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 that at this stage we have no idea what caused Andreas Lubitz's decision to end his own life and that of the 149 other passengers on his plane. So why then did the Daily Mail feel it was fitting to ascertain that the depressive episode which occurred six years ago must have something to do with this disaster?
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'.
Getting help is not supposed to be the traumatic part, experiences like mine are damaging, I will never forget that night, these memories stick with people forever and they have the potential to stop people seeking help. Imagine the outrage there would be if a cancer sufferer was put in a cell because there were no hospital beds. It is totally unacceptable.
I love performing my show, mostly because of the second half where I have the privilege of sitting on stage and letting the audience take over to ask, answer or discuss whatever. For those 20-30 minutes it feels like I'm with my people that we're the same under our fronts with all our vulnerabilities we need to hide.
Since stigma is still an issue even in today's society, we should be teaching ALL children to understand a range of emotions including mental illness from a young age. Being aware that feeling sad or low or anxious is nothing to feel ashamed of could help young people to open up, and prevent them developing into something more serious in later years.
By posting pictures of emaciated people to raise awareness, it is just reinforcing that stereotype so that the general public still have the idea that to be unwell the sufferer must be very thin and it makes sufferers feel that unless they look like that photo then they are not unwell enough to seek help.