Scrolling through my facebook timeline last week, one article in particular caught my attention.
A student named Emma Healey, had shared her story with a blog called The Gryphon – The Student Newspaper of Leeds University. What struck me about her article was the feeling of truth that came from reading it. Her sister was affected by an eating disorder and spent time in hospital while Emma was away at university, and so she tells the story of a struggle with anorexia from an outsider’s perspective. She talks of how affected her family was by her sister’s illness; how mental illness ‘plagued’ their lives and how helpless she feels to do anything about it. The article felt very emotionally raw, and the negativity of it was actually inspiring, because it reflected the brutality of the situation.
Often people are only able to share their story after the events have occurred and they are well on the way to recovery, which gives their approach a positive and hopeful edge. Of course, this would give a very important message: that things will get better and your troubles won’t last forever, but I admired the honesty oozing from Emma’s article on The Gryphon. Emma’s family are still in the middle of their battle, and her article ends on a wish, not a hope: “I wish more than anything that she could be better. There is nothing I would not trade for that. But, my god, I am so proud of her for trying.”
The Gryphon are publishing a whole series of articles about mental illnesses and their affects on people, in order to raise awareness. The Mental Health A-Z takes you on a journey through some very moving experiences and is definitely worth a read.