I’m 19 years old and I have recovered from an eating disorder. I was 16, and it was just before last Christmas when I had to come to inpatient care at Ellern Mede in London. I still did not acknowledge that I had an eating disorder. I was angry, hurt and resentful. I refused to speak to my family for two months.

I felt like a crumpled spider, depressed, in a dark place, with the sinking feeling that everyone hated me. One particular doctor tried really hard to get me to speak to her once a week and she got through to me. Over time, Ellern Mede built for me the scaffolding that would aid in my steady recovery.

Opportunities were available for me and other patients to gain a sense of normality – such as ‘social snack’ and attempting main meals in restaurants. That helped to challenge our fears of eating in public. I was discharged after five months in hospital at the age of 17.

I met some amazing people while I was staying at Ellern Mede that I still see today. Today, I’m really glad my doctors sent me to Ellern Mede. It gave me my life back and restored my ability to relate to myself and to my family.

If you have an eating disorder and you won’t acknowledge it or you don’t want to get better, hard as it is to take that step, I think professional treatment is your best hope.