Friday, October 28, 2011

Thanks for the love, my friends. Your courage, honesty, and encouragement are inspiration to my life.

I've only read thru maybe the first 100 or so comments from the 1300 that have to be reviewed and either posted or deleted. As a reminder, I don't publish any links, and I don't publish any hate, so don't waste your time. But one hate comment caught my attention. It's nothing new, just another someone spouting about "why would you do this to yourself?" and "get a life." To this person (and all who think like you) I would like to encourage you to continue reading my blog, or better yet, reading it from the beginning. This is not the "life" of someone who really "wants to be this way." This is the result of endless pressure from media images, from work, and most acutely, from a deep-rooted mental imbalance which does not allow me to love and accept myself the way I should. For every image I get of someone saying, "You are perfect just the way you are!" there are at least 100 images saying, "You are not good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, and you'll never achieve success in your present state of being." Please understand, dear reader, that eating disorders are not always the "choice" of the affected person. Try to show some love and understanding. Keep reading.

Case in point, I've recently been contacted by a production company for whom I have worked many times before, but not long enough that they know about my long, tumultuous history of disordered eating. Their exact words to my agent were, "We want to shoot her in a month, so tell her to go ahead and start losing weight now." No inquiries about what I currently weigh or look like, even though they haven't seen me in almost a year. Just the straight-up assumption that no matter what I am, I AM NOT THIN ENOUGH, and something must be done about that.

Luckily, my agent is slightly more understanding and gentle about it. But sure enough, it has been quite the trigger. I've immediately (and without much thought) begun to severely restrict, and dropped five pounds in as many days. Ugh. And in my mind, the familiar battle begins to rage again... I've been "in recovery" for nearly three years now, I think. But what is "recovery" really? Just a state of limbo where I am not fully immersed in my eating disorder, but still not completely normal either? Am I just beyond the threshold, poised to step over it the moment an opportunity is offered? Am I not truly *anorexic* until I am under the *safe weight* zone??

And what am I supposed to do now? Since they demanded that I should lose weight without having seen what I currently look like, I'm not entirely sure what they are expecting to see when I do arrive. If I stay here in my "safe zone" and continue the therapeutic "I am alright as I am" mantra, will they be angry that I am not what they have expected, and will I lose my job? Or do I dive headlong into the system I know so well, give them the results they could not possibly be disappointed with, and potentially get lost again in that cesspool of darkness that is my world of disordered eating?

Why is there no in-between? What is normal? Why can't I just feel and be that way?

43 comments:

Honor Regzig said...

So glad you're around. You're an inspiration to me...I hope you're not offended that I named myself after you. I meant to honor you, give some idea how strong you seem to me. You've lived with this illness for so long, and I do want to live. I'm in awe of how you talked about your faith in earlier posts. You seem so strong even when you stumble.

I am doing what little I can think of to push for designers and the fashion industry to be kinder to models. (Even tho I want to be thin too)
I place all the blame on the industry and you're just doing what you have to to keep your job. Industry shouldn't demand such skinny models.
So glad you're still around!

Honor Regzig said...

All that and I forgot my reply to your entry...
I actually think of anorexia as a cross between an addiction and a cancer now. It's just what makes sense to me. Because I think what we really do "in recovery" is really go into a New Normal. Relapses are likely and if the poor girl is told "you recovered" and then falls back she's only going to feel like a failure at being recovered. No-win scenario.
Especially when said girl is being told point blank by employers to lose weight even tho employers haven't seen her!
Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Please keep writing.

PerfectingMyEmptiness said...

normal...this notion is extremely subjective.

Ophelia said...

I love you, you know, for being the woman, the blog, the words, which inspired me to and helped me to find my own voice too.

I am exactly where you are, in the centre of a world where my looks mean everything and I haven't got a choice but to be within the grips of my ED.

There is no in-between and no normal. Because people like us are not in-between and normal. We believe in and work towards the extreme - the best.

Anonymous said...

I understand partly how you feel. I have the sad issues of binge eating. I'm seriously overweight but I feel powerless to fix my problem. I managed to lose 100lbs a few years ago but put it all back on within a year. Now I feel resigned to myself but I still hate myself for being so weak but on the other hand, food is my comfort. I totally understand the feeling of power you feel when you with hold food from yourself. I felt it when I was dieting and it felt amazing. I hope you find your peace. I hope that for all of us who are controlled by food in one way or another. xxx

LaLy said...

I'm glad to see that you are back. I started reading your blog from the beginning when you had already gone on hiatus.

Those production company dudes are idiots! Whatever you choose I will support you and wish you the best (:

We're All Mad Here said...

I am so glad you are back, I hope all is well, I do hope you post I've read your whole blog about 5 times You are such a great writer and there's a lot of us who took inspiration and hope from you, so I really really really hope you're back Ana. Much Love x

Anonymous said...

Ana you don't know how happy I am to see that you have posted again, I thought you would never come back. I used to religiously read through your posts last spring but when i got to the end you never posted again until april. please come back I miss you.

artiste affamé said...

They haven't even seen you. I can guarantee you're plenty thin enough for any part you could want, as I know that once anorexia has taken place, it's part of you to not let yourself get over a certain size or weight. There's always that constant reign of control. Seriously, try to avoid letting yourself fall in it deep again. Recovery may only just be a stasis of what was, but don't let such a vague comment from someone that doesn't even know what you look like get to you that far. I know it's hard, but you've come so far already. Turning back would not allow you progress.

Stay strong, nonetheless.

InvisibleDisorderedOne said...

Stay healthy. Please. Since they haven't seen you they don't fucking know shit. So stay healthy and just work on toning up because that makes one appear slimmer while they are actually very healthy.

emma said...

I feel this. I wonder if I will ever live a day without of fear of food and what it will do to my body. Without considering skipping meals and wondering how long I can go before I feel faint from not eating. I yearn to be thin and fragile and I know this is wrong and I don't want to head first down the that spiral with no end... for me it is bulimia and I wonder if I will ever be content...

Anonymous said...

i love seeing you back on here again. you are my inspiration. my strength. i look forward to seeing more of your posts hun.
love.

G said...

Dear Lord, you're back, I've missed you. I hope you're dealing, what else can I wish upon you really? "recovery" hasn't succeeded, when are you most happy? I have been checking your blog periodically waiting for an update, a video, anything. What a shock, please don't leave me again.

Anonymous said...

i really admire your honesty and your my role model about standing up for myself and being honest. I've been following your blog for a while and i never really understood what you meant until I got a part in a movie - nothing is ever good enough for them but remember that there are people out there who admire you and want to be like you. x x x x

Peridot (G+P) said...

I have come to understand that 'normal' is a perfect myth that does not actually exist. The best we can hope for is aiming for health and telling people who call us weirdos for doing so to fuck off.

I really want to kick your potential bosses in the kidneys. Hard. I shall settle for hoping their brakes fail -.-

Paix D'esprit said...

Oh dear...the "normal" conundrum...I think "normal" should be next on the list of swear words. Don't even go there, my love, it's not worth it. There is no such thing. There is only your personal feeling of contentment. That's where you need to try and get (easier said than done, and I totally understand the pressure of work and necessity of a job outweighing inner peace) because only then will the triggers stop being connected to loaded guns.

You catch my drift?

Anyways, I'm very glad to see you around again - you were my very first blog way back when I was an anonymous reader in cyberspace and now I'm a blogger too, thanks to your inspiration. I can't thank you enough for letting me know I was not and am not alone in this crazy journey/spiral of doom, and I do hope you continue to be present here in the blogosphere.

Much love and good luck,
Paix D'esprit

Mechicabota said...

Wow.
Girl, I've finished reading the entire blog yesterday. I'm not Ana, nor wannarexic. I got here looking for ways to calm my hunger without eating too much (I'm trying to lose weight the healthy way and I don't want to mess it up by eating between meals!).
Even though I've learned a few tips from here (drinking a lot of water, cleaning a lot, eating frozen grapes), I've found a lot more. I couldn't stop reading about your life. It's such a complex disease, and I didn't know it! But it's so much more, the way you live with it, hide it from others, count every single calorie, work out, work out, work out.
I don't know what to say. You left me speechless. I don't agree with your life style, but I've read an amazing story and I will continue reading it.
I wish you happiness and good luck.

Greetings from Argentina.

Moon said...

So many of us share this life long battle, but so few of us can find our voice. Thank you so much for lending yours up. I wish you the best, always <3

Anonymous said...

I only found your blog around 6 months ago and devoured (pardon the pun) every entry, reading through during slow times at work. I found I could not get your words out of my head and would often return here to re-read what you had written previously.
I found myself briefly musing about who you might be, but eventually that curiousity disappeared and when the entries seemingly ceased, I found myself more curious about where you had got to and if you were okay.
And now? A new entry and once again a whole sense of community and at the risk of using an awful phrase 'sisterhood' - I am not the only person who feels the way I do.
Thank you...

drink me. said...

I read your whole blog from the beginning when I found it. I routinely check to see if you're back(alive). I'm glad you are.

tru_self said...

Anorexic is a state of mind, you will never truly recover. I wouldn't, as an actress as well, ever take a job if the casting agents demanded weight loss. it just shows that they are more focused on your body image than your acting ability and that they don't appreciate you for your talent. perhaps trying to find a job where they accept you for your ability not your size.

shakeyourhair said...

i can't believe you are back! i thought you would never be.. i'm so glad, i feel like excited! please post regularly, i had found your blogspot some months ago and have read all of your posts. i hope you'll continue posting everyday! or as often as you can and will

Anonymous said...

Dear Ana,
Glad to see you writing again. I hope you do what YOU want to do, not the production company. That was just too much reading that. They don't even know how much you wiegh, but 'know' you need to lose! UGh

Best wishes to you and your choices. Keep writing either way as I love to read your blog.

Anonymous said...

you are fabulously interesting, your style of writing is a pleasure to read, and I am basically giddy that you've started to update your blog again :]

idenisssa said...

Hello,

I am so glad you came back on your blog. I can't wait to read every day what you write, everything you say is so inspiring.

xoxo!

Anonymous said...

There's no such thing as normal in this world. Right now, obesity is the norm for a lot of people in America. But for me and many others, ana is the only "normal" we know. Then you have what society thinks normal. Defining normal isn't possible, it's unique to everyone which is good - diversity & such. I hope you find your normal. I wouldn't encourage you to plunge back into your ana ways - only because that's not something for me to decide. I certainly wouldn't want a stranger b*tching at me to change my ways. I know, from my experiences at least, that once you go down the road of anorexia once - that's it. You're forever an anorexic. Just like alcoholics in a way, even when you stop drinking & you've been sober for however long - you're still an alcoholic, the thirst never goes away. I know I haven't really offered any advice or encouragement here but I wish you all the best. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

That's the nature of the world, it seems. It's unheard of that someone could possibly be comfortable in their own skin.

When I have coworkers ask me how I lost weight so quickly - I've gone from 216 to 131 lbs in a little over a year - they always joke that I must be doing cocaine and/or have an eating disorder. But always with a note of positivity - "well, if that's what it takes, who cares what kind of mental hell you put yourself through". If only they knew.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Just read your blog and I feel your pain and situation. This is the first time I have been on a blog of this nature, but I can say that I to feel what you feel. I struggled with a eating disorder in high school for about 4 years. I, by some miracle, got over it myself, yes myself. No rehab, no therapy and I have not relapsed. I am 25 now and sometimes I feel that I am too fat to even qualify to wear clothes let alone skinny jeans, but when I look in the mirror and see the woman who was strong enough to get over anorexia on her own, i feel liberated and that keeps me going.

You are normal, very normal and what you feel is normal. I beleive that you are thin, you are beautiful, you are good enough. Yes, I have never seen or met you, but I know this because that is what I now think about myself regardless of what others say, think or feel. Stay strong and know that even when you feel at your most worthless, someone out there has felt the exact same way and managed to overcome it and believes that you will and can too. xx

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you posting again- I was starting to worry!

Is this particular job worth the risk?

Canary said...

This is the most human post I've read from you yet... best of luck with your struggle. I can see you FULLY understand the implications of your disease, but, I hope that, eventually, you can reach a point where you believe these implications actually matter.. if even temporarily. As anyone who has suffered with this disease knows, though, it is often MUCH more comforting to be entangled in something a part of you still knows is wrong, than to be left all alone with nothing. Even if you know one of the lifestyles you covet most will undoubtedly destroy you. But, of course, that doesn't even matter when you're too far gone. That being said, I REALLY enjoyed the contemplative nature of this entry, as well as you anaylzing the disease from a slightly less emotional/neurotic and more logical point of view. Not nearly as caustic sounding as past entries. I am so glad your still alive.

Bones said...

I'm not going to lie and say I'm not glad to have you back writing, when I first found your blog I read it from start to finish - almost obsessively - and it inspired me to write my own. But know that I'm sorry to hear that your disorder is beckoning again, I know it's tough to try and cling to the 'knowledge' that you're fine as you are, that you're normal - but as someone who has also been trying recovery for the past year and a half I also know that the darkness is seductive and familiar.
Say strong, yeah? Whatever that ends up meaning for you. Love and support :)

Anonymous said...

To bring a little bit of peace, perhaps, to you or anyone else reading, I'll leave this commentary.

Fitness models or competitors for instance do not stay extremely lean all year 'round. They usually (and it is expected and normal) take time out to prepare for a show or a competition to get down to their leanest. The production guys maybe had this sort of alternate concept in their heads....

Now the above may seem a little off from the subject at hand but I would say it fits right in here.

But also, the production guy/company/whatever were probably being scatterbrained f*cks and trying to limit their time on the phone with your agent, as to skip out "well how much does she weigh now? oh that's great OK". They are either on cocaine or some other stimulants to make them short and concise--basically assholes. Their thinking processes didn't think about the psychological complications of such a comment. And they're probably so desensitized by the issue of weight and film production that they have an auto-response to it.

Elle

jewel said...

I know exactly how you feel. I started auditioning for short films in my area again this year and the first thing they told me was that I needed to lose weight. Even after dropping ten pounds in one month, I still only hear, "thinner", "thinner", "thinner".
I have read your blog for about a year now and I can't tell you how much I connect with you. I've had disordered eating since I was 13 and I'm 19 now and still struggling to love myself. Media and pressure from the business doesn't make it any easier either.
Be strong for us and we'll be strong for you, Ana.

Anonymous said...

Ana, I´m so happy you are back! I find your writing very fascinating and I missed you :)
But please stay healthy. Stay strong and don´t let this job trigger you.
Good luck to you :)

Anonymous said...

Your writings are brilliant, but i wish i didnt think so. I know the limbo you've spoken of too well. Which way have you decided? I know i cant just let go and indulge in fasting, but its so exhausting trying to pretend to be happy with myself, with eating. I'm sorry for rambling. I just need to talk to someone. I feel so alone and everyone thinks ive been 'over' it for the last 2 years. I hope you're well. I hope i have the strength to make the choice.

Holly said...

i cant believe you're back!! i actually never thought i'd see the day - im so happy- not that you are on the "downward slide" of course, but that you're in contact... your blog was the first of it's kind that i have ever read... i read it start to finish and checked it regularly and then you left after a while... i am just happy you know because i couldnt even have been sure if you were still alive or any of that- im glad :)
xxx

Olivia Lee said...

Yours was the first eating disordered blog I ever read one year ago, and I'm ashamed to admit that I've since been blogging in the disordered community. The restricting started earlier, followed by binging, purging, laxatives, restricting, and self hate. In April I decided to change, and I'm perfectly healthy now. Physically, at least according to my doctor. I still purge sometimes, still measure my waist and weight when I can. I still blog, but there's no scale each morning. I still have so much anxiety about food. Stressful days are triggering, especially recently. I do love your blog with mixed emotions, but I hope you recover fully from this horrific life. I think maybe it's possible. We have to hope for something, right?

Kyara said...

I just wanted to say how happy I am to see that you're still around. Like many have already said, I read your blog a number of times even after you had long stopped posting and found your words so inspirational.
Personally I hate the word 'normal' as it represents something different to each of us and one person's normal might seem completely different to another's. I can't imagine how tough your career must be on you sometimes but the impression I have of you is that you are a very strong and determined person and I hope that you can see this in yourself too. It's so lovely to see you posting again. I wish you all the best and look forward to reading more from you soon.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how excited I was to see you post again. This blog is stunning. It helped me realize that I'm not alone. Someone else -many others- know what it means to never ever ever feel good enough. Keep writing lovely- your words feed a hunger so much more potent than that of food can ever be.

elegantdestruction said...

I totally understand that. I am sometimes on that brink where people think I've very thin but it never feels enough. And I'm not technically underweight most of the time...but I have a deep-rooted fear of gaining weight. People should not go to someone's blog and write comments to judge. Why are they even reading it if they feel that way? Anorexia and eating disorders in general are not just about the weight. They are about so much more..it's about control, it's about perfection, maybe self-loathing, maybe chemical. No person except for the person it's happening to can understand exactly the reasons behind it. And I agree...it is not a "choice" to be that way. Sometimes because I am the way I am, I can see my destructive behavior and I do choose it...but I don't choose the way I have and always have felt.

Nadia said...

Everything you said is completely true... and I'm glad you had the decency to reply without hate of your own. Especially when some people can speak without thinking. I hope your words did open some eyes. But if it doesn't, just know that those people are ignorant, and lost in there own lies. I wish they could be as self aware as you are. Don't give up, and well, just do the best you can. Really there is nothing more we can do. (writing from someone that doesn't have an eating disorder, but has true understanding of those suffering with one... everyday I have to work at not falling into the cracks, and bingeing, or purging. I even heard my mind say last week, god if I could throw up, i'd be sooooo lucky" ... since i have a phobia about throwing up. I see that phobia as a bad thing, because it keeps me from throwing up, and losing weight. So we aren't perfect, even those of us who don't have a disorder with food, have issues... have demons.)

alakazoola said...

i find this entry so, so down to earth. I find your writing a refreshing expression of the constant weight related chitter chatter a woman goes through each day because the world is ambigous and often non sensical.Half of our days are spent battling with our internal dialouges which is challenging enough without having to worry what the rest of the world thinks!
Keep writing .....