Northampton university student to launch support website for people battling Anorexia

Emily Spence at 18 years old, left, at her friend's party.
Emily Spence at 18 years old, left, at her friend's party.
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A Northamptonshire woman who says "beating Anorexia is the hardest thing she has ever done" has teamed up with a former sufferer to create an eating disorder support forum.

Emily Spence, 23 of Desborough was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa when she was 17 years old and studying for her A-Levels.

Emily before she went through recovery.

Emily before she went through recovery.

After setting up her own website and social media account, offering different levels of peer support to sufferers, another person came forward who wanted to unite forces and create a stronger "unique" online community called The Ed Recovery Hub.

Now the student along with former sufferer Hannah Brown, 26, from Bedfordshire, who she met through her Instagram page, are now putting together web pages for their support site to help people who are actively recovering through various different stages of the illness.

Emily now studying Podiatry at the University of Northampton said: "All the way through school I worked so hard, I got good grades and to all intents and purposes, I was paving the way to a very successful future.

"However, at the beginning of my sixth form, I suddenly had a shocking realisation that my whole world was going to be changing drastically in the next two or three years and I, unlike seemingly so many of my peers and friends, had no idea what I wanted to do.

"For the next two years, I spiralled slowly into a cold, isolated, lonely world of me, my head and my eating disorder.

Emily after recovery with her horse, Bobby.

Emily after recovery with her horse, Bobby.

"I lost contact with so many friends, I missed out on so many brilliant experiences, I put my body through hell and the worst part: I literally did not care. I was happy."

She remembers attending her friends 18th birthday party and "clinging" to a table throughout the night so she could prop herself up as she couldn't find the energy to stand for the hour that she was there.

Emily's recovery started in August 2012 when she had a sudden realisation that she wanted to live.

Slowly, after allowing herself to eat one biscuit at a time, she courageously battled one day to the next.

She added: "By no means has it been easy, I have relapsed several times, often following discoveries of ‘faddy’ recovery methods following online research when my eating disorder with its awful mental taunting frightened me away from what I knew was truly right.

"On many occasions, I simply wanted to fall into a bottomless pit because my head hurt so much from the battle. But honestly, recovery is so, so worth it."

Physically and mentally Emily is now fully recovered and she says she is back to her original self.

"My anorexia was never really about thinking I was ‘fat’ I was just too big, taking up too much space, unworthy.

"My body and I have made a journey together. I respect it, I nourish it and I love it. My mind around food is back to how it was before all this.

"Beating Anorexia is likely - and hopefully - going to be the hardest thing that I have ever done, but I am certain that it will also be one of the most worthwhile things."

The website - http://theedrecoveryhub.weebly.com/ - is set to launch by the end of this month.