Lucy's story ...
Going through day to day life with an eating disorder is like being in a constant battle with your own thoughts and the world around you.
A constant battle with what is reality and what is the world that has been created by the negative and damaging thoughts that come hand in hand with any eating disorder and mental illness. I myself went through a battle with anorexia and bulimia, that also lead me to be diagnosed with anxiety and clinical depression. At the age of 15 my illness began and at the time I was oblivious as to what I was doing to my body, my physical health and also my mental health. Very quickly things started to become out of control and trying to find help is extremely difficult unless you fit a certain criteria, lost a specific amount of weight but this isn’t the way to be helped.
If someone is suffering no matter how severe, everyone individual needs help. Once I was put into the NHS support system to help me, I found myself fighting a new battle, however now with a team of doctors and therapists who approached my illness in a way that no individual would wish to be treated. I dreaded going to my appointments and became extremely anxious before the day even came during the week. My Mum then came across Elizabeth Ann, a highly qualified professional, complementary healthcare practitioner and clinical hypnotherapist. At first I was anxious and unsure if I truly wanted to visit Elizabeth but I knew that recovery was my only option and that with the right mind set and help I would recover. I remember my first session, I thought I would be going to sit through hours of being told what I should do, how many calories I need to eat day to day, constantly talking about weighing scales, the numbers that would come up on the scales, blood work etc, but this was not the case.
I was treated as an individual, not an illness. I can not express how calming and comforting being in Elizabeth’s company can be, I began my sessions with Elizabeth with hypnotherapy, a type of treatment I had no knowledge of, nor did I truly think it would work. However I can honestly say the hypnotherapy sessions I took part in helped me manage my crippling anxiety and move down a measurement of anxiety set out like a ladder the ladder to reach a level of anxiety that was manageable on a day to day life. Going to see Elizabeth was an escape from the world that was closing in on me, an hour of light in such a dark time. Someone who I could trust and proved to me that people are there to help and people do not just see and treat you as an eating disorder and nothing else.
Hypnotherapy showed me a way of becoming back in sync with my body, that I can be in control of my thoughts and how breathing can make such a difference in a matter of seconds when facing different obstacles in life. Not only did Elizabeth help me with hypnotherapy, treatments such as massages and reflexology allowed me to again escape and showed me I was still able to relax and not think about what my next meal would be, how many calories I had consumed that day, i was able to escape the world I had created and be myself again. Over time the more treatments I took part in the more I was able to control my anxiety and control my emotions, allowing me to focus on my physical recovery as my mental health was improving with the help of Elizabeth. Without Elizabeth being apart of my recovery and continuing to this day to still be there for me and offer me treatments I would not be in the position I am today, today I have the strength to turn my head to any negative thoughts that I may have and feelings, realise what is realistic and what may be my illness trying to take over.
With the help of Elizabeth I became stronger, week by week and am able to live my life to the full, the way every single individual should. I could not recommend Elizabeth enough to anyone, she impacted my life in such a powerful way and still continues to do so, I am so grateful for the work and time that’s has been given to me from Elizabeth herself to really focus on myself as an individual and become closer with my own thoughts and feelings and know when to put certain thoughts to one side and leave them locked away in a part of my mind that doesn’t need to access them. As I have been there I know personally that the thoughts and feelings will never go away, there will be bad days and good days but with hypnotherapy treatment along side medical treatment I was able to learn how to put all the negative and life controlling thoughts into a place I didn’t need to think about them and this was all down the help of Elizabeth