Receiving Support from SYEDA

This is just a brief testimony of how I've benefited from the support of Syeda over the last few years.
Initially I attended the Support Group. This was at a time when I was just coming to terms with the idea that I might have an eating disorder and needed a space to talk without feeling judged. I felt understood by the people I met there. The facilitators at the time gave me strong role models of what recovery looked like. I also used the group to keep me motivated as I moved further into recovery from anorexia.
I received a course of CBT therapy, later in recovery when I had got to a place where I was stable, but stuck with certain behaviours and still somewhat underweight. I needed this in order to motivate me to move forward and begin to make more changes in my eating. It also helped me to cope with my feelings and thoughts about weight gain. CBT gave me more understanding of why I felt the way I did, and provided me with coping skills which I could keep using after the sessions ended. I have continued to make changes after the sessions ended and often refer back to the work I did in these sessions to keep me on track.
I think with eating disorders, outcomes can be difficult to measure because recovery does take a long time - that is the nature of the problem. But I truly believe that without the support I received from Syeda I would not be where I am today - still on the journey but doing very well, working in a job where I make a difference to others, going out, eating socially and having enough energy to exercise for enjoyment of it. I do believe people can fully recover from eating disorders, and I think one of the messages I took from Syeda was that this really is possible, and not to settle for less than this.
I also want to say that without Syeda, there would be many more people in South Yorkshire with nowhere to turn to for support, as services for eating disorders are so very limited in the area. Ultimately this would impact on secondary mental health services and cost much more in the long term, because there would be a lack of early intervention and prevention. I also know others who have used Syeda to help them stay on track when they were discharged from secondary services (like St George's) but were actually in need of support for a longer period of time.