An Ear to Hear- what is it?

An ear to hear is unlike any other service currently offered.
Whilst there are amazing helplines and befriending services ‘an ear to hear’ is a personal assistant to your individual recovery needs.
In those early days, sitting on a waiting list or not getting the advise, support and guidance you need, it’s easy to feel stranded, deserted all at a very critical time and time of being in need of care.

An ear to hear bridges that gap.
In the first instance it’s someone who can offer peer support and who won’t be shocked by anything.
With your consent we can talk to your GP if perhaps you are struggling to vocalise your concerns.
Your parents can speak to us to get encouragement of how they can best support you and the small changes they can make at home.
Whatever your needs, however big or small, a simple ear or more practical support- an ear to hear means you’re not on your own.

“A Big Sister in recovery through the ultimate friendship”

What is so essential is the care that you owe to your mental health. Your wellbeing starts with the mind and the soul, once those two areas are nourished and starting to blossom again, you will then be ready to take on new nutritional challenges, exciting and spontaneous adventures and start to live your beautiful life again with balance, peace and contentment.

Recovery is not a one way process, its not a simple fix, a one stop clinic. Its a journey of total rediscovery- but enjoy it, live it and thrive in it, not may people get the opportunity to truly recreate themselves from the inside out.

This process might seem terrifying especially if you have ever felt alone. But please know that there is an ear to hear.

For full and frank peer support, through email or one to one consultation please get in touch. You’re not on your own and you deserve this opportunity to recover.

Let me listen to these fears

aneartohear is an early intervention peer support resource which encourages those lost and bewildered by their illness to get in touch, reach out and realise that they are not alone.

If you or someone you know, recognise that your mental health is suffering then please get in touch, recognising that you are struggling and recognising that you are looking for ways to cope truly are the first step.

It takes bravery and courage but will give you the strength to find YOU amidst the confusion.

About me and the story behind An Ear to Hear

At just 19 I started the simplest of diets. An innocent loss of just a few pounds.

I needed to- I knew that it would make me feel better and that it would surely be the answer to all of my low self esteem issues. It would be the final cherry on the cake if you like.

The feeling was close to euphoric- I was applauded for my efforts, family and friends commented- my fitness was peaking and the endorphins were running high.

But things weren’t getting better- in fact my personal life was subject to personal traumas and as my need to exercise and fear of food got stronger, my social life got smaller and smaller.

No one wakes up one day with anorexia and this was certainly true for me. It just spiralled. The more I thought I was in control, the more I realised that actually I had completely lost control. Anorexia had taken me prisoner in it’s wicked, manipulative and deceitful ways.

But that was then; and whilst it is important for me to share a brief history of my anorexia, it is more important for me to concentrate on the journey back from the flames and my rise to where I am today- slightly stronger, a lot wiser and incredibly humble for the phenomenal support I received and continue to receive.

So what prompted ‘An Ear to Hear’? It was born out of frustration and my disillusion with the NHS Eating disorders service.

I recognised that I was falling slightly into a relapse. Recognising the warning signs and desperate not too fall back into the hell that still haunts me- I sought the support of my local GP who made the referral to the community team. On three occasions, by three separate individuals, I was informed that as my weight was not low enough, or consistently dropping, I could only access treatment after waiting for 2 and a half months.

2 and a half months with no support, utterly stranded from all professional support and left with the knowledge that I wasn’t sick enough for treatment.

I know that one thing would have made a difference and that would have been for someone to get in contact and reassure me that I wasn’t on my own. That whilst I was on the waiting list- they would be there for me to talk to.

For so long anorexia has been my very ugly roots. Everyone knows how difficult roots can be to dig up. They are ugly, deep and painful to drag into the light. What I have learnt through launching this page and by speaking out is that anorexia doesn’t have to be my ugly roots anymore, in fact its my blossoming flower- giving me a new direction, purpose and a passion.

I want to tell you and anyone, that you do deserve the treatment. If you have recognised a problem then you are sick enough. And that whilst things seem totally out of control- by reaching out you have taken the first step to being more in control than you realise.


Holiday vacation?

“It feels odd to say that I’m struggling being on holiday. For many a holiday is the absolute epitome of relaxation, the opportunity to indulge and recouperate.
Currently on a cruise, stuffily get isn’t quite the word to do justic to how low and scared I’m feeling.
There are so many questions spinning around and around, “do this today because you’d usually be at work” you need to be more active today because you’d be off work usually”
I’m using my poor mother to help me track calories and half way to the top of a stunning park in Barcelona I had the mother of paddies because I wanted to track my lunch.
We’re back to tracking calories as I have committed to getting up to that 2300 the bmr calculation for someone as active as me, and that’s just to sustain my weight apparently.
And of course at 645 this morning my alarm sprung to life beckoning me for my hi intensity workout for as much fat and calorie burn as possible.
I’m already thinking and worrying about breakfast, already counting the calories I intend to consume and working out what day of the week it is so I can compare it to being at home.
This isn’t a holiday- this is a continuation of my miserable anorexic existence. This isn’t fun, it isn’t pleasant and as well
As ruining it for me it’s also ruining it for my mum who has to pick up the prices time and time again.- it’s not her fault though, I know it’s not but she’s certainly the easiest one to blame, she’s the one I can take this out on, unceremoniously giving her all my crap and giving nothing back- just empty promises and a lot of swearing.
I desperately wish that she and everyone else could understand the fear, I wish that I could give this all to someone else to deal with. To tell me, black and white, eat this, do this amount of exercise and that’s fine. The rest of the time sit down and relax!”

What I want to highlight from this entry is that ED doesn’t take a day off. It doesn’t have a vacation from your mind. It’s in for the long haul until you decide to recover and until you work on deciding what your recovery is going to look like.
To being with, autonomy in deciding what you eat, exercise and work may be things that you need to give to other people- that’s ok. Intuitive eating will come and so will spontaneity but put in the hard work first.
If you can relate to the entry, take comfort that we’ve been there! You’re not weird, you’re not alone but that you are unwell. These feelings and behaviours are typical for someone in the depths of a very ravenous illness. Take support from the fact that on that same holiday I did stop exercising, I did eat icecrem and I did relax. I came back smiling.
Take the advise from others who have been in a similar situation but then forge your own route to recovery however waY is right, Bespoke and tailored to you.
If you are on a waiting list for a generic consultation- please get in touch and let’s work together on securing your safety, health and happiness.
All it takes is that little bit of hope.