Friday 17 March 2017

A heartbreakingly powerful message about mental health

I never met Rosie, but I did meet her mother - at an eating disorders conference in London where I was giving a talk a couple of years back. I first 'met' Rosie's mother through the Around The Dinner Table Forum (for parents of young people with eating disorders) when I joined in March 2010. She was one of the first UK mums that rushed in to offer support and show that other parents were going through what we were going through as 'newbies' in the world of parenting a young person with an eating disorder. It was only later that I learned of her own struggles with ill health and other problems while battling to get her beautiful daughter successfully treated for her eating disorder.

Late last night I received the news, via our FaceBook network, that Rosie - aged 21 - had taken her own life. It happened last month and somehow I missed the news; I've been so tied up with my own issues. Problems that now pale into insignificance compared to what Rosie's mother is going through right now.

Once I started weeping with grief for this strong, caring family, I couldn't stop. Yet another beautiful life had been extinguished by this most deadly of all mental illnesses: an eating disorder. And so young. Far, far too young. Rosie was three years younger than my son.

Rosie wrote beautiful poetry and prose. One day Rosie's mum hopes to get some of it published in memory of her beautiful daughter and I have promised to help. But in the meantime she is keen for the following to go viral - to highlight the serious nature of  mental illness and eating disorders. So please taken a moment to read Rosie's message which she wrote three years ago when she was 18. Then please remember Rosie's family in your prayers.

All of this is with the generous permission of Rosie's mum.

Eating disorders

"We are all human - Behind the walls of psychiatric hospitals ('the loony bins') exist the people that have been labelled with mental disorder that by some have been defined as insane.

But where do you draw the line between sanity and insanity?

Yes we are all different we have a different amount of cells in our body and different coloured hair and eyes and skin. But when it comes to it, when you strip away everything what's left is a skeleton, the stability the very structure of each and everyone of us.

We may all be individual beings with our own views and perceptions but inevitably we are all the same- human. Therefore inside all of us we hold both sanity and insanity, there is no separation or line dividing those two words; they aren't two different types of people and it doesn't make anyone less of a person if they are under the mental health services.

So just think before you put down or judge.

It lurks in all our bones. Whether with a mental health problem or not, if a heart is still beating then they are alive and every beating heart deserves equality because at the end of the day yes we are all different but we are all the same too - human."
 Rosie Flett (21.1.1996 - 11.2.2017)

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