So someone just posted what’s probably the longest reply ever posted in the brief history of my Livejournal.
Strange thing is, it’s for an entry I wrote back in March. It was about the pro-anorexia or pro-ana movement, and – as the reply below explains – a member of one of the pro-ana LJ communities found the entry and posted a link to it. Several dozen of their readers went to check it out, but only one replied. I think she intended for you guys to read it as well; but since nobody besides the CIA and Jessica Alba reads my old entries, I posted her interesting, and thoughtful, reply below.
am i going to totally open myself up to public humiliation here? [caffeineguy: “Hell yes.”] *sigh* well, let me give it a try. i'll see if i can explain a little bit here...
first off, this journal is linked to from ana_bella, but apparently people there just wanted to look at this entry and tsk tsk it instead of responding. you guys seem open-minded but misinformed... but since you don't have eating disorders yourselves, that's to be expected and you're not necessarily at fault for that.
here's a summary that might help:
yes, it starts as a diet. we ALL diet at some point (even trying to gain weight, as some of you have said you do, is a form of dieting-- we just tend to associate 'diet' in our society with 'weight loss,' but really it's just a change in dietary intake to create some change in body weight) and most diets start out fairly innocent, for what they are.
except then, some people don't stop dieting. and there are a million highly debated reasons for this, but generally it's said (and i believe it's true, at least in my case) that it's prompted by some sort of emotional brain-circuitry problem which leads to the association of food as some sort of enemy, fake best friend, both, or simply just something to obsess over.
i know i personally have a 'MUST VOMIT NOW' response to any sort of anxiety or distress that i face, because of my eating disordered behavior, and i tend to think in terms of calories (going to the store, picking out something for lunch, and measuring it against something else in calories instead of price, or in grams of sugar, etc) constantly determining different women's pants sizes, weights, body mass indexes, and counting every single calorie that i eat because i need to know EXACTLY what goes into my body.
if i miscount, or forget, or go over my limit for the day, well, then everything is ruined and the world falls apart. yes, i know it's stupid. basically i feel like an alcoholic. this is 100% completely an addiction, and it's scary, and all we want is to know that if, for right now, we are trapped and can't get out, at least thank god there is SOMEONE ELSE OUT THERE who knows.
because you can't tell people, not friends, not family, hell no. they'll do something evil like try and fix you before you're ready... so we have communities. and as awful as they look to other people, sometimes they can be a good thing. it's hard to explain unless you're there...
i used to feel exactly how you guys do. anyways. just know that we hurt a lot and we need each other... and we're not trying to make the rest of the world sick, we're just trying to pretend we can feel better. at least, i can speak for myself on that one.
geez, that was long. sorry. hope that was useful or something and not just a waste of time :\