Testimony 1

As an ex-sufferer of anorexia and bulimia, over the last 10 years, Im one of many people in Lancashire that has struggled to receive the support. However the committed staff at S.E.E.D provide advice, nurturing and companionship for anyone who comes to them for help.

I am now working as a volunteer for S.E.E.D, this is a progression that I have made from being a member because I admire the hard work and dedication that has gone into raising awareness of Eating Disorders and I am greatly appreciative if the empathy, understanding and sense of unity I have gained from attending S.E.E.D.s drop-in and support groups.

My life had consisted of hospital admissions for the past eight years, having been diagnosed with the illness from a very young age, and the process of maturing, and the progression into adulthood for me were understandably put on hold. Therefore leaving my family home in Blackpool to live on my own, in a different town, having recently been discharged from hospital, it was vital for me to feel supported within the community in order for me to make the transition into my new lifestyle as smooth and safe as possible. S.E.E.D with its consistent communication and guaranteed accessibility allowed me to feel safe in the knowledge that I would not feel isolated or alone.

Now working for S.E.E.D as a volunteer I am more aware of the hard work and commitment that goes on behind the scenes and to be part of an organisation that has provided me a safe and secure environment, a place to go, someone to talk to and listen, is not only personally showing my appreciation for all that the organisation has provided for me. I also along with the team at S.E.E.D have a passion to raise awareness and provide support and advice for anyone affected by the pain of an eating disorder.


Testimony Two 

For the past 11 years I have faced a battle with my eating disorder, and up until quite recently, it was a battle that everyday I lost. My life rapidly became ruled and controlled by food, starvation, exercise and the unbearable guilt that I felt if I didnt surrender to the rules of anorexia.

My family have never known about my eating disorder, and so I was isolated and alone with just how anorexia wanted my life to be. It is hard to explain just how S.E.E.D and Breathe have helped me with my recovery, but I can whole heartedly say that they are what started my journey. Before I was able to experience the safeness and inspiration that S.E.ED provides, I had very little desire to get well, and too much fear to try and experience freedom. Because my family have never been involved in my recovery, my support and strength has solely been from S.E.E.D and Breathe. 

S.E.E.D became my safe place instead of hiding away in my anorexia; they inspired me to develop self worth so that the need to punish myself with bulimia became less intense. I am now beginning to find out who I am without my eating disorder. I have so many goals and dreams, and with their support I am working towards them instead of focusing my future around weight loss and exercise. I am learning to live and not just exist. They allow me to be real and they accept me for who I am  I do not need to perform as I once did in the company of the staff at S.E.E.D and Breathe.

I began treatment with very little insight into my illness and felt an extreme lack of self worth, but now, thanks to S.E.E.D and Breathe, I believe I deserve recovery  and I believe I can be free from the chains of my eating disorder.

Testimony 3

On leaving home at the age of 17 (after some traumatic years in the family environment) I began to manage my emotions through food. At the time I saw my comfort eating as ‘a treat’ that I deserved. Food became my friend and comforter, providing me with the love and understanding and acceptance that I yearned for, dependable and reliable in a world otherwise unpredictable and often untrustworthy.

I had a love of exercise and a great deal of energy and motivation. I enjoyed the fresh air and never stood still. I managed stress through cardio-vascular activity although I didn’t appreciate that at the time.

As a girl I had had a lot of attention for my looks and it seemed important to my family for me always to look my best. I also received a lot of criticism and ridicule and although outwardly I was confident, bubbly and outgoing, inwardly my self-esteem was affected.

Gradually as my relationship with my boyfriend became unstable and unhappy and my immediate family relationships were fraught and dysfunctional, I became aware of body and weight changes as the comfort eating turned to binges, then compensatory exercise and restricting, and eventually vomiting, laxative abuse and amphetamine abuse.

It wasn’t until I commenced my nurse training, broke up with my sweetheart, left my home town and then became a Christian that my eating disorder really became unmanageable. Quite quickly after becoming a Christian at the age of 19 the Lord showed me that emotionally I was in a mess and my eating disorder was out of control. It controlled my every minute, every thought, every activity, every relationship. People were noticing.

I finally admitted both to myself and others, that I had a problem. This had taken 2 years!! For the next three years I had prayer ministry, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and much love and support. My family found it difficult to deal with and understand. At times during these years I was depressed, suicidal, anxious and suffered panic attacks and my self-esteem was at an all time low. My moods and behaviour was chaotic. However, through this time I felt the Lord close by and he seemed to always make a way though their didn’t seem to be one. I often asked myself, why am I still ill? Why do I still feel so down? But, looking back God was healing me one layer at a time. Each layer felt painful but it was progress and in order to really heal me, he wasn’t going to stick a plaster over my wounds. He was doing it properly, gently and lovingly. He was much more patient and accepting of me and my attitudes and behaviours than even I was. He loved me through it.

Ten years on, I can say that I am much more self aware, emotionally aware and spiritually mature through my experience but the Lord continues to challenge me and change me gently and lovingly. Life continues to throw difficult circumstances my way but my comforter and friend in Jesus is now much more reliable, dependable and trustworthy than any box of chocolates!!

I now work as a psychiatric nurse and specialise in eating disorders. I hope to offer something of God’s acceptance, understanding and love to others, offering encouragement and hope through an eating disorder to wholeness in Him. It is possible.

Testimony 4

I am now completely recovered from an eating disorder that I had since I was 8. I have suffered from binge eating disorder, anorexia and bulimia. My family have never known about my illness, and so for the past 16 years, all the behaviours of my eating disorder were simply part of my daily routine, that at the time did not
appear to be anything out of the ordinary for me. My illness rapidly took control of my life, suppressing all emotions I owned and isolating me from the normalities of childhood.

I went to full time dance school when I was 18 not because I wanted to be a dancer, but because I was obsessed with exercise and self punishment. Because my family have never known about my illness, I had no support what so ever until I walked through the door at S.E.E.D., and to say that they have changed my life is quite a big understatement.

Most places that treat eating disorders just want to treat the illness, they want you to eat and keep it down, but at S.E.E.D., they believe in treating the whole person that walks through the door. They treat every person like an individual and not just someone that needs to eat, and I believe that it is through that acceptance that I began my journey to recovery.

When I first started attending S.E.E.D., I had no desire to get well at all, I went back week after week because I liked the company, and it was comforting and safe. Soon I began to feel really inspired by the work that goes on at seed, and I decided that hopefully one day I too could be part of that. I started treatment at Breathe Eating Disorder Service as a Private Client, but it took me quite a while to completely make the decision that I wanted to get well, my illness had been my coping mechanism for so long and I couldn’t remember life without it.  To some people it sounds like a silly reason to get well, just so I can volunteer at S.E.E.D., but to me, it didn’t matter why I was fighting, as long as I WAS fighting. And at times when I felt like giving up, I looked at Shelley and I saw everything she did and is still doing and it gave me that boost of inspiration for staying on the road to recovery and working towards my goals.

As I started telling my story at the presentations Shelley does to raise awareness, I experienced a strange kind of buzz. I used to get a buzz when I was in shows and competitions at dance school, but that buzz came from exercising until I had no choice but to collapse in bed afterwards, and ripping myself apart for how useless I was on stage. This buzz was different. This gave me a feeling of self worth, being able to help raise awareness and use my experience of an eating disorder to help others. That was so much more rewarding than my eating disorder ever could be. I got to a stage where I had got a hold on my eating disorder and self harm, but even though I had come a very long way with my recovery, S.E.E.D. still didn’t closed the door on my support.
I attended every week to the drop in sessions and fortnightly to the support groups. The support I have had from S.E.E.D. and Breathe, has not only changed my life in a sense that I have now completely beat my illness, but also in that they have been so supportive and accepting of who I am, that I am learning who the real me is, and I am working towards goals that I have actually always wanted to do but never had the confidence for.

I am uclan studying to be a mental health nurse, and I can now visualise my future. At one time I couldn’t see past exercise and restriction of food, and my only goal was to exercise and punish myself to the point of collapse, which at the time appeared to be quite an achievement in my eyes. I don’t regret my eating disorder, because I haven’t let it beat me, and the hope is that I can turn it round and use my difficult experiences to help others beat it too.

I am now completely recovered from my eating disorder thanks to S.E.E.D. and Breathe, and I am now not afraid to find out and show who the real me is, the staff at seed and breathe have always accepted me no matter what and slowly I am being accepted by myself as well. I get told quite regularly that you never completely recover from an eating disorder, but everyday Shelley and a lot of other people involved in S.E.E.D. prove that myth wrong, and now, I can too


SEED (Support and Education for Eating Disorders)
Charity No. 1144313
Registered in England and Wales
Company No. 074550528

Email: hello@seedlancashire.co.uk    Tel: 0844 3915539  
Write to: Galloways, Howick House, Howick Park Avenue, Penwortham, PR1 0LS

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