Today is my Birthday, a day I used to dread. I used to think what’s the point in celebrating? What is there to celebrate? Another year spent with anorexia! Another year where I’ve achieved nothing! I used to feel suicidal in the run up and sometimes I would act on those suicidal thoughts purely at the dread of turning another year older and having nothing to show for it. I would dread the food, the choice of feeling horrible for not allowing myself a treat or not be able to deal with the guilt that would come with eating a treat. I’d feel guilty for the Birthday presents that people bought me, the self-hatred would overwhelm me. Ever since my 12th Birthday I have hated my special day, hated myself and my day has been destroyed by body image, anorexia, depression and perfectionism but today is different.
Since my last Birthday, life has changed so much and I have been responsible for making it such a positive 12 months, bad things happened, it was a struggle and I spent 3 months of it in hospital but overall I came out on top. My family moved to Wales, our new home and new start brought us closer together and I love the relationship and friendship that I have with my mum, dad and sister now. I got myself out there and did things I was scared of in order to meet other young people and I have made some friends for life by doing so. I’ve continued my writing, photography, art, dance and passions in life without giving up or putting myself down for not being good enough. I finally feel like I know who Claire is.
My fixers project along with speaking out in the media many times including BBC breakfast, BBC national news and BBC radio 5 live has made my life feel meaningful. I feel so passionate about what I do, I never want to stop speaking out, I don’t want to die anymore, I want to fight to make our society a happier and healthier one. The Fixers feel happy fix, BBC generation 2015, writing opportunities I’m not allowed to talk about yet and Ignite Cardiff….this year has thrown some amazing opportunities at me.
Today I will celebrate my Birthday, I will celebrate all the achievements of the past 12 months whilst I am overwhelmed with excitement for the next 12 months. I never would have believed my life could change so much. I am going to spend today grateful for my family, for my Birthday presents, I am going to eat what Claire wants to eat and not want anorexia wants to eat and I am going to blow out the candles on my cake with love in my heart, a smile on my face and a wish for a better future rather than a thinner body.