Kenzye, 17, Manchester, UK

“I am Kenzye. I have anorexia nervosa. I have depression. I have anxiety. I have panic disorder. I have a personality disorder. I suffer with suicidal thoughts and self harm. I am poorly. I will say this because I’m not ashamed anymore.

I’m not proud but I’m in acceptance. I hide behind smiles, I laugh off tears, I show colour over the darkness I feel. I am not a generic material. I’m an ocean of emotions – but they cannot be seen. So I wonder when I say I have mental illnesses, who questions that? Fair enough I don’t blame you. I’m not underweight I’m not starving myself, I’m not being miscompliant with my meal plan, I’m not crying tears, screaming or breathing into my paper bag… I’m not a visual representation of linear facts and figures.

You see mental illnesses (for example anorexia) compels me to obsess over numbers and figures and to some extent it’s done the same to society. Making my life harder I suppose. We all associate anorexia with being underweight. It’s not shameful I do it myself. Every meal I sit there “how am I anorexic, I’m not skinny, I’m eating?”
Depression is deemed to be constant crying and isolation. Anxiety and panic attacks are often seen as hyperventilating and unable to talk to people and personality disorder is sometimes seen as someone being unable to manage a maintained personality… that’s the issue I’m now looking at … I would not be even thinking those things if I was not poorly… mental illnesses are a massive fight. A fight not only me but many other people go through everyday… so please let’s all try and remember that mental illnesses’ severity is not directly proportional to the physical state.
My life did not turn out how I planned but I have a life! I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t matter how many illnesses you have and how many people approve of them or even how many people can stick by you despite them.. The people who count, who are truly there for you will be there and will be a contributor to the steps you take everyday; from getting out of bed to eating your dinner in college to helping you at social events… through truly caring for you.
In my eyes hiding from the truth doesn’t make it go away it makes it grow and I am here to support anyone through that because, shocker, life isn’t easy. But i promise these challenges are worth it💛💛💛
Stay fantabulous”


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