Helping you get through tough times

The battle inside my head

girl with headphonesMy name is Holly and I just finished 6th year and celebrated my 18th birthday.

There have been times where I wasn’t totally sure I would see myself become an adult – and if I did I always imagined it to be the same as all other birthdays – completely ruled and ruined by anorexia.


I spiralled into anorexia nervosa at the end 3rd year and was diagnosed about a year later having lost almost 15kg off my already slim frame.

I was a competitive swimmer who loved playing clarinet, studying language and reading history books; and I became an introvert with no care for anything but maintaining the control of the eating disorder.

I continued a downward spiral of obsession and denial and isolation, ending up spending over 6 weeks in a medical hospital unit where I was told my body had started shutting down – I was wheelchair bound and put on a feeding tube.


The anorexia really held on however, I struggled for months trying to beat the thoughts, and a year later was admitted into the same hospital – right before my leaving Cert.

Being a perfectionist I became very stressed about my final exams and became very negative and defeated in terms of being able to achieve good grades.


Throughout both admissions I met some amazing, inspiring people who had suffered a long time from illnesses such as cancer and severe diabetes which motivated me to do something about my issues, because they CAN be completely treated.

I almost felt guilty knowing that I could actively work towards ‘curing’ myself but I just wasn’t committing to it.

Enjoying life

Every time I feel the influence of anorexia creeping over me, I use their shining little faces to remind me that I have so much opportunity and potential that they may never experience through no fault of their own, and I need to cherish how lucky I am and how much power I have over my recovery efforts.

Although I am far from being fully recovered, I am starting to enjoy life a lot more and engage with those around me; I achieved fantastic Leaving Cert results despite prolonged illness and absences and have now applied for a prestigious university. I have a casual job which I love, have supportive people around me and am finally rediscovering everything that I used to enjoy.

The world outside

If I have any wisdom to share with other sufferers of an eating disorder it would be this; it will always seem real to you, what it makes you think and feel, but there is a whole giant world outside an eating disorder that you CAN and DESERVE to experience.

I’m not there yet, but I can see it and I know I will be soon. Take advantage of your ability to change, seek help early and never feel like you’re unworthy of talking to someone or getting professional help.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Facebook

What can I do now?