Many of us with eating disorders, like to personify the illness as a separate person or voice. 'Ana' for Anorexia and 'Mia' for Bulimia. Don't get me wrong; Ana is definitely not a 'friend' even though the internal voice I hear says otherwise. Personifying my eating disorder is definitely something that I found rather useful in my road to recovery.
Anorexia is tiresome, people keep using the word choice. "You can choose to eat or not Claire" but it isn't a choice not like the choice between having a bath or a shower. My choices are very powerful ones with very powerful consequences, I feel the word 'choice' in this situation is too mild a word.
I worry about my health, I know I could die, I know I could lose out on life and opportunities if I am not well enough to grasp them with both hands. It's a spiral and it's all spinning around my head and it's making me dizzy. I'm constantly out of breath. Exhausted. Exhausted by this mental illness.
The truth is - and I'm being dangerously honest here - my work just isn't compatible with my mental health, in fact it's quite the opposite; the two are entirely disparate. The highs and lows that come with working in the media devastate me, so in order to survive (or at least pretend to) I'm forced to build a facade of normality and feign that everything is 'fine'.
Persistently eating too much or too little can be symptomatic or indicative of an eating disorder, but what many people don't appreciate is that food is just one factor in an eating disorder. While they're characterised by disordered eating habits, ultimately eating disorders are serious mental health illnesses.