Sue's Story

Never too late


NEVER TOO LATE I’m 61 years old. I was given the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa when I was 14 years old. That was 1971. So long ago. Things were very different then in the eating disorder world. I had never heard of anorexia nervosa. Neither had my parents, friends, family or school. Treatment consisted of psychiatric care. Mainly drug therapy. No psychologist. No CBT. No dietitian. No food plans. No family therapy. Lots of mystery, misunderstanding and stigma. It was not a great place to be.

But I am very lucky. The situation I was in seemed to spur me on to search for alternatives and I was very fortunate to find them by gaining life skills, and then a career. Eventually I was able to connect with others and form meaningful and lasting relationships. My course was beset with relapses and serious health problems.

I avoided conventional medical treatment whenever possible. A choice I now regret. More recently, I have started seeing a wonderful psychologist who has been a great help, and I have found a very supportive GP. Unfortunately, l have been left with several chronic health problems. I have now had to retire from work and am exploring new life directions. This is lots of fun and very exciting.

I believe my genetics, life experiences and the societal and cultural environment I have grown up in have predisposed me to, and almost encouraged, the development of an eating disorder.But I do not have to be victim to these influences. I have always had choices. I might not have always made the best choices but with support, encouragement, caring and understanding I am having a really rewarding life and love being alive.