BodyMatters is pleased to introduce our February Recovery Talk presenter, Tully.
Tully first started noticing that something did not feel right at the age of seven years old where she had overheard her mother make a comment on the phone about her having “short stumpy legs”. This was extremely triggering for Tully where she had felt the constant need for approval from her parents and from that moment on became concerned about her body and food.
Tully first began to seek treatment at the age of 14, when she was the most unwell, shortly after her Mum and Dad had sat her down to tell her that she ‘had a problem’. She began seeing a psychologist twice a week and was later sent to rehab in Melbourne feeling threatened by her psychologist to go here if she failed to gain any weight. Tully describes her experience with this psychologist as ‘awful’, feeling afraid to see her each week, worried about what she would say if there were no signs of weight gain. It wasn’t until Tully sought treatment with her second psychologist where she felt there was a true turning point in recovery, where this psychologist took a holistic, caring and nurturing approach to Tully’s situation.
Within this time Tully had moved from a public to private high school where she began to notice herself over-exercising and withdrawing. Tully was aware that other people were noticing and associated this with the feeling of acceptance and approval from other people. However, shortly after commencing High School, Tully had stopped going to school in Year 10 to focus on her recovery from home where she was able to manage her OCD and eating at home where she had felt safe. Symptoms that Tully was experiencing at the time were depression, constant anxiety and signs of OCD that were very time-related. If her mum did not have dinner on the table at a specific time, then Tully refused to eat it at all.
Significant turning points during Tully’s treatment that felt like she was on the right track to recovery was feeling scared when she had seen a number of other unwell teenagers in hospital. Being confronted with these extremes made Tully become aware that she had so much more to give to life than spending it in hospital. Tully also believes that it is through her second psychologist that she felt hopeful and how important it was to find someone who she felt comfortable with and related to.
It was wasn’t until Tully felt relaxed around food that she truly realised that she had recovered from her eating disorder. From this day onwards, she still has thoughts but knows not to act on them and is able to change the thoughts around. Many of Tully’s ‘no go zones’ did not feel as strong and Tully began to feel overall happier. When asked what advice she would give to anyone who may be starting or already on their recovery journey, Tully stated that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that it will be a roller coaster. Tully expressed the importance of finding out what you love to do and use this to inspire you to stay on track.
It was through Yoga and meditation that Tully learned to control the negative, bad thoughts that she would encounter on a daily basis, where she is now able to turn any thoughts back around. Throughout her journey, Tully had recognised her love for Yoga and has used this today to inspire and encourage others to feel the best about themselves where she has since launched an activewear brand in 2013 where her eating disorder recovery journey has been an inspiration to what she is doing today.