Madeline's Story

Hope isn’t just a word, it is powerful


My name is Madeline, I am a twin and I’m studying Optometry at university. Without self-belief and hope, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now. In 2012 and I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. At the time, I was in year 10, and felt as though the weight of the world was upon my shoulders. I aspired to be a veterinarian and wanted to excel in all I could, despite attending school only 3 days per week due to chronic fatigue syndrome. By August of 2012, I had burnt out, and after a check-up with my CFS specialist, I was told I was to be immediately hospitalised. Within 2 years, I was in and out of hospital over 11 times, often without possessions and a nasogastric tube down my nose. I watched my twin sister enter her final year of high school, my friends finding love, whilst I was stuck in a psychiatric ward. The strength of my eating disorder was beyond me for so many years, but over time, I gained some insight into what I wanted out of life…and it wasn’t this. I wrote down some major goals I wanted to achieve in life, like to finish high school, attend university, and find love. I spent a lot of time pondering these thoughts, and how I could get there, and, in the end, there was only one solution – Recovery. Eventually, this motivation pushed the eating disordered desires to the side, a notion I never believed would happen. Today, I am fully recovered. I have completed my Victorian Certificate of Education and studying a Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry. I have found love, and even won the Upstart Entrepreneurial challenge for the development of an eating disorder recovery program. Although there are days where I don’t feel 100%, I know I am on my own path to happiness and greatness. This is all due to self- belief in becoming the person I know I can be. Hope is not just a word, it gives you the capacity to make change.