Thomas's Story

You’ll Never Walk Alone


The stereotype of the fourteen-year-old female ballerina associated with Anorexia played into my inability to see or accept things for how they were. If there is one thing I want the world to know, it is that it is a ruthless disorder that does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, or any other factor you could possibly think of.

Life comes at you fast. For me, it all happened quite quickly. In year 10 my life was extremely simple, I didn’t have many, if any, things that I had to worry about. I had a lot of free time to do whatever I felt like, and was able to spend a lot of time with friends. Year 11 proved to be, to say the least, the most challenging year of my life.

Come New Year’s Eve, 2018 going on 2019, with the start of VCE subjects coming up and just generally getting a bit older, a simple new year’s resolution planted a seed that would later grow into the worst clump of weeds you could possibly think of.

The resolution to go twelve months without eating badly in any way was harmless to begin with. A few months into the year everything began to change quite rapidly as life threw everything it could think of at me and it became something to fall back on when everything was moving at 400 miles per hour. Being in a weird state, having just entered my first ever relationship at 16, the joys of these new experiences planted a subconscious awareness of myself, in a physical sense and of my self-worth.

A few months into the year, whilst I was sat one night talking with some of my lifelong friends, my mum called me out of my bedroom to tell me something. To get to the point, she told me that my nan had cancer – or at least it seemed that way, and she was awaiting results (she did have cancer, very fortunately recovered). At the same time that I was grasping with this, one of my best friends was on a rapid decline with their own problems and ended up in hospital for a month. The combination of these three factors, my nan, my friend, and my new relationship, everything felt like it was spinning out of control very fast. I couldn’t control anything, so I tried to control everything.

Fast forward a few months and I was at rock bottom, the process of going through a two week stay at hospital was not very fun, or easy to begin with. Through sheer determination and will, it got easier to cope with in there.

Of course, many people may know that the real battle begins at home.

This journey, which is very obviously not at its end, taught me something. Living in Australia, the support that is made available for people going through such struggles can be quite literally a life saver. The support of the staff in hospital, with most of them being completely brilliant, and the access I had to mental health services, finding a good psychiatrist who was a complete right fit for me, with my parents there every step of the way too, I learnt that, throughout all this, no matter how soul crushingly hard it may have seemed at the time, if I allowed it, there were always people to help. Living life day by day, getting through one, just making it to the next, persevering through the worst of it, taught me that eventually the good times will come. I’ll never be able to fully thank my parents for how good they were in such an unfamiliar situation. For me it felt impossible to get the words out of my mouth, but it turns out my parents are really great.

I try to do my bit in any way that I can for the world when it comes to promoting recovery. I want everyone to know that, no matter how low everything seems or how hard it all feels, or even if it doesn’t feel like there is a problem at all but deep down you know something is not right, all it takes is that one little difficult conversation with someone, whoever that may be.

And I hope that soon you will be able to realise, that no matter how awful everything is,

You’ll never walk alone.