When doctors said that Stephanie would not live past 18, she made a decision to get help for her eating disorder. From hearing about a girl called hope, Stephanie chose to commit to the program and has learnt tools to care for herself and the value she has.
I grew up in Zimbabwe Africa. Youngest of three. So got a sister and a brother. We came to New Zealand because of the danger in Zimbabwe. It was no longer safe for my parents to raise us there. I’ve always been a very shy person so I found it really hard to make friends. Especially coming to a new school and everyone’s got their friends. So the lack of confidence led to me being bullied, specifically by a group of girls. They bullied me physically. They would follow me around school and throw food at me even sometimes. They would insult me from the way I dressed and the way I looked. They called me fat a lot. They really just made my life miserable. Yeah. I felt really angry towards my parents for a while for bringing us here. It took me a long time to realise that what they did was actually amazing for us but in the moment it was hard and I felt completely alone. I ended up getting involved with a very bad crowd at high school with drugs and alcohol. I ended up being drunk most of my school days. Eventually that got so bad that I was just losing so much weight and was so unwell that I left school. By that stage I was fully bulimic so was just binging three times a day and purging. And that got up to 16 times a day, every day which lasted for good three years. I tore some of my oesophagus which i’ve had surgery for recently. At my worst I lost about half my hair so I had a lot of bald patches. I had a doctor, my GP, tell me that he really didn’t think I was going to make it to 18. I think the bullying started my self destructive path where I just didn’t like who I was. I didn’t think other people had liked who I was. That’s when I stopped caring for myself. After multiple hospitalisations I think i’d just reached a point where I was like there’s just nothing else, I can’t give anymore. And I can’t describe it in any other way than I found a girl called Hope looking online and I just decided to apply. I was able to sort things out from my past. I was able to learn that actually I deserve a future and gain an understanding of what I actually wanted for my life. So it gave me just freedom really.
Living in the moment for me is acknowledging that there will be hard times but walking through it with God I think for me is the biggest thing.