Teenager Becky Petley on the road to recovery after anorexia battle

Becky Petley

Becky Petley

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Feature Writer

AT her worse she could not leave the house.

Last year Becky Petley’s anorexia was so bad that she could barely stand. She spent her days on the sofa, watched over by her anxious family.

This time last year she had been admitted to Southampton General Hospital as a result.

It seems like a lifetime ago to the confident 18-year-old from Southampton.

And she has launched a campaign to focus on anorexia recovery and raise awareness about the availability of day support programmes that she says were key to her recovery.

She also wants to raise funds with a skydive in February for April House eating disorder service in Southampton, without which she doesn’t think she would have recovered.

Becky’s eating disorder began when she started secondary school, but didn’t take hold fully until she started college in 2010.

“The causes were complex,” she says.

“I had quite negative core beliefs about myself and we had some difficult times as a family. I think these things combined led to an opportunity for anorexia to develop.”

The eating disorder raised Becky’s anxiety levels and she was unable to cope with college, leaving shortly before her exams last year.

It was at this point that her mother said she had to go to her GP.

“At first I was a bit shocked that she thought I had an eating disorder,” she says.

“It hadn’t occurred to me that it was an illness.”

Becky was given support, and after her health had deteriorated, she was admitted to hospital where she was put under the care of April House.

She spent every week day there, getting the support and help that she needed.

“The intensity and the amount of insight and tools I was given really prompted my recovery.

“Now I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. The eating disorder was building up and almost had to get really bad in order for me to recover from it.”

To show that people can get better, she has launched a website, Freedom to Fly, telling her own story.

“When I was trapped in it, I couldn’t see a way out. I want people to realise recovery is possible.

“I think it’s important to be completely pro-recovery. Part of my campaign is not to use figures about weight, etc.

“When I was ill I found that incredibly triggering because of the competitive side of eating disorders.

“When I was in April House people said how encouraging it was for them to see me recovering.

I thought if I can share my story, maybe I can help even more people to recover.”

Comments (12)

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1:31pm Thu 22 Nov 12

sarfhamton says...

People with eating disorders are so misunderstood and the thing is heart breaking for families.

So please this girl is doing something positive.
People with eating disorders are so misunderstood and the thing is heart breaking for families. So please this girl is doing something positive. sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Thu 22 Nov 12

MGRA says...

sarfhamton wrote:
People with eating disorders are so misunderstood and the thing is heart breaking for families.

So please this girl is doing something positive.
indeed. Its a mental illness. perceptions of reality are altered and the sufferer will feel trapped in a world that makes no sense.... the way to help stop this condition is to stop our children from being bombarded with "distorted" images of the so-called real world. Anyone with a brain would find Posh beckham mildly repulsive, not attractive. If teenagers felt the same then it would help....bravo to this girl....
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: People with eating disorders are so misunderstood and the thing is heart breaking for families. So please this girl is doing something positive.[/p][/quote]indeed. Its a mental illness. perceptions of reality are altered and the sufferer will feel trapped in a world that makes no sense.... the way to help stop this condition is to stop our children from being bombarded with "distorted" images of the so-called real world. Anyone with a brain would find Posh beckham mildly repulsive, not attractive. If teenagers felt the same then it would help....bravo to this girl.... MGRA
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Thu 22 Nov 12

TheGooseisLoose says...

i hear of these harsh battles with anorexia, but who is he? how can one person battle with so many without being arrested
i hear of these harsh battles with anorexia, but who is he? how can one person battle with so many without being arrested TheGooseisLoose
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Thu 22 Nov 12

sotonwinch09 says...

Just eat and problem solved.
Just eat and problem solved. sotonwinch09
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Thu 22 Nov 12

TheGooseisLoose says...

sotonwinch09 wrote:
Just eat and problem solved.
are you allowed to advertise in comments
[quote][p][bold]sotonwinch09[/bold] wrote: Just eat and problem solved.[/p][/quote]are you allowed to advertise in comments TheGooseisLoose
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

dum dum dum dim dum dum... im loving it!
dum dum dum dim dum dum... im loving it! Subject48
  • Score: -1

5:23pm Thu 22 Nov 12

MGRA says...

sotonwinch09 wrote:
Just eat and problem solved.
is it just this subject you know absolutely nothing about or are there many other subjects you are totally ignorant about ?
[quote][p][bold]sotonwinch09[/bold] wrote: Just eat and problem solved.[/p][/quote]is it just this subject you know absolutely nothing about or are there many other subjects you are totally ignorant about ? MGRA
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Thu 22 Nov 12

cmth40 says...

we went through hell when my then aged 15 grandaughter was taken very ill and it turn out to be bullimia,she was rush to the doctor with a pulse rate of just 48,thank god for the wonderfull treatment she recieved from the eastleigh hospital,and others,the ones on here take think they are sooooooooooo clever to take the p,,,s need to get help i hope they one day will have to cope in a situation that needs tlc from all or they have a nastie bug that doctors dont have a cure for you people are so sick you need to be put down
we went through hell when my then aged 15 grandaughter was taken very ill and it turn out to be bullimia,she was rush to the doctor with a pulse rate of just 48,thank god for the wonderfull treatment she recieved from the eastleigh hospital,and others,the ones on here take think they are sooooooooooo clever to take the p,,,s need to get help i hope they one day will have to cope in a situation that needs tlc from all or they have a nastie bug that doctors dont have a cure for you people are so sick you need to be put down cmth40
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Thu 22 Nov 12

cmth40 says...

we went through hell when my then aged 15 grandaughter was taken very ill and it turn out to be bullimia,she was rush to the doctor with a pulse rate of just 48,thank god for the wonderfull treatment she recieved from the eastleigh hospital,and others,the ones on here take think they are sooooooooooo clever to take the p,,,s need to get help i hope they one day will have to cope in a situation that needs tlc from all or they have a nastie bug that doctors dont have a cure for you people are so sick you need to be put down
we went through hell when my then aged 15 grandaughter was taken very ill and it turn out to be bullimia,she was rush to the doctor with a pulse rate of just 48,thank god for the wonderfull treatment she recieved from the eastleigh hospital,and others,the ones on here take think they are sooooooooooo clever to take the p,,,s need to get help i hope they one day will have to cope in a situation that needs tlc from all or they have a nastie bug that doctors dont have a cure for you people are so sick you need to be put down cmth40
  • Score: 0

7:02pm Thu 22 Nov 12

StephStinton says...

For the narrow minded idiot who thinks they are funny and clever to give such a heart felt message to this girls story, you need to open your eyes a little wider and keep an eye out for karma bcos she can be a **** as much as anorexia can be so I can only wish you luck when you catch up with the **** someday...
For the narrow minded idiot who thinks they are funny and clever to give such a heart felt message to this girls story, you need to open your eyes a little wider and keep an eye out for karma bcos she can be a **** as much as anorexia can be so I can only wish you luck when you catch up with the **** someday... StephStinton
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Fri 23 Nov 12

aldermoorboy says...

Well done beautiful girl, good luck in the future.
Well done beautiful girl, good luck in the future. aldermoorboy
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Fri 23 Nov 12

hannawilliams94 says...

sotonwinch09 wrote:
Just eat and problem solved.
If you'd read the article properly you would see that Becky was strong enough to recover without ridiculous comments from people like you! And it's absolutely people like you that should pay attention to this campaign and wise up. I'm not gonna wish that anything bad happens to you, but if someone close to you ever suffers from something similar I really hope you can be supportive to them! :)
[quote][p][bold]sotonwinch09[/bold] wrote: Just eat and problem solved.[/p][/quote]If you'd read the article properly you would see that Becky was strong enough to recover without ridiculous comments from people like you! And it's absolutely people like you that should pay attention to this campaign and wise up. I'm not gonna wish that anything bad happens to you, but if someone close to you ever suffers from something similar I really hope you can be supportive to them! :) hannawilliams94
  • Score: 0

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