A girl who was given three days to live seriously affected by an eating disorder credits Taylor Swift for helping her through the tough battle.
21-year-old Lottie Hall from Manchester admits she has never had a healthy relationship with food developing an eating disorder when she was aged 12.
Although Lottie kept it very much in the background initially, over the years anorexia increasingly took over her life soon spiralling out of control.
At the age of 15 Lottie ended up in hospital and over the next two years she spent most of her time at either specialist eating disorder clinics or general hospitals.
Speaking exclusively to UNILAD, Lottie explained how she struggled to beat the anorexia.
It started off as eating healthily and then dieting in the week but letting myself eat what I wanted at the weekend.
But it spiralled to me just eating a piece of fruit a day, over exercising, taking laxatives and slimming pills. My family were too afraid to admit I was ill until one day things came to a head when my mum took me to the doctor.
I was rushed straight to hospital and then diagnosed with anorexia. I then spent most of my time in hospital. I wasn’t allowed internet and couldn’t see anyone apart from family a few times a week.
I struggled so much with believing I was worth recovery. I spent years hating myself and it was hard to learn to accept my body. Every day is a battle.
During her time in hospital, Lottie often found herself alone and so regularly turned to her iPod to listen to music.
Having been a fan of pop star Taylor Swift since 2008, when her Fearless album was released, Lottie would continually listen to her music.
I just love her voice but also how she is so honest in her songwriting and how she used it as a therapy for her.
I’ve literally been obsessed with her ever since 2008. She used to talk about how she was lonely at school, the song The Outside, when she was younger and I related to it because I would spend lunch times alone. I felt like through listening to her music and watching interviews I had a friend, as weird as it sounds.
Another song was Tied Together With A Smile. She openly said it was about a friend with an eating disorder. When I first listened to it I couldn’t breathe through all the tears; I just felt so connected to the lyrics. Like she understood what I was going through.
And I grew up with her – it’s almost like each of her albums marks a different point in my life. She always shows so much love for her fans and I think that is why I loved her so much, because she really did feel like a friend when I had none, even though she had no idea who I was.
Lottie also decorated her room at the eating disorder clinic with pictures of Taylor and was even lucky enough to be allowed out of hospital to see her on the Red tour.
The Red album is emotionally important to Lottie as she explained to UNILAD:
Her album Red came out during my time in hospital and it was the only thing that made me happy and that I could get excited about – it reminded me that there were things that could make me happy again.
I remember every meal and every snack that I struggled with, I just thought of seeing Taylor and it helped me get through. Seeing her was amazing. Luckily it wasn’t long after that I finally left hospital. I was aged 17.
Recovery was the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do but it made me a stronger person. It took me years and didn’t stop when I left hospital. Even four years later I have good days and bad days but I am a million times better than I was.
Lottie hopes she can meet Taylor one day to thank her ‘for being a friend when I had none’ and for helping her recover from her anorexia.
One her Twitter account, Lottie shares her story of her battle with anorexia as well as her hopes to meet Taylor.
We really do hope you get to meet Taylor one day Lottie!
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence you can contact Beat on 0808 801 0677.
You can also find out more information on their website.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.