Totally Un- Pro-Anorexia

I’d be the first to concede that arguing with an anorexic is a battle –

But I’m ready to contest any pro-ana arguments; and, with 18 years of eating disorder destroyed life behind me, I’ll lay my track record on the line before being accused of not understanding.

A website encouraging anorexia may feel like your friend but it’s really just an extension of your worst enemy.

When you’re in the grips of it, the difference can be hard to spot – but there’s a simple giveaway: You wouldn’t wish an eating disorder on another human being, let alone someone you considered a friend.

Does it sound like I’m being simplistic? No. I get the complexity.

I remember what it feels like to be backed into a corner –

When you’re feeling really desperate, you’ll take whatever solutions you can get.

I can recognise the sense of power –

When you’re used to being prescribed to or treated or made to do things that you don’t want to do, pro-anorexia must feel like a great way of showing the professionals who’s really in control.

I can understand the perverse reassurance –

An eating disorder will use whatever it can get hold of to encourage the Russian roulette approach to life. Things feel better when we’re not doing them on our own and pro-ana’s all about normalising the abnormal; it’s great at giving permission for the things that, deep down, you don’t want to be doing.

I can see where they make the unsafe, safe; I can imagine the illusion of relief –

When you’ve felt like you’re totally alone and misunderstood then, hey, finding a whole community of people who share your concerns and experiences and feelings and fears must feel fabulous –

Until you realise that the only common ground is a death wish.

And that they’re only pulling you further away from the rest of the world.

Sometimes you can’t work out where your allies are when you’re not well.

Sometimes the people who you think are attacking you are actually trying to help you – and those who claim to understand are trying to pull you down – because they’re sinking too –

It’s like listening to the devil – when what you really need is a good friend.

It’s like buying into a fiction – because the reality is too much to bear –

Help Finding Melissa to challenge the pro-anorexia message.

For more on the danger of pro-anorexia sites: BBC News

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