None of these things would have been possible had I given in to the voices which told me I was too fat (they still do), that I didn’t need that much food, that as a skeleton, I had achieved perfection.
The last few months have marked some of the most significant events in my life to date. After six years I am no longer under the care of an eating disorders service, and after five years I have qualified as a Doctor.
It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. I know you’re scared, I know you’re striving for something, and I know you might not even know what that something is anymore.
Recovering from anorexia was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, but certainly the one thing that changed my life and me beyond recognition…in the best way possible.
Eating disorders affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and genders. But often people have narrow expectations about what someone with an eating disorder looks like, and this can lead to additional barriers to support and treatment for those who fall outside those expectations.
I was 12 years old when I was first diagnosed with an eating disorder. I remember because it was just after Christmas – I was in Year 8 at school and had just recovered from the flu.
Being diagnosed with anorexia when I was 17 was, I thought at the time, one of the worst things in the world. Over the past four years I've been pushing my way through recovery (and a degree) with the many ups and downs that come alongside.
I can’t pinpoint the time or the day that I handed over control to my anorexia. The time that I would let the scales plummet as well as my happiness.
You’re 15 and struggling with anorexia. I’m your 40-something-year-old self. You’re in a dark place, but it can get better. It will get better.
At the age of 18, during the summer I finished my A-levels before university, I developed anorexia nervosa. It happens quite unconsciously: the obsessive exercise, the compulsive calorie counting.
There are so many reasons why it is important to speak out about an eating disorder as soon as possible, that I could go on forever. The longer that an eating disorder, such as anorexia, goes untreated, the more severe it becomes.
Anorexia was never intended, never wanted and never fully understood. Yet in the September of my second year at university, I somehow found myself being taken on by an intensive outpatient treatment team.