I’m Olivia and I am recovering from anorexia. If you are struggling, I hope my story shows that recovery is possible and helps you believe that you deserve to be free from your eating disorder.
How it started
I first started to develop an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise during my first year of sixth form, however when I went to university my restriction got a lot worse. By my second year of university, I had reached an extremely low place and I knew I needed help.
For me, going to the GP about my eating disorder was the scariest part of my recovery for a lot of reasons. Firstly, I believed I was not sick enough to deserve help. I was convinced I had to get to a certain weight to even consider going to a GP. Secondly, as a medical student I was terrified of what might have happened if the university found out, I loved my course and the last thing I wanted was for my dream of becoming a doctor to be taken away from me. Thirdly, I was scared of what I would be without my eating disorder.
Despite these fears and with the support of my amazing friends I went to my GP in the second year of university where I was officially diagnosed with anorexia and referred to an outpatient eating disorder service. There I received 1:1 therapy every week for six months. When I was discharged it took a lot of work to fully commit to recovery, but in little steps I managed to do it. I am grateful to have people who understand the challenges of recovery who I can talk to and they have definitely been a crucial part of my recovery.
So, although I still struggle with intrusive thoughts and body dysmorphia, an amazing support network and a strong desire to make it as a doctor have helped me through my recovery and continue to motivate me to stay committed.
For anyone struggling I promise you it can get better. When you commit to recovery and start challenging your ED you start to live again. Feelings you haven’t felt for a long time will flood back in and they’ll remind you why you chose recovery. It will be tough, and it’s not an overnight fix, but every small step you take brings you one step closer to freedom, and you deserve that.