Here are some of my ramblings inspired by the ramblings of Ednose :P (on one of the support sites I use).
Pro-ana is a very complicated concept. (I am going to receive a beating from the eating disorder for saying the following, but it needs to be said).
An eating disorder is so clever that in order to escape in any way, we need to be one step ahead and trick the tricker. You can't fight it head on; if I go to therapy it realises exactly what's going on and fights back harder. You need to trick it into a false sense of security then sneak up behind its back. What better way to do so than to type 'pro-ana' into the internet, meaning 'pro-destruction'. This is what I did to find PT. The ED thought it was great, at first. The outside package of 'PRETTY THIN - pictures of skinny girls, skeletons, silly teenage girls saying 'keep strong, don't eat'' - this package that society falls for (therefore labelling the site as horrific) the eating disorder also fell for, as ED loves horrific. It settled itself in, but before long it started to get a bit concerned at how much I was talking on there and giving away - how honest I was being about my illness for the first time in my life, because noone was judging me any more - people understood. The ED started to realise that something was very wrong and that this wasn't a pro-destruction site at all - those 'ana is a goddess' members floating around on the surface were all a trap to trick the ED into letting me join the site. The eating disorder was enraged to find that the members who stuck around long-term were there to help ME, not it. But it was too late to go back, because all those emails I received and conversations I had, containing long and carefully thought out messages of genuine support, from strangers who did not need to give me the time of day, but did; made me trust the community just as much as I trusted the eating disorder. I had never trusted anyone as much as the ED before I typed in 'pro ana'. I know that to conquer the ED I need to trust something more than it, ideally put all my trust into my true self. But for now trust in others who sincerely understand has brought me a long way in coming to terms with who I am, what my disorder is and how I can continue to make steps to live my life the best way I can despite it.
I maintain that we were right to keep the term 'pro ana' in our site address, because I suspect I'm not the only one who was only permitted to join a support site because the words pro-ana pretended to welcome my eating disorder and destructive nature. It didn't realise that there is a difference between 'welcome' and 'acceptance'.
It is controversial, but perhaps the magic of that term is reliant on the negative definition of the term, rather than the positive one? Maybe it would actually be a big mistake to change the definition into completely positive, because then... would a mind so severely chained down by the ED mindset really be able to search for support to help themselves, rather than entering support through the back-door illusion of Ed's best friend 'Pro-kill ourselves -ana'?
Pro-ana appears to provide a way of denying to ourselves that we are seeking help > in denying it to ourselves we are preventing the ED from catching on, in order to prevent the ED digging its heels in and screaming until we reject the support. Secretly we are calmly receiving support behind its back x
- Durham, County Durham, United Kingdom
- (November 2010) > I am taking a year (or two) out of university to recover from an eating disorder; originally diagnosed as restricting anorexia 7 years ago, but has more recently morphed into BN non-purgeing type/ BED/ COE/ EDNOS / whatever you want to call it. I thought I would write a blog to give me a kind of project to work on, mainly giving an insight into the Eating Disorders books that I have read and any interesting articles/videos I find. However, there may be some updates on my life and thoughts once in a while. My quest is to understand these disorders, although I know the best I can do is to keep on researching xxx Update (2012): I have now returned to uni.
Pictures (not mine)
Tattoo one taken from: