I’m Ana. I’ve always been a hyper child. I was the centre of attention in every group, in every conversation. People said I was the ‘light in a room’, ‘a joy to be around.’ Little did I know a few years down the line I would become a timid, self-loathing and
broken version of myself. I was born in a small Catholic village and I went to a Catholic all-girls school. It was easy to follow the rules, even though I was always breaking them. I was sheltered but loved. My mother decided to move us
to England in 2013 unexpectedly. I packed my bags and was ready for
this new adventure that awaited me. I always wanted to be a dancer and my dream school was in London, I knew moving away and leaving all my
comfort and security would be worth it. What began as a
promising fresh new start soon went downhill. Upon living a few months in England, I felt awkward and sad. I wasn’t comfortable and I always felt
like the weird new kid. I didn’t smile I didn’t bother talking to anyone. I started all my favourite hobbies such as cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, but I couldn’t make
any new friends in them. I thought maybe re-inventing myself was a way I could
gain more confidence and I started on my
quest by going on a diet. Just a few pounds I said. Only to make me a better dancer. I started the traditional
diets such as Paleo, Vegan, and low carb, but as I started venturing
deeper on the internet I met a new sort of rules. The pro-Ana group. The pro-Ana ‘coaches’ would guide
you and tell you how much to eat, what to eat, how much exercise and how to feel. They said that Anorexia was a diet and only the strong-willed could do it. They said they would help me be the best I could and they knew what was best for me. Every day, as soon as I would get home I
would log in on my pro-Ana site and tell my coach how well I’ve done. “Stay strong, stay skinny” “Minutes on your lips,
inches on your hips” “Ana knows what’s best for you” were some of the glorified
quotes in the pro-Ana bible. If I could and had
less than 500 calories, I was rewarded with peace, if I had failed and been a pig, I would be punished. Forced to burn all the
calories I’d consumed, no dinner for me, Coach Ana telling me I was lazy, fat, and ugly. I became a slave to my own head, my pro-Ana account
was my only friend. Hundreds of empty girls
telling other girls to stay empty. We were stuck in this gruesome
game with no way to get out. At one point, my mum asked me if
I had an eating disorder and I thought no way. I didn’t make myself sick, I was in control. Coach Ana was helping me be pretty. You see, as my weight went lower my self worth went with it, till it was non-existent
along with my dignity. I was frail and agitated. I hated everyone and everything. My hair was falling out, I could put my fingers on my forearm. My face was gaunt and
my eyes were lifeless. I was losing all my friends and family and I was obsessed
with my pro-Ana account. It became a sick achievement to be the best little rexie. The thinnest. What size would you like to be? 70 lbs, then 50, then 20, then 0. 0 lbs would be enough for me. I wanted to win and with that came the cost of death and I didn’t mind. You see the voice in my head
had morphed into what I read, it got so bad I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t go an hour without exercising because of the self-hatred I had
been grilled through my Ana coach had become me. I didn’t have Anorexia. I was Anorexia. I was a nightmare to be around, I was irritable, I stayed in bed when I wasn’t exercising. I hated dance. I hated my friends, I hated my life. I hated that everyone was trying
to stop me from being skinny. Because they were jealous. With a heart rate of 40 and on my sixth day of
not ingesting anything, I was dying. I had won at the illest game, I had traded my life for a prize, and the prize was to be the thinnest. But, all of a sudden it wasn’t fun anymore. My parents crying because they could see my veins
through my papery thin skin. A few months passed and I was sectioned under the mental
health act with a feeding tube inserted. I was being pumped 2000+ calories and with every calorie,
I hated myself more. My parents and key worker
logged onto my phone whilst I was in a mental health inpatient and found my pro-Ana account. They told a social worker
who then threatened me that they would call the police and track every single person
who was on that account if I didn’t deactivate it. So I did. But guess what? Something changed. I had felt secure through the validation
of finally accomplishing something; even if it was killing me being as toxic as it was. These ‘coaches’ were committing murder, driving young vulnerable girls to death. Anorexia is not something you play with. You might believe
that you will never get it, because you’re just following a diet but that’s not how it works. It will engulf you and become you til you commit slow suicide. Once the pro-Ana account
was obliterated out of my life, the only thing to tackle was my mind. It was hard and I didn’t want to change because I didn’t see anything
wrong with what I was doing, but I finally realised that I was sick. I really really was sick. I had bound myself with layers of insecurity and my walls were sky high. I didn’t let anyone near but slowly but surely the therapist and dietician
started unpeeling my layers. I was discharged a year later with
a backpack full of skills that I learnt but I felt like a naked baby. Scared of getting hurt, so raw and vulnerable, but
expected to make my own choices and take charge of my own recovery. There was so much temptation and
with diet culture being all around us, I’m sad to say that
I hit relapse after relapse but I got better. It’s 2019 and I’m not back to old Ana, but I would say I’m Ana 120.0. Recovery is not just
one choice you make, but it’s a series of
decisions that you make and you are in total control of. I’m going to university next year and moving away, I’m honest with my therapists, I’ve made friends who I can trust. I don’t need pro-Ana
to tell me I’m beautiful. I know I’m beautiful and I know I’m enough. I’m healing. If you are also struggling with
your weight and body image and looking to go on a pro-Ana website, then tell yourself this, are you ready to trade your life? Please listen to me as someone
who was once in your shoes, it’s not worth your life and your health. You are strong. You are beautiful. You can do this. Hi everyone, thanks for watching this video! So we believe that it’s very
important to talk about topics like Anorexia, Suicide, Depression, Anxiety, Self-harming, and all the other challenges
that we face in our society today. Because if we don’t
talk about our problems, they tend to grow into
much larger problems and become so deeply
intertwined with our way of life that it becomes virtually
impossible to untangle the mess that could’ve been much
more easily prevented. That’s why we should be able to have
a safe place to open up and help each other to find the
best solutions to deal with them. However, because advertisers don’t want to be
associated with these difficult issues, YouTube “demonetizes” any video that contains these keywords like Anorexia, Suicide, or self-harm. This makes it very difficult for
us to keep making these videos and that’s why we are
asking for your support. If you also believe that it’s important
to make videos about these topics, please consider supporting us on Patreon. We’ve just set up our page and would be very grateful
for any kind of support to us. Thank you for your support, thank you for submitting your stories, thank you for subscribing and thank you for helping each other
to make the world a better place with your stories.