Breaking the Stigma
The Family’s Story
It has taken a very long time but our niece/granddaughter has slowly started to regain her life and to be honest so have we. She has struggled with the ups and downs that recovery brings and now we can even joke about some of the things we struggled with like spoon sizes of all things!!! She has returned to university and is planning her future. Don’t get me wrong it’s not plain sailing and we still have times that test us all, but the most important thing is she is still here and making progress.
My eating disorder started creeping in when I was 17 and I’m now almost 22. After ruining a holiday of a life time in Mexico, in August 2013 I finally plucked up the courage to call Peterborough Eating Disorders Service and I truly believe it saved my life. I had been to many appointments concerned that ‘something wasn’t right’, my weight was plummeting, I was behaving strangely, compulsively exercising, and I was miserable and lifeless. But I couldn’t put my finger on it, and I certainly never believed I was struggling with severe anorexia; despite being told by many people.
I was completely blind to it, the term ‘anorexia’ made my skin crawl. But meeting PEDS changed everything! They brought me down to earth and made me realise what was happening to me, they showed me that there was a light at the end of the really gloomy tunnel! In the space of a day I had my third year of University taken away from me, my car, my control, my gym membership, everything. Following that I had weekly blood tests, weigh in’s, meetings with PEDS and adult mental health services. It was a whirlwind away from what I had been used to!
I took a year out of uni/life to fix myself, and I honestly couldn’t have done it without PEDS. They helped me to fight to avoid (being an) inpatient; I was told by adult services that it was inevitable. But PEDS helped me turn things around! They are two of most amazing people I have ever met. They’ve supported me and my family all the way. I love how much they have believed in me and didn’t let me give up. They’re not just people helping me with my eating disorder, they’re friends and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for me.
In the summer of 2014 I travelled to Singapore and Bali for 3 weeks with my boyfriend. He has stood by me and helped me with my battles, we had an amazing holiday and I look forward to more where anorexia isn’t invited! When we came home we moved in together, I returned back to University in September, made some amazing and supportive friends and now I’m attending PGCE interviews. I’m really proud of how far I have come and I can’t thank PEDS enough for encouraging me and wiping my tears along the way!
I still have a very long way to go, and I look forward to having a life free of anorexia. I know PEDS will help me continue to plough on and never give up on me! PEDS has a very special place in my heart.