Zero Self-belief, Self-worth and Fears about everything
For a girl that once upon a time had almost zero self-belief, self-worth and fears about nearly everything, I’ve had to work incredibly hard on myself and dedicate myself to undoing trauma after trauma, healing it and learning from it.
I used to wake up in a morning and cry because I didn’t know who I was, and because I didn’t have a firm sense of identity I used food majorly to distract me from my pain that was locked inside the deep crevices of my mind and body, but this in itself was problematic, as a part of the tears were of not knowing what or how to eat. Eating is a basic human function for most people but when your thoughts are skewed from an eating disorder and all of the associated issues it is not that simple. I would agonise, as I knew that by eating a morsel I would trigger a binge. By binge I don’t mean a few bags of crisps or a few chocolate bars, I’m talking binges of thousands and thousands of calories and often not particularly what you’d consider “treats” – I’d be that desperate I’d eat food out of the bin and frozen food to get my fix as well as the high carb foods.
The binge would initially be exciting but it fast turned into massive guilt, shame and fear and the physical discomforts such as the extended stomach, numbness, stomach problems. Then sheer panic would set in but another level of excitement, as I knew what was coming next – self-induced vomiting. I’d throw up and the release of stress felt incredible and cleansing, initially, but then the terrible feelings and effects would follow – bleeding throat, digestive problems, IBS, deep depression and shame and a huge fear about gaining weight.
This would consume about an hour of my time, and then once the ritual was over, I’d attempt to diet or starve until I repeated it all over again, which was usually around three times a day. I lived this way for around 12 long, painful years.
The physical, emotional and mental effects were horrendous and I’m actually really lucky to have not contributed long term permanent damage or worse to myself. This really became the secret dark world that I slipped into and felt a certain level of safety in. I was in a lot of pain but the fear of living was greater so I stayed with my habit, my friend, that was actually an enemy, but it served me as I had nothing else to rely on at that time.
As a psychologist once said to me, I became resourceful from a situation of neglect. I did what I could to survive, albeit a highly destructive method. I’m not for one millisecond recommending it, as it was pure hell and I have had three friends that have died from eating disorders – it is the highest level of fatality in mental health.
It added to my confusion of who I was and created me lots of additional mental health problems which landed me in mental hospitals several times and I went for years not working, lasting a day in a job, and being “on the sick”. I hated myself and my life but was petrified of change.
My son was born and he changed my entire world in the love I had for him, and to be a wonderful role model for him as he grew up and he has done ever since, bless his heart. I had a reason to change, as at that moment in time, I did not deem myself worthy.
And change I did. Slowly, slowly, uncovering all of the trauma underneath the symptoms and behaviours. Looking at them, healing them and getting a clearer idea about who I was and what I have to offer the world.
Eventually, I came to the realisation that my purpose was to help other people to not feel alone. Because if I hadn’t have had my son, I’m not sure where I would have been in all honesty, because my self-worth was so minimal.
Gradually I figured a lot more out about myself and my purpose and how I was to share this with the world because it became an all-consuming passion that fired me up like nothing in my life ever had before.
I was to tell my story.
I started to write short posts on social media, I moved onto speaker training and did talks. I was motivated and encouraged, and aside from my role as a mum, I really felt I had found my niche in the world.
Then I crashed and burnt out, I never knew when to stop and was hellbent on figuring it all out. Those burn out months were my blessing, although it didn’t feel like it at the time. Too exhausted to go out most days, never mind work and pushing myself affected my heart and my breathing and the hospital instructed me in no uncertain terms, to slow right down. I was low in mood too, but I sat in my darkness, I rested and I listened to me. That little inner voice that began as a whisper but became a loud shouting voice that wouldn’t stop, and every day it was urging me to make this “telling my story” thing a bigger and more impactful purpose. It scared me and I had doubts a lot, but I just knew it wasn’t going to go away or quieten. I knew it was what my soul wanted for me and for the world.
The more I resisted it the stronger it became and eventually most of the doubt fell away and I was bursting to share it, warts and all.
“But what about the shame Sam?”
“What are people going to think who don’t know all of the details, especially the incidents that still made me cringe to that day?”
My voice boomed back:
“What about it?! This is going to help others, feel the fear, just do it and you’ll see”.
I did it. I decided to put my story into a book and 16 days later it was written and I was bursting to get it out there.
The last three years have amazed me since that book was published. So much has transitioned but my three main messages for sharing this are:
1. If you want to write your book and need help – it is my purpose to help you and I’d love nothing more. Reach out to me as I am in a position to mentor two more people currently and I can book in a future ghostwriting client (around 4 months time)
2. Do yourself a huge favour and learn to believe in yourself as without this life is very painful. I’ve gone from the lost wounded girl with a confused sense of self to have written 8 powerful books and about to write my 9th. Two of my own and the rest for other people. Believe me, it’s taken a whole lot of work on myself to get to this place from where I was, and I believe anyone can transform.
3. You are never alone. If you struggle, I know it can feel impossible to reach out to someone else, that’s why I used to read. I wouldn’t be judged yet I would be comforted by another person’s story. They shared a piece of themselves with me. So go and read an inspirational book, I promise you it will help until you feel you can ask for help.