F’s story

F received treatment through FREED in London. She shares her road to recovery in words and photography.

My road to recovery is summed up in my photography. The first jar represents the start of my journey where I was consumed by my eating disorder, drowning in the constant agony of thoughts regarding food and my body. I truly believe that I would’ve sunken down the jar if I never received FREED’s early intervention. I was in a state of continuous self destruction to which I never realised the severity of how far it was going. I know how difficult it is to reach out for help and to constantly invalidate and compare yourself to others, to think you don’t deserve recovery when you truly do.

"Starting early intervention proved to help by allowing me to analyse my disordered thoughts and actions from a different perspective. "
Starting early intervention proved to help by allowing me to analyse my disordered thoughts and actions from a different perspective. That was when I saw the damage I was putting my body, mind and emotions through. I have intentionally placed the second jar with the rose still ‘drowning’ but reaching for air. I am sure you have heard of the saying ‘recovery isn’t linear’ many times, and that is exactly what the second jar represents. Recovery was never easy to begin with, it was a constant battle between declining and accepting the help I deserved. It was a battle between me and my ‘mind’ that I thought was a part of me.

I started to slowly rise above the water and began fighting for my life back, I started to break the connection between me and my disordered mind. I realised that those thoughts where not mine but rather my disorder hidden as a green snake in green grass. Finally we meet the last jar that has the rose clearly out of water. This presents my fight to freedom and peace. Now I could’ve taken the rose completely out of the jar but I did not , because as I said before recovery isn’t linear. Although I am in a much better place and above the water, I am still surrounded by it. This is to show what it really feels like overcoming an eating disorder - it may not be easy and you’ll be taunted nonstop but there is a way out even if it means being surrounded by a bit of water.

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