I Survived…

WARNING: THIS VIDEO TALKS ABOUT SELF HARM AND SUICIDE AND MAY BE A TRIGGER

An ambiguous statement, but true. I’ve survived suicide attempts (both my own and that of family members), self-harm, domestic abuse of a parent, depression, anxiety, bulimia and more.

I remember feeling so alone and like a freak for being different to everybody else. I founded The Unmarked Road to share my story, in hope it gives comfort to those going through hard times and struggling with their thoughts and emotions.

Your past does not have to define your future.

No matter how dark things appear, there is always a light. I know this because I have come out the other side of some of the deepest depth of despair imaginable.

Through sharing our experiences, we can end the stigma of mental health together. I welcome all of you to share your stories with me.

Dani xx

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The A-Z Of My Life Experiences

I wrote earlier this week about my intentions with the new section on my site. I’m starting to formulate the different parts that will populate the various pages, but to show you what to expect, here’s an A-Z list of my personal experiences, although it is worth noting that not all have happened to me directly! But you’ll realise that in the coming weeks as I start to public each story.

Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Bullying

Cutting and other forms of Self Harm

Depression

Eating Disorders

Fear of Failure

General Anxiety Disorder

Health and Nutrition

Intrusive/Obsessive Thoughts and Rumination

Job Dissatisfaction

Knowing Yourself

Loss of Family and Friends

Mood Swings

Nervous Breakdowns

Overdosing and Suicidal Tendencies

Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Quietening the Mind

Relationships and Love

Social Anxiety

Therapy and Counselling Urges to engage in Harmful Behaviour, such as Dermatillomania/Excoriation Disorder Violence (Domestic) Working from Home

XYZero – Couldn’t think of anything for these pesky three little letters. I attempted at being humorous (putting Zebra for Z) but then realised it wasn’t that funny. 🙂

Thank you for reading! xx

Holiday Blues

Why is it that you feel the need for a holiday, to get over a holiday?

I am the very definition of a binger. I am not someone who does ‘everything in moderation’. I’m an all or nothing kind of gal – for example, I can’t diet. I either eat completely clean or I eat everything sweet and fatty I can get my hands on, even if I don’t particularly like the taste of it!

This is what I do on holiday. I do everything in excess because I know when I get home, with having a wedding to prepare and pay for and me having no income, there will be no little luxuries. So the past 5 days in Bristol have been spent eating and drinking to the point I feel the inside of my body’s health declining! You know that feeling of being dirty? You look at your body and rationally you know it can’t have changed that much in 5 days but somehow you look fatter and uglier than ever before?

I don’t suffer from bulimia anymore, but that feeling of being dirty was something I remember well. Throwing up was all I could do to stop me feeling like that. I don’t hate my body or myself to that extent anymore but I can’t look at myself in the mirror at the moment and will be adhering to strict detox until I can face myself again!

I guess it is important not to get hung up on those things too much. I spent the 5 days laughing uncontrollably and reminiscing about old times. Letting go for a few snippets of time where I wasn’t harassed by intrusive thoughts of failure and uncertainty was well and truly a break from reality and I relished it, bloated belly and all!

I’m home now, and holiday blues have set in. The mountain of work has piled up, there’s housework to do and my holiday from the anxiety is over too. But that’s ok. You need the rain to experience the rainbow. If all my days were beautiful and fulfilling, I wouldn’t appreciate them as much.

I suppose the trick when experiencing days where joy isn’t so ‘in your face’ is to look deeper for your blessings in the every day. My health, my fiancé, my opportunities. As hard as it is, there is always something you are blessed with and can appreciate. What are you grateful for today?

Healthy Body = Healthy(er) Mind. Smoothie Recipe.

One big game changer in terms of my mental health, was when I started looking after my body. I was always slim as a child but when I was 15 I was put on the pill due to severe acne, and I put on a lot of weight. It was put down to just ‘becoming a woman’ (as the pill doesn’t actually make you gain weight…yeh ok), but already suffering with anxiety at this point, it wasn’t hard to turn my anger and hatred on to my body when it started changing. It didn’t look like these images in the magazines, so that to me it was just something else that didn’t make me ‘normal’. My weight didn’t regulate until I came off the pill when I was 21 (funny that!) but before that I literally tried everything to lose the weight I’d gained, even resorting to throwing up after I ate for a couple of years.

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