I first met Jess when I was an inpatient in Kimmeridge Court many years ago. I can clearly remember being introduced to Jess as ‘the recovered voice’. Up until that point I had not had many opportunities to hear from recovered individuals and to be honest, I was in awe of anyone that had won their war against an eating disorder. Jess gave me support, inspiration and most of all hope that someday that could be me. Since that day I feel a light has been turn on inside me that I know I will never lose, because there will always be that hope ignited in me. I have had many years of inpatient treatment, in and out of specialist units for twenty years. I have travelled in and out of states of ambivalence to change and resistance to feeling motivated and my battle continues. In inpatient settings one can become very institutionalised and easily lose touch with reality, often suffocated by not only your only eating disorder but all the other inpatients too. This, for me has been my downfall so having connections with recovered people like Jess has at times been a saving grace for me, a breathing space out of the inpatient bubble, where one is controlled and often stereotyped.
Jess has always taken me as I am, always willing to come and meet me at my level. At times Jess has challenged me but always in a way that is so passionate and from the heart of someone who can see the journey I need to take and feel the pain I need to feel. I will always hold the words of Jess in my head that ‘I need to feel the fear and do it anyway’.If I had half the strength and courage Jess has and shares now, today with so many I would be content. Having fought through her own battles and trodden the rocky path of recovery Jess offers support from a place of understanding and her passion to help others and to reach out to people is overwhelming when you meet her. I wish Jess every success in her new venture now as she takes a new journey of her own, meeting the needs of individuals that are lucky enough to find her. I have been and I am so grateful. Thank you Jess.