White Cotton Peonies

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 21.47.18I want to apologise for the radio silence that has occurred on the blog of late. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain…

Five weeks ago, I chose to accept the offer of help of Daycare Hospital Treatment for anorexia. It’s been a personal battle that I’ve been fighting for over 8 years on and off and with the promise of a new life, marrying my handsome Prince Charming and with ‘ED’ (eating disorder) gradually stealing more and more of my life, I decided that I needed to make a change.

After much consideration, I chose to share my decision publicly. It was something that I’d wanted to do for quite a long time but the fear of losing business and the prospect of thinking that I was ‘nuts’ due to the ongoing stigma attached to mental health issues, prevented me from doing so.

But then I grew a set of balls.

Stigma won’t go and attitudes won’t change until more people are exposed to it and more ‘normal’ people share their struggles. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have contacted me to share their experiences and it led me to thinking about what it would be like if we all felt it was OK to share rather than just portray a version of our lives on social media that we think people would like to see…? If companies choose not to work with me in the future because of the crippling illness that I’m suffering at the moment, then the likelihood is that I probably don’t want to work with them anyway.

Sharing my decision wasn’t done in the hope of gaining attention or sympathy, it was done to give myself nowhere to hide and in the hope that if I could help to save just one other person. If I achieve that, I will be more than happy.

So, how have the five weeks been? Society would expect you to tell you that it’s been fine, I’m doing well and everything’s getting better. The truth is that it’s been hell. I’ve continued to lose weight and I’m facing the prospect of being tube fed, which is something I definitely don’t want to be subjected to. I thought that through recognising my illness and committing to going to hospital everyday, a magic wand would be waved and everything would be alright. Turns out that Harry Potter isn’t lending a helping hand and doesn’t appear to want to lend me his wand anytime soon.

For now, it’s a slog, a hard slog but I’ll get there. If people don’t mind, I’m planning on sharing my journey here (warts’n’all). I know that it’s not your everyday “upbeat fashion post” that people enjoy, but if it’s something that you’d like to share with me or you think could help others, I’d REALLY love to hear so below.

Thanks for listening xox

Melanie Kentish

Hi! My name's Mel and I'm a 30 something blogger living in Windsor, UK with my two ginger cats and a rather handsome husband. White Cotton Peonies is the place where you'll find my ramblings on health, fashion, beauty, food and my random adventures as a soon-to-be mum. Enjoy.

31 Comments

  1. Sean Murphy

    18/06/2015

    Mel

    Take my hat off to you… Your right you have shown more strength in choosing to go public with your issue than anyone I know. You are one very brave and determined young girl with everything on the face of it going great, amazing what goes on behind closed doors we are all guilty of not knowing people fully and as you say just seeing lives lived out on social media which gives really a totally scued picture of reality.
    With regards to the business don’t worry you are 110% correct in the assumption if people or clients let this guide their decisions not to work with you then you won’t miss them and can concentrate on the good clients they are out there.
    Hang in there, it’s gonna be a hard slog but your gonna get through this with the help and support of family and friends and more importantly you own strength deep inside.
    One brave girl keep fighting and doing what your doing so many people are proud of you more than you kno.
    Sean

    • Mel Kirk

      18/06/2015

      Thank you so much Sean. Your words mean more than you will know! :)

  2. Chris Davies

    18/06/2015

    Mel, I’m blown away by the honesty and bravery you’re showing. I know you said you weren’t looking for praise for that, but you totally deserve it. It’s so easy to get weighed down with preconceptions and fears about what other people will think, and whether being open about things like mental illness will forever change their opinion of you, but I think there are many, many more people out there with their own secret stories going on in the background than there are people who’d honestly claim to be “okay”, whatever that is.

    I know there’s nothing any of us can say that will make the coming weeks and months easier, but we’ll be thinking about you, and channeling love and positive thoughts your way, and knowing deep down that you’re going to make it out the other side even stronger, and even more capable, and even more amazing. And you know I think you’re pretty damn amazing already :)

    Hugs!
    Chris

    • Mel Kirk

      18/06/2015

      Chris, you’re amazing. Thank you so much for your support x

  3. MS

    18/06/2015

    Mel, really brave of you. Eating disorders are hell, and battling them is difficult. You’re a strong girl, and you have great support around you. I battled with bulimia for years and after seeking help and going through the process, it slowly got easier. Big love to you and positive energy from the Basque Country, fight the bully one day at a time x

    • Mel Kirk

      20/06/2015

      Thank you so much. Keep fighting! x

  4. claire

    18/06/2015

    Keep battling, I have admired you for your strength for yours xxxxx keep battling xxxx

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you so much <3 x

  5. Steve Moylan

    18/06/2015

    Good luck with your fight Mel. I fight my own battle every day. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. I am in a good place at the moment because I feel that I now understand why I behave the way I do, and that helps me to change my behaviour one small step at a time. I wish you all the best with finding your moment of understanding.

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you so much Steve and I hope that you’re doing OK. No one battle is any tougher than the other and know that I’m with you 100% of the way x

  6. A

    18/06/2015

    Hi Mel,

    As I’m sure many people have told you, it’s a brave thing to face the music with your illness. I’m humbled by your openness although I can’t claim to have experienced the illness myself.

    There’s a girl who I used to know very well and she is still struggling with with the same thing for 15 years now. I’ve seen her get worse and worried a lot about her, although felt quite helpless in my position. She admitted she wanted help but often fell back into old habits and burying her head in the sand with it. I’m hoping she’ll find a way through soon as I know you will. You’re a strong girl Mel! You’ve made a lot of people smile. I used to love those random Mel videos back in the day. They were a perfect pick me up for a rubbish time in the office.

    Best of luck to you x

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, it means the world when people feel that they can confide and it’s great (in a horrible way) to know that I’m not alone. I hope that your friend is doing OK. Feel free to give her my details if she ever wants to talk x

  7. Holly

    18/06/2015

    Mel, I think you’re extremely brave for deciding to face your ED head on, and especially so for doing it publicly. Social media is so often used to project an unrealistically positive spin on everything and your recent posts are refreshingly honest. I wish you all the very best for your battle ahead and would love to read your blog to hear how you’re getting on. You can beat this. Hx

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thanks so much Holly. There is so much that I’ve hidden using social media before – you never know what’s going on behind the smile on that selfie and I hope that by speaking out I can help other people to share that they’re not always ok too x

  8. Claire

    19/06/2015

    You can do it Mel! I know what havoc eating disorders can cause. You are a strong woman with so much support behind you

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you so much Claire x

  9. Sally Strebel

    19/06/2015

    Hey Mel,

    I’m on your side. Let’s stand up to that bully!

    Xoxo

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you Sally! Just looking at our pics from SXSW cheer me up! :) x

  10. Emma Densley

    19/06/2015

    Dear Mel,
    You are a truly inspirational person !! This blog shows a problem with no where to hid !!
    You are soooo honest genuine and kind . I wish you all the very best of everything on this journey !!
    Love you loads &loads Emz xxx

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Love you Emz. Thank you for your continued friendship and support, it means the world to me xxx

  11. Paul Griffin

    19/06/2015

    Hi Mel,

    Just wanted to add a few words of support. We’ve ‘sort of’ known each other for a few years now and I’ve always been amazed at your personal and professional growth and the way you’ve managed the development of your business. You clearly have a strong and caring support network and that’s fabulous but your biggest source of strength is inside you and it is the magnet that draws other wonderful and supportive people towards you. You have proved that you can do anything, and I mean that, anything that you set your mind to. I have absolutely no doubt that you will conquer this illness and come out the other side stronger for it. Anyone that looks on your challenge as anything other than a positive, public campaign for greater understanding is someone you won’t need in your circle. All power to you, carry on being fabulous in the knowledge that we don’t just read your words but walk with you in your shoes as much as we can. All the very best.

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you for the amazing words Paul, they’ve totally brightened my day and I’m so grateful to have met such wonderful friends thanks to the web!

  12. Aral Balkan

    19/06/2015

    Best of luck in your battle, Mel. We’re all rooting for you. If anyone chooses to judge, rather than to support you in this, it’s a great indicator that you probably don’t need that person in your life. Looking forward to seeing you kick ED’s ass :) x

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you so much lovely, means the world to me <3 x

  13. Gabrielle

    19/06/2015

    Mel – Anytime you want I’m happy to jump in the car and spend the day keeping you company chatting or just being still together… From my experience with PTSD sometimes the small things make a BIG difference. G xx

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Gabrielle – your comment has blown me away. Your friendship and support is more than I could ever wish for. Thank you x

  14. Charley W

    20/06/2015

    Mel – this is an incredibly brave and honest post and you should feel very proud of yourself for sharing. Your honesty will no doubt help someone else suffering in silence.

    We’re here to support you. Let’s kick ED’s ass!

    Charley x

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you so much Charley. I was so nervous about posting but all that I’ve received is love and support. I feel very blessed x

  15. Olivia

    22/06/2015

    Mel, you are bloody amazing. You are undoubtably one of the bravest, strongest and most lovely people out there and doing a post like this just proves your strength and courage. I’m so sorry to hear about what you are going through and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be, but know that if you ever need anything you have so many people supporting you (and me and my waffly emails any time of day). This post is exactly the kind of thing that needs to be done more to erase stigma, and I’m sure your fantastic honesty will be such a help to so so many people. Lots of love xxx

    • Mel Kirk

      22/06/2015

      Thank you so much lovely lady – that means the world to me. I can’t tell you how nervous I was about posting that for fear of what people would think of me but lovely comments like yours make it all worthwhile. If I can help just one other person, it’s totally worth it xx

  16. Tom

    15/07/2015

    Hi, Mel. I’m very sorry to hear what you’re going through, and I’m wishing you the very best. I got to know of you from your YouTube videos. Especially the video with the Katy Perry song. I still can’t get over how incredibly gorgeous you are in that video. And still are! I just wanted to wish you all the best! You deserve it!

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