Monday, April 1, 2013

The Thigh Gap & Why It Means Nothing

THE MOTHER OF TRIGGERS ON THIS BLOG SO FAR: EATING DISORDER PRECAUTION. I AM POSTING THIS IN RESPONSE TO A "NEW FAD" (WHICH ISN'T NEW AT ALL) THAT HAS BROUGHT PRO ANA MATERIAL BACK IN THE MEDIA LIME LIGHT. THOSE IN RECOVERY OR WHO ARE VULNERABLE IT IS MY DUTY TO YOU TO POST THIS TRIGGER PRECAUTION. STOP HERE IF YOU ARE IN AN UNSAFE PLACE OR STRUGGLING. THE IMPORTANT CONTENT IS IN THE TEXT. THE PICS ARE FOR PARENTS, LOVED ONES, AND OTHER CAREGIVERS. TURN BACK NOW IF YOU FEEL THESE PICS WILL BE DISTURBING TO YOU. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF. BE SAFE.

DISTURBING CONTENT. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

EDITED: Due to public outcry, the thigh gap pics have been deleted. I listen to my readers, and love them as if they were my own family. Above all, they are not necessary to get the point across. In their place is a poor quality image taken on my camera of one of many frightening images of life imprisoned in a tortured body and mind. There is also edit of content.

Continue at your own risk.

I am hearing disturbing news reports about young girls employing the "thigh gap" method as another tool of measuring their worth. Or, rather, destroying themselves. You put your knee bones together and assum a semi-squat position. If there is still space between your thighs, I guess that's somehow supposed to be an accomplishment.

When I was younger...before "Pro-Ana" ("For-Anorexia", a group touting anorexia or bulimia not as illnesses, but rather a life style choice) ever hit the mainstream, at the age of twelve I discovered the huddled living skeletons, drawn from the closet of their own discontent.

I was already eating disordered at the time, and half heartedly consulted grande Master Google to lead me to a safe underbrush where I could fake recovery when I didn't WANT to get well from. An illness I didn't believe I had.

There was no changing of my mind. I yearned for companionship and acceptance. Here was my chance.

Our clusters were few, and I was being "mentored" by one of the website owners, who would leave me in charge (I'm 12, remember?) of managing her site when she was out sick. She explained the longer you "walk with ana", the more doctors think you're killing yourself. She told me, when they run blood tests, they force you to stay in the hospital, shove hoses in your nose and stab you with needles until the numbers come back up. Then you can FINALLY come home.

And pick  up where you left off.

The "thigh gap" trick has been around since the conception of these terrible webrings. I was told, they will take your scale away eventually, when you get really thin, so you must create your own sacrificew before the mirror. Terrorized that the mirror will show all of your fears and shove FAILURE like a lightening bold back into your heart. These tips and tricks caught flame and brought ddown any and all who were secretly suffering, but hiding behind their "lifestyle choice".
Because none of were actually going to die.

Oh no! No, we are all too smart to let that happen. For scary thoughts and bodily symptoms we didn't tell our parents. We did not tell our doctors. We only talked to each other...everyone else in our lives might force us into "treatment". Because no one understood what pro-ana is all about. We are all sisters and brothers. We are all each others doctors, husbands and wives, we are all our own church...and the one who has the lowest BMI is our God.

In 2001 there was an uprising, and immediately the webring I belonged to quickly changed domain names. The ring altered into jagged lines and reorganized the whole site, so that Google could not pick us up as a pro-ana site. The concept had hit national news, and we did not want any newbies. Our family was perfect.

And slowly, our members of our perfect family started dying.

But none of us were fat. So at least we could rest in that.

~*~

I hope these descriptions frightened and sickened you. Because it should. You should be terrified that in the 8 years I was self declared "pro-ana", our knit family went from 30 members to 10, and only 5 of them had left because they wanted to try to leave ana behind. The rest of them passed away. One of them was only 14 when she died. Her mother posted on the something-fishy website and ratted out one of the sites, so it was taken down immediately. We were more concerned about staying underground than being found.

When I turned twenty, I moved into a home that had young children and the computer was in public view. So I left, and some of the mods and I kept in touch. Thankfully, two of the original mods got help and moved on with their lives. The third one suffered a fall down a flight of stairs, but snapped her hipbones and pelvis, which killed her instantly.

Because she had severe osteoporosis. At the age of thirty-one.

The thigh gap is just another "old tip" that has now leaked out into the mainstream. I BEG that the media WON'T share any more of these tips, even as they continue to leak. I am now twenty five. I cannot wrap my mind at how STUPID I was back then. And for me, in recovery, gaining the weight back was so difficult...my caloric needs having to be so high. Then getting used to a healthy body. Years of solid hard work that I put in...so I could lead a REAL LIFE WITHOUT ED.

I went to the dreaded treatment multiple times. I let doctors keep me in medical wards for weeks...with fluids and all the stuff we used to proclaim made us all "fat". I did all the required work...

And then...I developed a different kind of illness. Gastroparesis. Unremitting gastroparesis. They kind where they put tubes in your belly instead of your nose.

As years have progressed, more and more symptoms. A useless bladder, chronic renal failure, a dead liver, inability to stand or to walk. Thousands of hospital stays. I may lose my colon. My GI system is barely functional.

The pain...beyond words...pain. Sleepless and painful nights...

...none of these are related to the dormant anorexia. It is due to another disease. Out of curiosity...do I have "the thigh gap"?

I do. In fact, I have so many signals...perhaps enough that I could have reached God of the pro-ana webring.

This is NO ACCOMPLISHMENT. My body is tortured. My time is running short. As in...dying. Slowly.

There is nothing graceful or beautiful, orEnlightenment. There is only physical pain, and signals that my body is about to shut down.

So I beg you, whomever reads this...please live your life. Please get help!

Don't idolize me.

For the battle of my life, I may be Home to the real God...the one in heaven.

This is why I am Post Pro Ana.

2 comments:

  1. This was very inspiring and I hope someone who needs help reads this and becomes inspired to change and get the help they need. I love you and your great brain. <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would like to e mail you if possible. Our conditions are similar.

    ReplyDelete