Chloe Shelton is a young woman who has ended her relationship with her friend Ana and fought to move on in life with the help of her loved ones, including her boyfriend and her fur-baby PixieBelle.
Anorexia is the lack or loss of appetite and a disorder that is characterised by an obsessive desire to lose weight.
Although males can suffer from this disease, its mostly females who are affected.
Most sufferers tend to be obsessive and/or show signs of depression.
The condition can take hold at any age but most will develop it during or after puberty.
People with anorexia often use "food" as a way to control other issues, in Chloe's case this was due to bullying!
The signs of anorexia can be rapid weight loss, calorie counting, unusual eating habits, social withdrawal, feeling cold, wearing baggy clothes so as to hide the weight loss but also because other clothes don't fit and due to the fact that the person is cold; depression, anxiety, irritability, excessive exercise and much more.
If anorexia is left untreated it can cause organ damage, low blood pressure, loss of hair, thinning of the bones, death, suicide and more.
Treatment can be; hospitalisation, therapy, psychotherapy, medication or counseling.
Chloe kindly agreed to an interview in regards to her now ex-friend Ana.
Miss Chloe Shelton
As a young child you were the victim of bullying, what happened?
Verbal bullying lots of taunting about my appearance and my personality.
I was also hurt physically in very malicious ways e.g pushed into a wall or stabbed with a pencil
How did the school deal with this?
My teacher actually didn't do anything her view was "catholic children don't bully" and so I left a year early to go to another non catholic high school instead of feeding into my catholic high school.
What was your first "interaction" with Ana (anorexia)?
I had an extremely bad day and for months my self esteem had plummeted . I remember I was being taunted and after they left I looked in the mirror and she was talking to me:
"you have to be either pretty or thin for them to like you, you're never going to be pretty so you'll have to be thin"
It was crazy looking back as I was extremely thin as a girl
How did Ana gain control over you?
Ana made me very paranoid of everyone "they're talking about you" "they're laughing at how fat you are" etc and I think once you're told something so many times you start to believe it.
She was in my life for a very long time and never left so she became the only friend I trusted .
How did you keep Ana a secret from your loved ones?
Anorexia is very malicious it is a game and it will keep pushing you.
I never lied as a child, I couldn't I was a terrible liar but eventually ana made me a pro at it, you do everything to keep her safe.
You hide food, spit food out etc .
What was your lowest weight when Ana had control over you?
4 stone, however it's important I believe that anorexia and other eds are taken seriously no matter what weight you are, they can kill.
When your secret with Ana was finally exposed how was it dealt with?
I was dragged to the school nurse by a friend (school friends knew) and the nurse told me she thinks I have anorexia and I would be referred to camhs.
I was then told either I would tell my mum or she would and so I wrote a letter to read to her.
It was tough at first but my family are very close so we all just clubbed together to try and make it work with appointments and things, unfortunately the illness would go on for a long time.
How did you finally unfriend Ana and move on?
Ana and me were very stuck to one another.
My boyfriend and PixieBelle both came into my life around the same time and I just started to drift away from her although she still screamed 24/7, then I had my appendix removed and after anaesthetic ana was gone for a week!!!
Anyway during my recovery I think I had to fully accept I didn't want her before my brain could fight and so eventually she became quieter.
Ana has been gone properly now for 3 months.
Please tell me about PixieBelle and how she helped you?
PixieBelle is my world.
Mum said she'd give me £1 per lb and I could get a kitten.
I decided she would be called pixie as the word "fat" terrified me so we called it pixie dust (Peter pan was my favourite Disney film as a kid, I loved tinkerbell) anyway I looked for ages then I saw her online and I had to have her !!!!
Pixie was named PixieBelle as I loved tinkerbell and Belle from beauty and the beast.
PixieBelle helped me to care for something as well as myself, she needed me and in order for me to be there for her I had to nutrition myself.
If you could give advice to other males and females who have befriended Ana what would you say?
It's a lie.
Everything she says.
I had ana in my life for 11 years and when she left it was the best time of my life. She will make you feel small and eventually you become anorexia like you are trapped in a corner of your mind whilst ana is in charge.
Don't wait to be "thin enough" because to anorexia you will never be thin enough, she will always want more.
She won't be happy until you're 6 feet under.
You deserve help and health so fight because trust me it's easier to fight than to wait until it's your only option.
Personally I think the dangers of eating disorders should be taught in schools, if that were the case, would you ever offer to discuss Ana with others?
Anorexia needs to be stopped and unfortunately that means educating the truths behind it not the media and societal representation of it.