A demon called Ana

It’s fantastic we have certain weeks or months to highlight mental health or various types of mental ill health; as we can really raise awareness to a wider audience.    

However, blink is a big believer in talking about mental health all year round. Eating Disorder Week has recently passed, but below is an amazing piece where Jodie describes the fight between ‘Ana’ and herself 

As a young girl I was unbelievably headstrong, making me (what I thought was) unstoppable. But I'd never have guessed that being so headstrong could be manipulated by a mental illness. Anorexia nervosa. Or as I refer to it - Ana.

My battle with anorexia lasted for 3 years; in and out of general hospitals, IP units and therapy, yet no therapist could ever understand Ana like I do. When I first started hearing the voice, I was terrified and vulnerable. My best friend had died so I was hugely depressed and I wanted perfection from my academics...but I truly believed my own brain was morphing into a nasty, destructive voice. Ana manipulated my headstrong self, to become a violent, secretive, compulsive liar..and a suicidal one at that.

I fought for my life in hospital, and suffered huge amounts of internal damage before I realised..she was killing me. Like a demon unleashed in my body, Ana was headstrong...she wanted me dead.

Though, after a long and rocky road to recovery, me and my family began to distinguish between me and Ana. Jodie was creeping free from her evil grasp, and she hated every minute of my new found love for life! She shrieked at me constantly, attempting to clutch back any form of power. But by this time, I realised that although Ana is in my head, she does not define me.

Jodie was free. Jodie IS free.

Not only from physical agony, but persistent mental drain. The minute I stopped giving Ana the power to take my life, is the moment I started living. Anorexia can be beaten, for she is NOT a representation of you, she is merely a bully who picks on the vulnerable. You can get your own voice back. You can win. You can be free.

Jodie’s journey can be followed over on her Instagram @Jodie_eats_to_live