The Pro Ana Experiment

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 We’ve created quite a little research pool here. The way this community picks apart topics, and analyzes issues is truly commendable. I don’t know about you, but I am still smiling about it, and I am passionate about heading into Year 2 as mamaV.  

I look forward to seeing who is saying what, who is pissed at me today, and what you all believe to be life’s truths. Why? Because it challenges our minds, our thoughts, and opinions. Between you and I, I am one of the most wishy washy people you’d ever meet (stop laughing panda07).

Give me a great debate on a topic and I am most easily swayed. In my personal and business life, I give people WAY too many chances, and I am optimistic to a fault. This personality trait has gotten me burned time and time again, but I keep doing it. I am just wired this way.

BUT, there are a few topics in life I am stone cold set on. It is this side of mamaV you see here and these topics drive the passion behind this blog. 

In the past year, one topic that continually gets debated with great passion is;

WHAT THE HELL IS PRO ANA ANYWAY?

To tell you the truth, sometimes the discussions get my head spinning so much, I really couldn’t tell you. But at the end of the day I always come back to this;

If you are looking for support, don’t lean on others with your same problem.

Trust me, this path is bad news.

I just don’t buy it, and no amount of tongue lashing has torn me away from this opinion. Why girls, for the love of God, would you think that when you have an eating disorder, the direction to head for support is to a bunch of eating disordered women?

You’ll sink deeper.

Faster.

Guaranteed.

Kristi4 is an example of this and her journal serves a very important purpose. Her life message is plain and simple – don’t turn to pro ana forums for support, instead run, as fast as you can, in the other direction. I have refused to edit what I have written about her, much to Josie’s dismay, because I know in my heart I have written this out of kindness, not hatred.

I’ve read Kristi’s journal too many times to count, and I am always left with the same impression. Here was a young woman (she was young, only in her 30’s) trying to lead a pro ana “support” community. Although she was surrounded by others in her same situation, she felt alone, depressed and ultimately suicidal. I can’t help but think if she would have turned outside for help that she may still be here today.

This topic gets to the core of why I do this blog, to create forum for discussion, inspiration, and thoughts beyond your eating disorders. There is a whole life out there waiting for you and I am fighting like hell to help you find it.

So if you find yourself part of the pro ana “support” community, I’d like to know this…..as Dr. Phil would say “How’s it workin’ for ya?”

-mamaV

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38 Responses to The Pro Ana Experiment

  1. Jen says:

    I had a moment of weakness earlier this year and I joined a pro-ana forum. Most of the people on there weren’t even diagnosed with and eating disorder, a lot of them were just overweight people trying to get tips on how to lose weight. I’m not saying that’s how all pro-ana forums are, I’m just saying that’s how the one I was in was. If we’re really looking for support, joining a pro-ana forum is kind of the wrong place to go because people usually give tips and tricks on how to lose weight. I think it’s a lot easier to seek support with other mental illnesses with people who are experiencing the same thing. I have bipolar disorder, so talking with people who also have bipolar disorder really helps, because you know someone is going through the same thing you are. It’s hard with an eating disorder, because if you’re being honest with another eating disordered individual you run the risk of triggering them or having what they say trigger you. I don’t think we shouldn’t talk to eachother, but I do think we need to watch what we say and try not to trigger eachother.

  2. Vanessa says:

    in my case i don’t see how a pro-support forum could possibly do any harm. i’m quite capable of doing just as much harm to myself regardless of whether i’m participating in a support type pro-ana forum. the only slight difference is that i feel slightly less lonely and suicidal than i otherwise would.

    in my case, my social life in real life was basically non-existant long before i re-joined pro-ana. my family is unsuportive and i have no interest in recovering right now so professional help isn’t something i would be seeking out without pro-ana. so it seems to me that on balance the support and feeling of being a respected member of a group that i get from my forum is a good thing or at worst neutral.

    but in general i think even the mildest and most pro-support examples of proana do more harm than good for the majority of their members. and many of those members don’t have actual eating disorders and are probably doing themselves harm by hanging around sick people. also, ana sites are an absolute hotbed of misinformation, even when tips aren’t allowed (and on my forum they aren’t) people still can easily learn as much just by reading what people write about what they ate that day or how they purged. and i worry a lot about how the younger members of my forum are affected because the attitudes and behaviors they are learning are just so far off from reality it’s unbelievable sometimes.

    so. that said, why do you demonize the individuals that participate in proana, particularly the sicker individuals who are (sorry, jen) less responsible for their actions because their minds are just totally screwed up by starvation? why do you make fun of them? why do you make it seem like people are deliberately trying to bring younger girls into proana on purpose and lead them astray? if you supposedly see shades of grey why do you talk like it’s black or white? are you going to apologize to the bulimic mom? are you going to take back what you said about moms with eds being selfish?

    not that i expect you will, but in my view you’ve crossed the line one too many times. and you still haven’t answered my question about the foundation.

  3. Jen says:

    Vanessa – I think that people are less responsible for their eating disorders when they are seriously affected by starvation. I think you have to be starving for a long time or be at a pretty low weight with regards to height to say that you’re less responsible for your actions though.
    That said, thank you for taking my opinion into consideration when you wrote your post. There’s a lot of things you’ve said that I really don’t agree with, but that really shows me that you’re making an effort to write a response that showcases different opinions, and not just your own. I need to learn that myself, hahaha.

  4. Jamie says:

    I don’t agree with giving tips on how to hurt yourself or anything like that. But I know when I go to those sites its not tips that I’m looking for. I just don’t feel as alone when i’m in one of those sites. I know that most of the girls there know exactly how I feel. I’m glad I found Mamav’s site here. I feel a little more safe here then on the pro ana sites. I know the people here will try to steer me in the right direction when i’m having a bad day and not give me tips on how to “be strong” (we all know what that means….be strong.. you can do one more day without eating or with only 200 cals). But when I come here the girls give me support and the kind that I need not the negative support.
    Even though I may not agree with some of the stuff they do there. I know that some people out there rely on the pro ana sites just to get through a day. I don’t know about Kristi’s story but I know when I was depressed and suicidal I would go to those sites and it would stop me from doing it just cause I could talk to others. My family and friends don’t understand eating disorders so I know I’m not able to go to them. The pro ana sites were the only place I could go to be accepted.

  5. Karrie says:

    I think I was lucky – when I suspected something was horribly wrong (realising I was purging almost everyday and not “once in a while” as I had previously thought) I went straight for a recovery support group. I certainly felt alone, but those people helped more than anything.

    And honestly, looking at pro-ana makes me genuinely sad. I just keep sensing all this loneliness and despair radiating from the words even though its like, from a screen and not directly from a person.

  6. Una says:

    While I just had started to recover, three of my friends from my former school developped an eating disorder. I hadn’t been in contact with them for a while because I had been hiding socially. Their mothers contected my mother seeking for help. They all didn’t know how to handle the situation. I spent an afternoon with one of my friends who was seriously into her eating disorder while her mother was chatting with mine. I was in panic. Comming home, I was depressed. Shortly after that I visited the second friend in hospital, because she had asked me to come. She had a tube stuck in her nose. A thought passed my minde then; I hadn’t managed that stade of anorexia. That thooght scared me to death. When I was supposed to meet my third friend at hospital, I had a nervous break down. There was no way I was going to help anybody in the state I was in. I wasn’t strong enought to support anybody else then myself. It might sound selfish but it was vital. Luckily all three of them got out of their EDs and I don’t think I could have participated in the healing. (This was before the internet era). In my oppinion the danger in the pro-ana sites lies in the anonimity. You don’t take any risk in writing to people you don’t know. There are no real faces. Everything could be a lie.

    Vanessa, I don’t understand : “I have no interest in recovering right now so professional help isn’t something i would be seeking out without pro-ana. “

  7. Sass1948 says:

    “Why girls, for the love of God, would you think that when you have an eating disorder, the direction to head for support is to a bunch of eating disordered women?”

    MamaV – think Alcoholics Anonymous, Drug Rehab, support groups aplenty, etc. Many counselors, support-workers, staff, etc are recovered from the illness they treat. Not all, but it’s common. This gives reason to why some turn to others with similar problems. (p.s. my own therapist shared with me her old habit of chewing & spitting out food.)

    “i worry a lot about how the younger members of my forum are affected because the attitudes and behaviors they are learning are just so far off from reality it’s unbelievable sometimes.”

    Vanessa – What are you going to do about this?

    “why do you make it seem like people are deliberately trying to bring younger girls into proana on purpose and lead them astray?”

    Vanessa – Are your “younger members” being lead astray?

    Perhaps, those wanting tips will always be on the look-out for tips, even when they’re not encouraged. If this is the case, should support sites be closed? I imagine no one wants this & it’s unlikely to be achieved. But to fully help the vulnerable being “lead astray”, and to help the truly ill, directing them to outside sources (counselors namely) instead of websites, might be showing real compassion.

    I appreciate counselors are a worst nightmare for some individuals, but for the sake of them, who is more helpful? A support site? Or a counselor? REALLY? If an individual is over 18, accepting of their disordered behavior/thinking, & unlikely to change their behavior/thinking, then a support site is their choice & their right. However, it is just more “TH-inspiration” to a vulnerable young mind, & yes, I class all of those under the age of 18 as young & vulnerable, regardless of their life experience.

    As ever…I’m not sure.

  8. Vanessa says:

    una- i think what confused you was the way i phrased that. i meant that with or without proana i wouldn’t be seeking professional help. proana is not preventing me from recovering or seeking help. i’ve seen professionals in the past, but i don’t see any point to do so when i’m not interested in trying to recover. i’ve actually seen professionals in the past when i wasn’t interested in recovery and all it did was make them frusterated and angry with me while not making any difference in my behavior.

    when i say “a pro-support type of pro-ana site” i mean social and emotional support for people who aren’t trying to recover, not support in recovering from an ed. if you are trying to recover going to a proana site is basically the dumbest possible thing you could do, but some sites do their best to make it an environment where people can stay around and not be triggered once they’re in recovery. i personally think if you want to give recovery your best shot you’re better off leaving any sort of proana site, though.

    sass- i didn’t start my forum, and i had nothing to do with bringing any of the young teenagers in to the site. in fact, the administrator of our forum disappeared so there really aren’t any adults on our site who could be held responsible for bringing in the younger girls- they were already there when we joined. i also doubt that the administrator when she was around brought in any young people directly, they just found the forum and were allowed to join. some as young as 13, maybe even 12, with more of them in the 14-16 year old age range.

    so, what would you have me do? some of them have been around longer than i have, i could hardly kick them out. i try and provide more accurate health information and correct people who give out misinformation, i police tip-giving, i try to encourage people who say “help my parents are making me eat i hate them!” to consider recovering (they mostly say thanks but no thanks). that doesn’t change the fact that they are learning from one another and from those of us who’ve had eds for a long time. it doesn’t change the general attitude of most everyone on the site that the highest reasonable clothing size is a 0 and if you’re over that then you’re too big. the adults on my site are usually more of a positive influence, if anything, and there are waay waaaay worse sites than the one i moderate.

    so what am i supposed to do? if i left my site it wouldn’t go away, you know. and it would probably become way more pro than it already is since i’m really one of the least pro-ana people around. then i come here to be told that i’m one of the most evil creatures in the universe, an “influencer” and selfish, vain, self-pitying, leading children astray, etc etc etc. well i’m not standing for it! pro-ana might be a sad thing, i wish it didn’t exist to be honest- but it isn’t anything like mamaV makes it out. its a load of sad hurting people sometimes helping each other make it through the day, and sometimes accidentally making each other worse.

  9. Jen says:

    Vanessa – I agree with you that it’s pointless to seek professional help when you don’t want to recover. I myself am seeing a therapist, and she is really disappointed in herself for not being able to help me. She helps me with everything else, I just think no one can help me with my eating disorder until I choose to want to get better.

  10. Josie says:

    I’ll resist the urge to come out with a whole load of swearing and insults.

    But what i will say:
    – people who do not have experience of EDs do not understand EDs enough to be much help. I couldn’t possibly have ‘recovered’ without the support from the people i met through pro-ana sites. And as said above, most conditions have support groups.
    – don’t you think that people with eating disorders try and find help in the ‘real world’ first? Like hell i tried. I looked everywhere. I felt very pathetic and alone, because it wasn’t until i spoke to others with EDs that someone took me seriously.
    – even if pro-ana sites didn’t exist those wanting to lose weight can get unhealthy tips from anywhere. Memoirs of eating disorder sufferers, recovery sites, even simple diet sites are full of ideas.

  11. Kim says:

    mama v, i am with you. pro ana to me means someone is wanting or wants to continue the anorexic lifestyle. and if you want pro ana it is hard for me to believe you want recovery as they are in opposite directions. you want support to recovery go to recovery meetings, get a sponsor, you want to stay sick go to those sites. again it is about choice and it is yours. however, i am amazed to see how many on here say they are on pro ana and come here too because i see this site for people wanting to rid their lives of their eds not get support for staying sick which is what i believe is the pro ana sites goal. i also agree that many who claim to be proana are people that may want to lose weight but are not those who really suffer from anorexia. so, if you want advice to stay sick or get sick keep logging into pro ana sites, if you want recovery and life move on…xxx

  12. Kim says:

    josie, instead of speaking to those with eds, speak to those recovering from eds. just an idea…

  13. Kim says:

    mama v you asked what the hell is pro ana anyway, well isnt pro ana hell??? the definition fits.

  14. Josie says:

    Kim – i do both. Both recovering and ill ED-sufferers provide great support. I am basically “recovered” now, so it most certainly works.
    Lots of recovering ED-sufferers are difficult to talk to. There’s all the being careful to avoid ‘triggering’ eachother, and those recovering can be more obnoxious. And then people recovering go about it in completely different ways; like i wouldn’t have had much in common with a girl in an EDU with a feeding tube.

    I don’t agree with how a lot of pro-ana sites are. All things about them which make them “pro” i don’t like – tips, thinspiration, goals, diets, encouraging eachother – that’s all stupid.
    But some aspects of pro-ana sites are good – support 24/7, openness (from the anonymity and complete understanding), and lack of censorship. I don’t think i’d be alive today if it wasn’t for some of the friends i made through pro-ana sites.

  15. Jen says:

    Kim – I think it’s really good that you realize recovering or not recovering is a choice. Not very many people want to admit that. However, I disagree with your “definition” of pro-ana. Pro-ana to me are those that consider anorexia nervosa a “lifestyle choice”. I myself have made the decision that I don’t want to recover just yet, so would that make me pro-ana under your “definition”? I believe that this is a horrible mental illness, but I do think we need to take responsibility and admit we’re making a choice to stay sick or to recover. I admire that you’re honest with yourself and you know this is a choice.

  16. Sass1948 says:

    thanks for responding Vanessa

  17. Una says:

    I agree that getting better is a descision only the sufferer can make, but Vanessa, Kim and Jen, I don’t get the “I won’t recover just yet”. How long do you want to wait ? Until your self asteem is non existant? Not only is an ED a mental illness, it is a habit too. And in general, the longer you wait, the worse it is to stop. I have got the feeling, and tell me if I am wrong, that you visit this blog becausee you have realised that an ED leads to a dead end and that you are aware of what the ED is doing to you and the consequences your actions will have later on. So why “not yet” ?

  18. Vanessa says:

    una- i can’t answer for anyone else, but in my case i’ve tried recovery more than once. for a while i was happier in recovery than i had ever been in my life. but then i tried to go on and live my life and things got stressful and i just… relapsed. it happened faster than i’d ever have thought possible, after having been stable and happy for a full year beforehand. my relapse this time was that i started binge eating to deal with stress. and i was too embarassed at the beginning to tell people about my binging, and also i was really depressed at the time and felt like everything was hopeless.

    so then of course binging meant i gained weight. and it became all about the weight and feeling like i had to get back to my weight in recovery by any means possible, i was so upset over my weight i didn’t care about my health. so i started restricting and sometimes purging, and i kept telling myself i’d go back to recovery once i reached a certain weight.

    and the most recent development in this saga is that i’ve actually reached the weight i told myself was my goal and that i’d go back to recovery once i reached it, and by now i’m purging multiple times a day and i’m miserable. but now i’m at my goal weight my mind is all mixed up. i start thinking stupid things, like i want to keep losing until someone forces me to stop, because in the past i never went to recovery willingly at first- i was forced. or i start thinking “oh wouldnt it be fun to have a reallllly low bmi?”

    a million reasons (more like a million excuses) why recovery is just too hard right now, i’m not ready, i’m too scared to gain weight, i can’t do it, i don’t want to, you can’t make me. it’s craziness, i admit it, but i feel like i just… can’t.

  19. Vanessa says:

    wow i’ve certainly written a lot on this topic. sorry everyone, i don’t mean to go on so much. that’s why i try and use my blog as a place to reply so often, lol.

  20. Una says:

    Vanessa, it sounds like you are so scared of failing that you don’t even want to try. I do understand the fear of gaining weight, but does recovery mean that you become overweight? Recovery for me, meens that you get your balance right.
    Don’t wait until somebody forces you to get better. You are in charge of your life. (Which doesn’t meen that you have to get through recovery on you own. Use every help you can get.) And talk to your people as openly as you do to us. They are missing out a great deal. Screem help if you need it.
    I have got a strong tendecy to keep things to myself, feeling from bad to worse. But I am working at it, discovering more and more that talking (and sometimes screeming as already mentioned) can be so wonderful and freeing.

  21. Kristina says:

    I agree with Vanessa you can’t be forced into recovery, you can be forced to gain weight (heck I know it has happened twice to me already) but not change your mindset. I was sent to a “recovery center” (read my blog for details about that) where I slept through some groups and never told my therpists anything really. The second I got out I went right back to restricting. Then I was given the choice of gain the weight back at home or go to day or inpatient treatment. Basically it came down to what was more important to me and this time school and band won out. But the first time my weight was more important and that is what recovery is basically about. You have to choose would you rather have a life or have a really low weight. That is not saying recovery is easy by any means (again read my blog) and I definantly agree with the idea that you are never “recovered.” Pesimistic, yes, realisitic, yes, at least for me.
    About pro-ana sites, I see them now as merely being an immature anorexia. That isn’t a critism. I just see anorexia in to class (well 3 actually). There is wanna-be anorexics who I’m met in treatment who have been sent there by there parents. They idealize true anorexics. They don’t realize how awful having an eating disorder is, they only see the bodies not the mind. Then there are the anorexics who visit websites looking for tips, still in denial that there eating disorder is a problem. Then there are the old-timers recover-relapse-repeat anorexics, they look at websites as just sad now. Some want to recover, others don’t. There eating disorder is no longer social but sad. they become more introverted and their families don’t get it but they try. I’m there right now. I feel as if i hit a block and I fit into that category that has improved but remain depressed, hopeless, anxious, with poor self esteem/body image. i’m not even sure I want to go any further out of fear of change, happiness (I’m so used to feeling awful). I also fear if I get any better my treatment will become less and I’ll have to shed my identity of an anorexic which I have his behind for so long. Sorry I talked so much.

  22. Kristina says:

    I agree with Vanessa you can’t be forced into recovery, you can be forced to gain weight (heck I know it has happened twice to me already) but not change your mindset. I was sent to a “recovery center” (read my blog for details about that) where I slept through some groups and never told my therpists anything really. The second I got out I went right back to restricting. Then I was given the choice of gain the weight back at home or go to day or inpatient treatment. Basically it came down to what was more important to me and this time school and band won out. But the first time my weight was more important and that is what recovery is basically about. You have to choose would you rather have a life or have a really low weight. That is not saying recovery is easy by any means (again read my blog) and I definantly agree with the idea that you are never “recovered.” Pesimistic, yes, realisitic, yes, at least for me.
    About pro-ana sites, I see them now as merely being an immature anorexia. That isn’t a critism. I just see anorexia in to class (well 3 actually). There is wanna-be anorexics who I’m met in treatment who have been sent there by there parents. They idealize true anorexics. They don’t realize how awful having an eating disorder is, they only see the bodies not the mind. Then there are the anorexics who visit websites looking for tips, still in denial that there eating disorder is a problem. Then there are the old-timers recover-relapse-repeat anorexics, they look at websites as just sad now. Some want to recover, others don’t. There eating disorder is no longer social but sad. they become more introverted and their families don’t get it but they try. I’m there right now. I feel as if i hit a block and I fit into that category that has improved but remain depressed, hopeless, anxious, with poor self esteem/body image. I’m not even sure I want to go any further out of fear of change, happiness (I’m so used to feeling awful). I also fear if I get any better my treatment will become less and I’ll have to shed my identity of an anorexic which I have hid behind for so long. Sorry I talked so much.

  23. Kim says:

    una i never said i am not wanting to recover i think you mixed me up with vanessa. i want recovery, if i didnt i wouldnt be here.

  24. Bsull says:

    I have been reading this blog on occasion over the past couple of months. Today, after having read through the comments, I felt compelled to respond. Comparing pro-ana websites to Alcoholics Anonymous is like comparing apples to oranges.

    In alcoholics anonymous, people are supporting their fellow alcoholics in NOT drinking. Drinking unhealthy amounts of alcohol is detrimental to both physical and social health. On proana websites, people are supporting each other in not eating. NOT eating is unhealthy- in that food is what enables us to live, to exercise, to function, to give birth. Alcohol is not necessary to life.

    Do you see the difference?

  25. Sass1948 says:

    what a shame u chose to respond to something you’ve misinterpreted. ..

    i did not compare the two, therefore, no need for me to respond further.

  26. Nats says:

    So I shouldnt be coming on here and getting help from others on here then? Im confused. If we shouldnt be leaning on others with the same problem then I should not be on this site. Or am I reading that wrong? Sorry if I am but thats how I am seeing it.

    I would prefer to seek help through those who know what I am going through than those who pretend to know what I am feeling. There is only one person I have ever met who ever understood what I have been through and what I am still going through and now that person is goone and now I feel alone, and now I dont know who I should go to if I cant go to those who are going through similar or the same thing.

    Alone, alone, alone always the same, never changes, we are all alone when it comes down to it!

  27. anon says:

    Nats we are not alone. You go to those people who understand. Thats whats support groups are for. Why else would they shave group therapy in all kinds of rehab centres?! if this “dont goes to those who are in the same situation as you” bull is the way to apparently go…then yes we are alone. But group therapy and support centres…they are to make us realise that we are not alone!!! the pro ana sites..they make people who are feeling more alone than ever realise that there are others like them. For some people it may not work and for others it does. xxx

  28. Michelle says:

    I think when she said
    If you are looking for support, don’t lean on others with your same problem.
    She meant those who aren’t looking for recovery.
    AA meetings.. yea they all have the same problem, but they all want to recover.
    Pro-ana boards are full of girls/guys who don’t want to recover. They want to be skinny. They want something that is not recovery.
    Show me a group of people who want recovery and you shouldn’t lean on them. There isn’t one.
    Yes, it is good to lean on others for support.. not for neglect. It is good to hear stories of other people struggling with the same thing as you to hear what they tried to do to get out of the hole they dug.. not how to dig deeper.

    Does that make sense?

  29. Kim says:

    hey mamav, i am feeling suicidal today and i just reread your post about reaching outward in real life rather then in chats and such, but ya know what im realizing is that when ya feel like this you feel like you cant reach out and for me i feel like i have no one to reach out too. does that make sense? just my experience

  30. Michelle says:

    Kim,

    It’s ok to reach out in chat rooms.
    Just not when the other people are telling you it’s ok to feel the way you are feeling.
    Example:
    Jane Doe is feeling really horrible about herself today. She doesn’t know what to do, but she just can not stay away from the toilet from purging so much. She decides today is the day she wants to stop. She wants to quit this habitual occurrence in her life. What does Jane Doe do? She goes to a pro-mia site. BAD IDEA. Why? Jane Doe posts her story about how often she purges, etc. The girls on the board reply to her in approval. Jane Doe is now confused because she wants to quit, yet other girls are telling her that it’s ok and that they do it all the time and that it is good for you. Guess what Jane Doe.. it’s not good for you. Don’t go to a pro-mia site because that’s all you’ll find is “It’s ok, I do it, too.” kind of people.

    Here at MamaV, especially at the Forum, we are SUPPORT. Sure, we are going through the same things, but it is one thing to type out your story and get a reply of approval and it is another to type out your story and have other girls encourage you to keep away from this disastrous task.

    So, Kim, it is ok to come here and tell us what’s up. It is ok.

    I don’t have people here on campus to really reach out to, either. I feel so alone so often when I’m here that when I went home for the only time this quarter, I didn’t even know how to respond to people. It’s hard to keep things in. That is why when I have a bad day, I type it out or let you girls know.

    It is a whole lot better to get human connections, though because you have (if I have my statistics correct) 93% more communication from non-verbal language and eye contact and tone of voice. It is one thing for me to tell you it is going to be ok online.. but a better thing to have me be with you saying it will be ok and maybe giving you a hug or just helping you through it. Does that make sense?

    I really encourage you, Kim, and any other person here who is dealing with loneliness or feeling lost, to reach out on the days you feel good on. The days that you feel able to reach out, take that opportunity. If you don’t feel like you have these days, you need to break out of your shell and talk to someone. Anyone.

    I hope this helps. :)

  31. Sass1948 says:

    not everyone at an AA meeting wants to recover. not everone on a pro ana site wants support… not everyone knows what they want, if they’ll pursue the path they’re taking, if they’ll find what they’re looking for, if it’ll work out. wish people here would stop generalizing…it’s a really a good way of distracting me from the point ur making & erm, well, immature :(

  32. Michelle says:

    The point I was making is
    pro-ana boards ≠ support

    Just like BSull said and like I said before really.

    Showing you your point about AA “Many counselors, support-workers, staff, etc are recovered from the illness they treat.”
    Key word = recovered.
    Show me a pro-ana board where the ‘head’ person is recovered from anorexia. I never said that anyone for that matter wanted support on a pro-ana board. Actually, I believe everything I said was completely against those boards. In my example, Jane Doe went there because she wanted to lean on people with the same problem as her, but she chose the wrong group of people if she wants more of a recovery. I am just reiterating MamaV’s point, I believe.

    That is exactly why I wouldn’t go to a pro ana board if I want support to leave the life with an eating disorder. Anyway, as a whole, surrounding yourself with people who all want support will build your confidence to want it as well.

    What point are you trying to make, Sass? Maybe I am confused as to what you are saying. Please don’t call me immature again because I don’t think we need to be pulling out the name-calling. All I did was put out my opinion.

  33. Sass1948 says:

    hey michelle – my point? well – i said to mamav the reason people might turn to pro ana is because other support networks offer help from those who experience similar problems. that is it. mamav asked – i gave one possibility.

    as for being immature – i stand by my opinion that making sweeping generalizations is so :-) not an attack on any one person.

  34. Lily says:

    Hi there,

    I havent read all the responses here, but I wanted to say that MV is right that using video blogs does help the message get accross better because when writing ppl cannot hear your tone of voice, sincerity etc. and I think thats part of why I was questioning MVs well-meaning.

    I agree that if you want to get well, pro- ana and pro-mia sites are the WRONG places to go. There is a difference between non-judgmental support and support that condones and even encourages eating disordered behaviour. Pro-ana and Mia sites give the message that ED behaviour is okay. Its not. It threatens your life.

    Out of loneliness I have found myself on these sites, and always deeply regreted it. It always makes my ED worse, being emersed in a world where having an eating disordered life seems the only option, there is no talk of any other way of living life, no one questioning if this is a viable way to live. And when I come accross those posts from people clearly seeking to ‘acquire’ an ED I burn with anger. It makes a mockery of the life-destroying mental illnesses that anorexia, bulimia, Ednos, purging disorder, and B.E.D are.

    Lily xxx

  35. Una says:

    Sorry Kim for getting mixed up.

  36. kim says:

    today i wish i had kristi’s courage, please help me find strength to do what i know i need to do

  37. carter says:

    yo, all of you leave us alone. what we choose to do are our choices. like seriously. we know the possible conciquences and possible outcomes and obviously we don’t mind. so let us do us and move on. you’re not going to “save” every anorexic/anorectic person in the world, k.

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