pro ana/mia buddy… intriguing…

Lately, I’ve been exploring the idea of a pro ana/mia buddy. Someone I can actually talk to about my shit. And I think I’ve found that person. Meg (last name unknown) seems amazing. She’s had an eating disorder for almost ten years, so she definitely knows what she’s talking about! We can relate on so many levels, she’s shared so many of the same experiences as I have.

A pro ana/mia buddy is a chance for me to have someone to write to other then this blog. I can share things with her that I can’t even share on here. I barely know her, yet we know more about each other then our friends (in my case, anyway). Like me she self-harms, has been suicidal, loves yet hates her eating disorder, has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, has been hospitalized a few times, is a vegetarian (vegan, to be specific- awesome, huh?), loves the Harry Potter series, loves the show Dexter, loves animals and struggles with binge eating and an overbearing mum.

We’ve emailed back and forth, getting to know each other, and I think she’s going to be the perfect ‘buddy’. This is what she wrote in her reply to my original post on a pro ana/mia site looking for a buddy:

Hey Hayley – I assume your name is Hayley anyway because of your email? haha oh well. I might be a little too old for you but I don’t mind – I’ve just turned 18 (2 months) and I am also looking for a ED buddy. I don’t need motivation so much as I need a friend who understand what it’s like to have an eating disorder. I just feel so lonely. I’m a super good motivator though so I can help YOU with that 🙂 

But seriously i am sooooo lonely and it’s getting to me so much at the moment. It’s making my binging and purging worse because I feel so empty and hollow inside and I want to stuff myself with food to cure that hollowness. 

I would be so grateful if we could help each other out. 

She’s perfect.

Friends

Advertisements

Parental Intervention

Well, Margie’s parents have discovered her strange eating habits and have staged an intervention. At a doctor’s appointment, her GP was suspicious of her appearance and decided to weigh her. The outcome? 49 kilos. That’s a BMI of 15.3. A normal BMI is 18.5–24.9, and anything under 18.5 is considered underweight. 

Margie is super pissed, for sure! Her mum (I’m going to use the name Kelly) is suddenly watching her every meal and Margie’s been given four weeks to get back up to 55kg, minimum. 

I remember when my mum first found out and started an intervention. I threw the food she tried serving me onto the floor and stomped on it, I screamed, I physically wrestled my way past my parents back up to my room, I literally jammed myself under the bird-cage so she and dad couldn’t drag me out back to the table. 

Was it traumatic? Yes. Did it work? Hell no! Sure, at the time I put on a little weight, but then I didn’t eat for five days (just sat at the table, eyes closed for five very long days) and I was re-admitted to hospital.

They try their best, but in my experience the eating disorder beats the parents. Sure, we might put weight on, we might start seeming normal again, but underneath the eating disorder is just waiting, biding its time, acting like a ticking bomb.

Image

Letter from a Journalist

I recieved an email the other day from a lady investigating Pro ana/mia sites, and I thought I’d share my response here.

This was the email she sent me:

My name is Katie King. I am a journalist for the Western Herald at Western Michigan University. I am writing an article on the pro mia/pro ana websites/blogs. I wanted to get your side of the story. I have talked to a doctor already, but I want to get insight from you ladies. I would appreciate it very much if you could email me back as soon as you get a chance. I don’t want to write this article to make any of you look bad I just think it’s important to show all sides of the story. Hope to talk to you soon. 

And this is my reply:

 

Hi Ms. King!

 

I’d be happy to give you my side of the story 🙂

 

I’m 15, turning 16, and have had an eating disorder for around two years. I have been diagnosed with anorexia binge/purge subtype. It’s very lonely having an eating disorder, and you often wish you just had someone to talk to. Pro ana/mia sites aren’t necessarily about encouraging people to become anorexic/bulimic and to encourage them with their eating disorders. It’s about talking in a community that understands your pain and what you’re going through. It’s about talking to other people who are going through similar struggles with relationships because their eating disorder and family is clashing. Yes, you can get support from others about helping your eating disorder along, but you can also receive support in recovery on these sites.

 

I’ve found that people tend to blame pro ana/mia sites for eating disorders because they need something/someone to blame. I know that my mum blames pro ana/mia sites but I was self-induced vomiting (purging) waaaaaaaay before I found pro-ana/mia sites. What I found at the sites were tips to make purging more comfortable, but the sites also outline the risks involved. Or, at least the sites I subscribe to do.

 

I love pro ana/mia sites because people don’t feel grossed out when I say that I had to purge in a public toilet, with vomit and toilet water splashing back up into my face. They see past that, and see that I’m upset that I had to go to these measures, and they offer me comfort, alternatives and even tell me their own similar experiences.

 

I hope that in your article you write about how pro ana/mia sites aren’t all about losing weight. They’re about SUPPORT. Support in losing weight, support in gaining weight, support in recovery. Support, friendship and understanding.

 

Thanks for reading this, and once you’ve finished your article (if you haven’t already), can you email me a copy?

 

Love, Hayley

 

What do you guys think on pro ana/mia sites?

Still A Failure

Well, I’m still a failure. A month of fighting my parents to keep my weight down, to keep losing, and today I started my period. I work so hard, and I’m such a failure. God, I feel disgusting, fat, bloated, and just plain old lousy. I can’t believe that once I really, really wanted to get my period, wanted to be a woman. Now I just want to be underweight, for my body to start shutting down so there’s proof that I’m thin, even if I can’t see it.

I never saw myself as thin, even when I really, truly was. The indication that I was, was my lack of period. Purging everything I ate, and I thought I didn’t have a problem, can you believe it? Such is the nature of anorexia. It’s all denial, denial, denial. Well, fuck this. I will get thin, I don’t care what it takes.

One day I hope that I’ll actually feel thin, that I’ll actually feel I’ve accomplished something, because I’m sick of being fat, sick of not being able to see myself as others do. How did my sight become distorted? Why did my brain decide that I was covered with rolls upon rolls of disgusting fat, clinging to the beautiful bones underneath? When did I start seeing bones as beautiful, for that matter?

Why?????? Why, why, why, why, why??????

This Will Never Happen To Me…

The classic human response- we hear about something happening and think “this will never happen to me”. Not many people truly believe that they’ll get cancer, but 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85, and it is the leading cause of death in Australia. Scary odds, but people almost always think- that’s not going to happen to me.

Same with car accidents. Car accidents happen to strangers, and people on the news. The truth is, in the next 24 hours, 4,800 Australians are going to be involved in a car accident, 550 will be injured and 4 people will die. That’s 4 dead people, every 24 hours! 

This denial, I think, helps us humans cope with life. Without it, we would probably forever be terrified of what was going to happen next. 

I knew the risks when I first stuck my fingers down my throat, but I was convinced that nothing would ever happen to me. I was convinced that I would be fine. I wasn’t. I was admitted into the hospital in very real danger that I could die. 

Maybe the fact that I didn’t  die, that there were no visible long term effects, that I now think, even more then before, that I’m untouchable. Invincible. That purging and starving myself won’t kill me, won’t hurt me. 

Image

The Worst Place To Purge

Image

My least favorite place to purge is a toilet. And the worst sort? Public toilets. It’s sickening, leaning over a toilet where hundreds, if not thousands, of people have peed in and pooped in, and the loo water and vomit is splashing up onto your face, and you just feel like crying, and you wonder- is it really worth it? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

Ana comes above everything- including your dignity. So I swallow my pride, and bend over a toilet, trying to purge quietly. After, I have to wipe up the mess on the sides of the toilet bowl, and flush.

Once, at a party, the toilet wouldn’t flush, and my friend was knocking on the door asking (yelling at) me to hurry up. I was just staring, horrified, at the vomit bobbing around on the surface, and I thought- crap! This is it! Then I remembered a story on an anorexia site where a woman was in a similar situation, and I did what she did. I chucked in a ton of toilet paper, and told my friend that it wouldn’t flush.

When I say I purge in toilets, do you imagine me on my knees, bending over the toilet bowl? Well, that’s actually wrong. Any anorexic/bulimic that’s ever done any research will be able to tell you that kneeling isn’t a good position. Besides the floor been uncomfortable for your poor knees, it’s better to have your head lower then your stomach- it’s gravity, people! If you kneel it will take longer and be harder to get everything up. If you stand and bend, it comes up a lot quicker, and a lot more at once.

Another little thing that bugs me- people often imagine that it only takes one vomit to get everything up. WRONG! You might have to coax your body to purge nearly twenty times before you get everything up. I’d say, for me, it’s about five vomits minimum before I start getting all bile, no food.

Purging is a closely kept secret, because it’s so shameful. It’s hard to write about, I feel disgusting when I write about it. But as I’ve just purged in a public toilet, I thought I’d write while the memory is still fresh (and vivid).

Thanks for reading this, whoever has taken the time to!

Distorted Body Image

I know that I see a distorted body image, because that’s what the doctors say. I know they are telling the truth, because even when I was at my lowest weight, I still could see the rolls of fat, the loose folds, the bulging stomach, the marshmallow thighs.

My fingers are great big sausages, and my hands big, thick stocky hands. My cheeks are full of fat and my arms are thick and disgusting. I am gross. I am fat.

My arms look like they’re as thick as poles, my legs are huge and disgusting and I have to try and hide them.

My stomach is always bulging. Always sticking out. It is gross, and I look pregnant. When I sit down, the insides of my thighs touch, which is the end of my world.

My body is disgusting. I am disgusting. I am fat and ugly and FAT, FAT, FAT!