Stacey's Story

A Life After is a Life Worth living


Everyone always assumes they’d be the last person to get an eating disorder, and other people think this about them too. They’re too smart, too happy, or so confident. Yet, appearances can be deceiving. I got good grades in school and have a university degree. I play music, read and love animals. I have anorexia nervosa.

Eating disorders are complex. I’ve discovered that there were a lot of things that led to mine. I was bullied by other girls when I started high school and I felt alone and ‘different’. I grew up in a home that wasn’t always safe and with a Mum who was always making comments about her own body. Then for a while I didn’t know I was attracted to other girls and thought I wanted to be like them. This coupled with being highly perfectionistic led me to being diagnosed with at 18 but it started years before then and I have memories of disordered eating from the age of 13.

The way to treatment wasn’t easy. I was referred to a mental health service by a university counsellor who I cried to because I thought I was failing. From there I started counselling and medication but they treated my eating disorder as a symptom of other mental health issues or not at all. (sidenote: I’ve also been turned away from services because they don’t ‘treat’ eating disorders.) From there I declined and ended up in hospital for the first time. I met some courageous and amazing people (men and women) in there and the kindest of nurses. I recovered then right? Wrong. I’ve spent the last 5 years in and out of inpatient from 2 to 9 weeks at a time. I had to defer uni multiple times and have been an involuntary patient. I didn’t think things would get better. People always say that it will but it’s hard to believe that when they haven’t been through exactly what you have. You think they can recover but you can’t. Wrong again. Here I am telling you that recovery is for everyone.

It is never too early or late to recover. You don’t have to be on your deathbed to recover nor do you have to be admitted to hospital. My eating disorder didn’t start off like that at all and no ones ever does. The earlier you get help, the less you have to suffer and the less life you lose to your eating disorder. Seek out help and keep seeking it when you don’t think what you are receiving is right or enough. There are people who can help you and they want to help.

I have an amazing team now and I’m doing okay. You can have that too.