24 November 2011

The Pro Ana Hangover

There are some things that go round and round my head and the only way I can stop them circling is finding a reason and root of those thoughts.

I was doing some of this tornado-style (over) thinking over my lunch this afternoon - a delicious toms on toast with baby leaf salad...

The lunch that caused a whirlwind!

...and it occurred to me that some of the things I was stressing about were not necessarily what I thought about my meal, but more like sort of a 'hangover' from the way I functioned when I was active on a pro-ana site.

I don't talk about this time much and I don't want to dwell on it. It shrunk my world even more than the illness already had, it consumed my thoughts, my time and my internet browsing history. It is something I know I fell into when I was at my weakest, confusing how weak it was making me, with a sense of strength 'Ana' was getting from being on there. It was a time when I didn't want to get better, I didn't want help, I wanted to find happiness in my hunger and destructive willpower and I wanted to be the strongest, most dedicated and successful of Ana's 'friends'. (By the way, I never found it and Ana doesn't like you, she's trying to kill you...)

Now, this hangover is a bitch...

The worst hangover ever!

I used to post my 'meal plans', my plans for the day, how I was going to restrict, cut down from the day before, how I was going to look less greedy, how many 'binge free days' I could tally up. I ACTUALLY cared what these other people thought of my self-destruction. I looked to them to agree with Ana. I wanted to hear that I was fat, that I was greedy and that I needed to do more. You know what, they did do that.

Each time I posted what I had eaten I wanted it to be a little less. I knew those other girls were judging me, thinking I looked greedy and I believed they were glad they weren't as gluttonous as me. It pushed me to eat even less than I was already doing.
So, I'll get to the point.

I am now paranoid that when I say what I have eaten, when I take snapshots of the food I have cooked, when I try new and exciting foods, when I fill out my food diaries for the clinic, that people are judging me, they thing I am greedy. I have a hangover conflict that goes a bit like this…

I am proud of the food I have prepared. Excited about my meals but..

* Terrified of people sniggering at me, thinking I am too greedy and that one day some one is going to make a comment about the sheer amount (in my opinion) of food I eat.

* I am worried I could trigger others with my food ramblings or excitement or portion size. I really don't want to and I would never forgive myself if I did.

* Worried that people will ask me for tips or advice on weight loss - I won't EVER forgive myself for telling people what I did (or didn't do) to lose weight.

* I am worried that I will talk to the wrong people or that people will trick me into listening to Ana again - get in with the 'wrong' crowd. (I am lucky here to have found some amazing #recoverywarriors instead and that I am strong enough to 'block' triggers)

I hope this is NEVER the case. And I hope I continue to expand my diet, my adventures in the kitchen, my love of baking and become more free with my food.I also hope I can inspire others to see they can rediscover food and expand their diets (and lives) instead.

It proves how much of a detrimental effect these sites can have on people suffering with EDs. Others prey on their (our) weaknesses and watch us unravel. But I want to learn from my mistakes, learn from what I have been through and use it to get stronger.

I just wish I could shake this god damn awful hangover! 


  1. So... I like your blog and I try to comment, because I feel people should know they're not alone... but I have just stared at this post for a few days. It hit a little close to home.

    I actually used to visit a pro-ana forum and due to my effective ability to, essentially, bring myself closer to death I wound up being a moderator. There are actually some pictures of me (and more of my body parts) on some thinspo sites -- keeping me in this perpetual state of being sick.

    HOWEVER, I try to remind myself what the essential point of pro-ana is. It is an embracing of the disorder... it's a belief that it should be your lifestyle... I FIRMLY do not believe that anymore. When you post what you eat it doesn't come across like a competitive, "I eat less than you.. you're not as good as me, but you can do it!" like on pro-ana sites. There's not an elitist attitude... there's not... once again that negative competitive spirit. Instead there is LIFE, sometimes sadness, but also sometimes pride. Why? Because you're getting back more of your life.

    I'm sorry this is so long.... but I really hope you understand that you ARE strong. Right this instant. Much more strong than you can be in a pro-ana world...

  2. Hello there, thanks for your comment honey.
    It's always nice to know you're not alone, you're so right. And you're right. Pro-ana is a celebration of a life that ties and binds you to a journey to ultimately, death.

    I also know there are images of me floating around as thinspro and as permanent footprints of my self destruction. I wish I could erase them - I can't. My forum journals were frozen, and they remain. And it KILL me that some one, somewhere as weak and vulnerable as i was when i wrote them will be able to log on and 'use' my 'tip'.

    I try not to dwell or think about this too much - it's why it took me so long to write this post. because there is nothing i can do about it. Except keep moving away.

    I'm so glad of your honesty and all we can do now is improve the amount of antiproana information and support each other in a recovered, free life. Much more inspiring dont you think?