By Abby Coleman.
I’ve lived a very blessed life and achieved a lot – or so I’m told. The issue is, I’ve never believed it. I find it hard to truly appreciate anything I have accomplished in other people’s eyes because to me it isn’t enough.
For eight years I was bulimic and abused prescription and illegal drugs. My life carried on but at the forefront of my thoughts were what I was going to eat, how much I would exercise, how I was going to purge without anyone noticing and how I would get my hands on more drugs to suppress my appetite. My period stopped, my tooth enamel was eaten away by the acidity of throwing up so much and it also made my voice permanently hoarse. My skin was horrible, my weight fluctuated up and down by 20kg and I would only attract bad relationships.
Besides counsellors, I never admitted to anyone that I had an issue. Of course my family knew, but for those eight years I lived through two different personalities – the confident and happy one I would show, and then the deeply lonely and depressed one I would feel inside.
After many years of therapy and meeting a man who truly loved me, I could finally talk about my issues. Perhaps I’ve gone the other way and over-shared, but I make no apologies for that. I don’t expect everyone to be able to relate but I think if sharing my story can help other women not waste years hating themselves, then I didn’t waste those eight years of my life. I still have insecurities and am plagued by thoughts of not being good enough but I’m working on it and know that these thoughts take a back seat to the love I get from my husband and son.
B105 launched the Self-Esteem Team in an effort to increase women’s physical and mental wellbeing. When I shared my story on-air, I was incredibly nervous that no one would want to join me. These nerves turned to excitement when we saw how many entries we received, then to sadness because I realised how many of us aren’t happy with ourselves. We brought in a heap of experts and professionals to help myself and ten other ladies focus on improving our relationships, careers, finance and health. We went on a retreat, attended a fabulous styling session, participated in a public body balance class and finished with an amazing dinner.
The peak for me was our #empowerpledges, where we each made promises to ourselves and posted these publicly on social media.