Alannah's Story

Recovery is the better life.


“I don’t understand why you can’t just have a slice of cake?”, a phrase that I heard consistently for 2 years. A phrase that made me so anxious as I sat in a room of people staring at me, hoping that I would just take one bite of a piece of cake and sometimes I did, but not to make myself happy, I did it in order to see the smile on others face. Fast forward 7 years and I now eat for pleasure, I enjoy going out for dinner with my friends and participating in social interaction that can now involve food.

I battled with anorexia for around 2-3 years, but looking back on it I can see that it was under the surface for a lot longer than that. It was one of the toughest experiences of my life, filled with so many ups and downs. Years filled with psychologist, doctors, psychiatrists, dietitians, nurses and hospital admissions.

Throughout the last few years I have been working on getting my life back, connecting with friends, building relationships and spending time enjoying my life. It was almost like I blocked that part of my life, almost like it never even happened. It hasn’t been until the past six months that I have felt ready to talk about what I went through. I remember people used to ask me questions about what things were like when I was at my worst and I used to say ‘I can’t remember’, but the truth is I can now, I just wasn’t ready to talk about it.

Going through an eating disorder is horrible, it is something you would not wish upon your worst enemy, but it isn’t something that should be hidden. We should be sharing our stories in order to help people who are currently suffering or in recovery that it does get better and life on the other side is incredible.

I would never sit here and say that the stupid voice does not creep up and give me a fright every now and then, but I have learnt that the voice can be pushed away now and I have so much more life to live then to let a stupid little voice get me down. Don’t get me wrong this does not happen straight away, I did not go from being sick to recovered in the blink of an eye (I wish it was that easy). It was so many small challenging steps that accumulated to my recovery. It was a range of different therapies, psychologists and doctors, until I found the psychologists that clicked for me.

I spent a lot of my time being angry, angry at people for helping me, angry at my parents for trying to feed me, angry at my body for not looking the way I wanted, angry at myself for hurting the people I cared about the most and most of all angry at myself for not being normal.

It wasn’t until I met one particular psychologist that I began to trust the process, she allowed me to express who I was individually not just who I was attached to an eating disorder.
I write this to tell people that although it is hard, although you think the world is against you and it will never get better it does and life on the other side is so much more enjoyable.