Fuck pro-ana sites. Fuck this mentality that starving is some gift of strength. Fuck thinspo veiled as fitspo. Fuck fat shaming. Fuck society’s standards for brainwashing you to think thin is power. Success. Pure. Perfection. Happiness. Fuck all of it. Ana and Mia are just another pair of fucking two-faced bitches who pretend to be your friend and then stab you in the back. Having an eating disorder is not some badge of honor. It’s a disease.
But if you really want to know the truth, starving isn’t the hard part. No, that’s the easy part compared to everything else that will follow. But you know what? I’m too tired and disheartened tonight to address the hell myself and others have been through so I’m going to let Lucy Howard-Taylor take it from here.
“If you want to be anorexic, this is what you have to be prepared for: the stomach pain, the heart flutters, the blackness, the uncomfortable nights because every way you turn your bones stick into the bed, the constant accusing and pathetically pitiful stares, the crying, the friends who abandon you, your school marks which plummet, a brain that does nothing but think food, food, food, being kept awake every night planning what you’ll eat the next day and then not going to sleep because you are so hungry, the nightmares about gorging yourself on food from which you wake up crying, the handfuls of hair that come out and cover everything, the blue and lumpy fingernails, the unhealable bruises, the goose bumps, the cold, the absolute obsession with cooking and feeding other people, the self-hate, the loneliness, clothes that will never fit no matter what size, the constipation, the awful depression when you’ve finished your tiny breakfast and realized there are four hours to go until lunch…You will stop talking, listening to music, seeing your friends, patting your dog, planning your life, dreaming, doing work, feeling happy, going on the Internet, reading, watching TV (except for the cooking channel)…you will stop living. You will find no pleasure in anything. You will be moody. You will never laugh and you will rarely smile, except with pride, perhaps, as the scales drop lower. Then will come the continuous doctors’ appointments and the ultimatum: put on weight or drop out of school and be an invalid for the rest of your life before you eventually die of starvation and/or heart failure. It will be torturous. The antidepressants will feel like they are killing you. You will lie in bed for days unable to move. You will not care about anything but holding on to the anorexia. You would prefer to die. You will try to die. Then the re-feeding (horrible, horrible word) will begin. You will panic whenever you have food in your mouth. The anorexia will shriek at you to get it out, to spit it down the drain, scrape it from your teeth and walk around the block for good measure. You will hate yourself with such a passion that you will want to rip the fat off, shred it and tear it, cause yourself as much pain as possible. Then you will realize that you cannot kill yourself now because you wouldn’t be thin enough in the coffin. People would walk past and murmur, “Oh! Wasn’t she fat!” It will fail to register that you are still severely anorexic at this point and will be for some time. Sometimes you will see yourself in the mirror and briefly gasp with horror at the sight of your own bones. And then truth will melt into delusion, and your thighs will spring back and your stomach will bulge over rippled ribs and you will feel horribly normal once more. You will be scared to go outside just in case your utter grossness is spotted by someone else. God forbid they should see those arms or that face. You will feel like a nobody, a worthless nonperson who deserves nothing, has nothing, is nothing. The depression may swallow you in its blackness. You will withdraw from everything. You will spend hour after hour lying motionless on your bed, suffocating under a black cloud, hating yourself with a sheer intensity incomprehensible to those on the outside, willing yourself to get up and burn off that sordid food you were forced to eat. But you will be too tired. You will not be able to physically raise your head…Months will melt away into nothing.”
I survived. There’s your goddamn willpower.