlled my life for almost all of my teen years. It caused me so much anxiety that I barely went out. I drank myself into oblivion if I did because I was so anxious about being around other people. I cared about what they thought of me and convinced myself they’d hate me before they’d even met me (thanks depression).
I couldn’t wear short sleeves or shorts because my eating disorder told me it didn’t look good, and my depression caused a lot of physical and mental scars that I didn’t want to show. I spent a lot of my teens surviving instead of living.
When I started my instagram I found a lot of comfort knowing I wasn’t alone in my feelings and I found a lot of confidence in actually having photos of myself that I liked and wanted to share with other people. I’ve managed to get my depression under control to the point where I have my own business and the smiles you see in my photos are genuine. I’ve also found a lot of support in the community that’s on instagram and I’ve got the help I needed to continue to move forward.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have bad days or episodes of my mental illnesses. Food can still be really scary to me and my depression can make me feel like I’m living under a raincloud. But I now have the tools and support to pull myself back out of those places. As someone that didn’t think they’d survive past 16, I’m living proof that it does get better. The bad days used to feel like they’d never end but now I know there’s always sunshine somewhere, and it’ll find me again.
Recovery isn't linear but it is possible.”