Christi Begnell’s illustrations about her eating disorder have taken the internet by storm. After spending four years dealing with eating disorders, Begnell compiled her illustrations in a book called Me and My ED.
Begnell first started noticing signs of an eating disorder after a difficult breakup. She started dieting after gaining weight after the incident, but it very quickly became obsessive, she told Buzzfeed.
She refers to her anorexic personality as Anna, and was inspired by pro-anorexia forums where users call their eating disorders Ana.
“In the depths of my illness, it was difficult to know who was speaking because I had become so intertwined with Anna, but once in recovery, I was able to start asking, “Is this me or Anna talking?” she writes in her book.
The book shows how difficult it is to live ‘with a demon in your mind’.
Once Begnell realised she had a problem, she started seeing a therapist, and even started writing in a journal. But her condition worsened, and she admitted herself into a public hospital as someone with suicidal thoughts.
However, she did not have a good experience as a lot of the medical staff dismissed her. Soon, her writing turned into drawings.
She used it as a way to separate her healthy self from her disordered self, she told Huffington Post. In fact, many people personify their eating disorders, she says.
“Ana would promise me things that I needed at the time, if I followed her rules,” she explained. “For example, I would be loved and cared for if I lost a certain amount of kilos. As my illness went on and I became more and more unwell, I became very enmeshed with Ana and I lost a lot of my values.”
Begnell is recovering, but says that she still feels Ana around. She hopes to educate people through her drawings.
Take a look at some of her drawings below: