When I was 16, my mental health problems got so bad I was put in a funny farm for 3 months. For the vast majority of my time there, I was the only one who wasn’t anorexic.
There were 6 of us that got on really well, which was great, because 99% of the time we were the only ones there. We had two girls come in during the time I was there, but they were only there for 2 days.
It is strange that you can get so close to people in that place! The girls there were very, very ill, and this place was the last stop before hospital, sedation, and force feeding. (As we were all under age at that point, our parents were still able to make decisions about our care for us).
It wasn’t a particularly high security place. So one day, one of the girls was so ill she had to go up the stairs in a chair lift because simply walking up the stairs could have killed off the last 2 calories that were keeping her alive. Maybe 3 calories.
One day, she ran away. She made it 2 miles before she died. None of us said much for the rest of the day. We didn’t know what to say. It was a shocking reminder that none of us are invincible. And just how dangerous this disease is.
When I left, I had the numbers of those girls. We kept in touch. About a year after I was discharged, I had a phone call from the mother of one of those friends. She told me that my friend had died because of an overdose of heroin. I was shocked, because she really wasn’t that sort of girl. I was devastated. And I don’t think I am as ‘over it’ as I thought I was, because I have just started crying!!
Fast forward to last week. Another of the girls had died as a result of her anorexia. She was one of the most beautiful women in the world. Absolutely gorgeous. She just couldn’t see it.
To top all this off, I had a friend who committed suicide a few years ago. She was well and truly loved by an awful lot of people. I just wish I had had the chance to help her. I feel responsible, like I could have prevented it. But unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly was it is it would probably count as libel/ slander.
The terrifying thought is that HALF of the people I was there with have died. Sometimes the illness beats you, rather than the other way round. And perhaps I have learned that no matter if you are given the worlds best treatment with world-class counselling, things can’t always be fixed.
I wish I had a magic wand to make things better.
The most I can do is direct you to this page, and to let you know I will be making up crisis boxes so if anyone wants one, message me. The prices will vary as I will make each box individual, but I don’t see them being too expensive (around £25 ish?) or if you like I can give you some ideas so you can make your own one). I will be selling at cost price, so I wont be making any money. It is something I am so passionate about these boxes that I am willing to do them non-profit. I might even ask for some donations to hand out to people who really can’t afford them. But I would love to hear your comments on the matter.