I’ll quit purging as soon as I stop bingeing.
Bingeing is my real problem.
I would never purge if I didn’t binge.
If you’ve caught yourself thinking like that, you’ve fallen for another ED lie designed to keep you trapped in the b/p cycle for the rest of your life.
When you purge after a binge, you allow the binge. If you had a child who tore apart his room every day, knocking over his bookshelves and shaking out his clothes drawers, but you came in every night and cleaned it up for him, do you think the behavior would stop? Even if you yelled at him, as long as your behavior didn’t change, neither would your child’s behavior. You have removed the consequences.
So even if you hate yourself for bingeing, if you “remove” the consequences by purging, you will never stop. What you have to do – and this may be the scariest thing you do in your entire life – is stop purging after bingeing. You have to hold yourself to your behavior. You can’t give yourself a way out. You have to feel the binge all the way through – what it does to your body, how it hurts, how it makes you feel the next day. That is the only way you will stop. And you know you need to stop.
You will feel bloated. You will feel fat. You will feel thirsty. You will feel angry, depressed, and betrayed. You will have a food hangover. It will suck.
But you will have victoriously defeated another recovery roadblock, and you will be that much closer to a big, fat, juicy life.
I exist. I exist in the world of buttered toast, home-brewed coffee, blustery sundays, and flamenco music. I exist and take up space, I influence and am influenced by a universe of gravity and rainstorms and people; I exist and make noise, my breath rushing in and out of my body, my footsteps hitting concrete sidewalks.
First I was not, now i am, sung into being by the great I Am, sung into an earth of cinnamon and tamarinds and circuses. This birth is my greatest gift, because through this sudden burst of senses, I have tumbled into awareness that He exists.
He exists. The moment His earth-song began, He sparked a yearning for New Years celebrations with dragons and fireworks, for from the beginning we have felt the value of beginnings, and for funerals with long caravans of numb traffic, for from the beginning we have felt the wrongness of endings. He has written His holy law on our hearts. He has written of His beauty in the skies. He has touched our hands and faces by wearing hands and a face Himself. This is all we know of Him, this wild earth, this Great Story unfolding through the ages, this Great Conversation spoken through history, but it is enough that we can have no excuse. He exists. He is here. He is.
This is my heartbeat, Sylvia Plath, a heartbeat that joins the song of the ages. He is. He is. He is.
Most people who are addicted to the world of pro-ana and pro-mia aren’t there because they believe eating disorders are lifestyles. They’re there because they’re hungry for understanding, for community, and for someone to make them believe that they aren’t crazy.
But there comes a point when we realize that pro-ana isn’t giving us what we came for. At that point, we’re so stuck in the world that it seems impossible to pull out.
Here’s five choices that helped me quit ana:
- Quit thinspo. Thinspiration is ana porn, leading you to objectify people, searching strangers for butterfly collarbones, and to have unrealistic expectations for yourself.
- Delete. Delete all documents, secret pinterest boards, blogs, tumblrs, memberships, and email accounts associated with your pro ana network. Unfollow pro ana blogs, bid adieu to ana buddies. Keep nothing.
- Resist the urge to lurk. Surfing the pro ana world without participating still affects you. Notice how you feel after wading through ana/mia propaganda for an hour. Empowered? Encouraged? Probably not.
- Distinguish fake love from real love. “Stay strong, lovelies” is the song of the day, and you do feel a sort of love for fellow ana and mias, but it is a selfish love. We are promoting potentially fatal choices. That’s not love. It’s a fondling hatred.
- Fight the fantasy. Transformation is the pro ana’s god, but if you visit the community again after five years, everyone will still be wrestling the same demons. Nobody will have transformed into a skeletal angel. There is no transformation, there is only an eternity of ABC diet challenges and reblogged waifs. And that’s no way to live.
I wish you the best for your fight.
Have you fallen for some pro-ana myths? Find out here: Pro Ana: Mythbusting Questions.
I’m not pro-ana or pro-mia, but I used to be. Here are some answers to questions that I’ve heard bouncing around recoveryland.
- Does anyone who calls herself pro-ana or pro-mia have a real eating disorder? Many people involved with the pro-ED community are just searching for companionship in a disorder they aren’t willing to give up yet.
- Then why do pro-EDs call eating disorders a “lifestyle?” Personally, when I was involved with the community, it was comforting to believe that bulimia was an easy choice like vegetarianism or minimalism. I was already the queen of self-deception – “It’s not exactly lying to throw my pancakes under my little brothers’ chairs” and “stealing food doesn’t count if I purge it” – swallowing that lie was easy.
- But aren’t there fakers that think anorexia is a diet? Of course. But how long do you think someone would last on an anorexic diet without either a) becoming anorexic or b) eating a pizza and moving on with their lives? (I wish recovery worked like that). Also, many “fakers” are just people trying to switch disorders, often Binge Eating Disorder for anorexia. They say they’ve already got the hell, so why not the body?
- So are you saying we should allow pro ana and pro mia? No! Pro ana is wrong. It encourages people, often very young girls, to starve themselves to death or commit suicide trying. All I’m asking you to do is to soften your eyes when you look toward the world of ana/mia.
Above all, be compassionate. Look at the people, not just the problem.
Any more questions? Just ask!
Are you stuck in the world of pro ana or pro mia? Check out How to Quit Pro Ana or talk to me.
God has invited me on a different adventure than the American Dream. His hand is warm around mine, tugging me free from the Games of life. I get to follow Him into unfathomable uncharted waters, unprotected by the structure of college or even a career, I am free, I am young, I am an eternal soul cherished by my Creator. Success glitters like forbidden fruit among the trees, as sweet as apricots, as heady as wine, but success is worthless. All the Great Things in the world are useless without my beautiful wild fearsome compassionate Jesus.
I am willing to be His fool. To do the most useless, career-wreaking, silly things just to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. To be the nutcase dancing to music no one else can hear.
Today a friend was trying to remember a word for “one that doesn’t match” (english is his second language), and he stumbled upon the phrase, “the outrageous child.” In lemons, apples, and moonlight, moonlight is the outrageous child.
Maybe I was called to be an outrageous child.
And maybe that is beautiful.
Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid.
– 1 Cor. 3:18-20