Throughout my time in hospital I have met countless young people suffering from eating disorders. I’ve witnessed dips in the road and triumphs but there is one girl I’d really like to tell you about:
I met her in an adult ward around this time last year and she was a ray of sunshine that brought a little light to a dismal time. She showed me incredible kindness and tried to keep me distracted from how rubbish I felt. Over time I learned how much she had suffered -she had spent little of her teenage years outside of hospital and had been sent out of the country, away from her family, for treatment. It seemed that professionals had given up on her. That she had almost given up on herself.
Professionals were only treating the physical aspects of her disorder – condemning her to ongoing mental torture – at times they were downright cruel. To these doctors she was just another patient and it seemed they couldn’t be bothered trying to help.
Well, let me tell you, she is not just another patient. No one is. She is beautiful, hilarious and kind. She loves the bones of her family, as they do, her. She makes jewellery and donates the profits to charity and is an incredibly talented nail artist. She made me smile when no one else even tried.
Ultimately through her family battling her team at a tribunal she is now getting specialised treatment and those doctors that gave up better eat their words. She is fighting the fight of her life and, finally, she is winning. She is becoming more of herself and less anorexia every day and it is a beautiful sight. So many people are incredibly proud of her – myself included.
These illness’ are cruel. They twist the thoughts of amazing people and make them feel like they need to change and be thinner or different. They mascaraed as a friend when they are anything but. They ruin lives and end them. Rapid access to appropriate treatment is essential. Whatever weight or situation someone is in – they need to be able to access support.
No one is a hopeless case – recovery is always possible. I know that my friend will triumph. I know that one day we will sit and have a cute costa date. What a beautiful day that will be.