Pro-Ana? Pro-Life! An Update

I spoke at Ignite in the Glee Club in Cardiff in 2015. My talk was about anorexia and challenging the ideals the pro-ana community puts on anorexia with the dark reality of anorexia. At the time of the talk I was in a good place. My diet was still very restrictive, I was not a healthy weight and I still struggled but I was living my life too. I was on a high. I went out and experienced life, I went on TV and radio, I began writing for The Huffington Post. The talk got a great reception and I received Ignite’s first ever standing ovation. You can watch the talk here. I feel very differently now to how I did in the video so I thought I would do an update.

In my speech, I talk about how fatal anorexia can be and I can honestly hold my hands up and say that anorexia nearly killed me in December 2016. There was a point when I didn’t know if I would even reach Christmas Day. My bloods were all over the place, my heart was a mess and my weight was dangerously low.

In the video I say, “I didn’t sleep, I was addicted to laxatives and exercise” and ‘was’ was so important because I had overcome that but now I find myself asking for movicol and senna all the time and I take as many laxatives as the hospital allows me to and I know full well that if I was at home I would take more. My laxative addiction is back. It’s hard to exercise in hospital, I’m not really allowed to and I use a wheelchair to go everywhere but I find myself walking to the bin, or my stuff, or the sink as much as possible in order to burn a few calories. Burning off calories is always at the front of my mind.

I also say, “I wanted to die” and I wish I could fill you up with positivity and still be able to say that but now I would have to say, “I want to die” because I do. I’m in such a mess with anorexia and every single second of the day I wish I could press the stop button. I have received and am still receiving life saving care but I wish they would just let me die and escape this nightmare for good.

I was able to say, “I have anorexia, anorexia doesn’t have me” but this is now the other way around. Anorexia has me fully in it’s grips and I don’t know who the hell I am or even where to find me. “I am not worthless, I am Claire and life is what I make it” are words I can not say anymore,I feel incredibly worthless, like I’m a waste of resources. I don’t feel like Claire, I am not the same person now that I was in that video. I find it hard to believe that life is what I make it, my life feels incredibly out of control.

The comments in regards to pro-ana remain the same, my weight will never be low enough for me to be content and I cannot see how ill I am told I am. I do not feel thin but I’m told I’m dangerously underweight.

My message remains the same, anorexia is not something to strive for, mental illnesses are not fashion accessories and I am waiting on that minute that is going to change my life again.

climbED: Laxative Addiction

Some people with eating disorders may use laxatives as a way to compensate for their behaviours or as a means to control their weight however I must stress that using laxatives does not lead to weight loss, the change in the number on the scales will be due to the water that has been lost and this can be dangerous because it can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The calories will have already been absorbed and taken in to the body before the laxatives reach them, it doesn’t take away the calories that have been eaten it simply empties your system quickly and can be very dangerous.

I used to battle laxative addiction, I was a healthy weight at the time and nobody would’ve known from looking at me that I had such a problem. Looking back I almost wish that the pharmacist would’ve said something rather than sold them to me day after day. I’d take far more than the recommended dose and it would leave me on the bathroom floor biting on a towel to deal with the pain. I barely slept because I would time it so that they took affect in the night when my family were fast asleep but they knew, of course they did. I’d lie to my mum and say I didn’t have any left when she asked me to hand them to her. I’d miss lessons at college when the laxatives were still working through my system the next day. I was constantly in agonising pain.

I beat the addiction when I took double my ‘normal’ dose and I genuinely thought I was going to die. I was in so much pain that I was sick and passing out, it was really scary and I thought enough is enough. I didn’t want to live in so much pain everyday and I knew factually it wasn’t doing anything for my weight, I had to overcome the ill thoughts that lied to me that the laxatives were doing something for me. I stopped straight away and had a couple of lapses along the way but I have now not touched laxatives for 16 months and I don’t think I ever will again.

If you need help with your laxative addiction then you may find the following links helpful:

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