Out Of A Pro-Ana Darkness and Into the Light Of Recovery

Summoning My Creative Muse..

..To Put A Face and Voice To the Eating Disordered

Important Announcement

You May Have Already Heard....
That Geocities Is Going Belly-Up

I Am Hunger

I'm there as the day draws to a close.
I awaken you abruptly with cold, frantic pangs.
I will never let you hide from my critical gaze.
I am hunger, your friend and wanton enemy.

As long as I hide in plain sight,
Your loved ones will not have a clue.
As long as you surrender to me, my weak one,
I'll give you all that you want and much more.

I applaud as you whittle your fat body down.
And will frown when your iron resolve starts to wane.
If you strive for perfection, I'm here and I'm proud.
All that I want, is to look at your beautiful bones.

They're waiting to break free of your repulsive fat.
How on earth could you explain how euphoria feels?
That special sensation born of rapt self-denial.
The thin is the winner in spite of myself.

-----Delicate Sylph.

Those of you who come to this site to learn about both the pro-ana "lifestyle" and the pro-recovery one will see quite a different website now. I have FINALLY come to my senses and realize that, even with a substantial discourse on those who see anorexia and bulimia as a mental illness, there was way too many pro-ana essays, poems, short stories and a novel-in-progress that seemed to "glorify" the art of self-starvation and dieting, sometimes to the death. My conscience finally got the better of me, so I am completely revamping this website and deleting all "pro-ana"and "ro-mia" literature.

So what triggered me into abandoning the eating-disorder-as-seen-as-a-lifestyle-to-be-admired portion of my page? Well, I have been visiting a number of the pro-ana Xanga sites and boy, have my eyes been opened! I am now attempting to educate them, shaking them up and warning them that anorexia and bulimia are NOT worthy causes and something to be admired and revered. I have a Xanga site as well and am in the process of revamping that site as well. I realize that some, if not many, pro-ana girls will see my enlightened attitude as a nasty form of "selling out" but that is a chance I am willing to take.

Look, I am not on this huge "gotta save the world from itself" crusade, pointing fingers at voluntary starvation and bingeing/purging and acting high and mighty. That is not the way to go, as I would undoubtedly alienate many Xanga residents and cause them to turn their backs on anyone they see as traitorous and preachy. I know that I certainly would not have appreciated that soapbox diatribe, because they would see me as the enemy in some respects. "Wannarexics" are everywhere, it seems. As an advocate for free speech online, I would never subscribe shutting pro ana sites down, as many of the free websites have done, forcing people to go underground. I believe that people should open their eyes and be more cautious with their web-browsing, but I am not on a brainwash kick. I grudgingly respect those of you who opt for shunning treatment for your eating disorders, because you have incredible willpower and a strong focus when engaging in saturating your minds with "thinspiration" pictures of very thin and emaciated women, posting tips and tricks for hiding your eating disorders from parents, teachers and doctors and bond in your quest for what you see as "perfection." However, I realize, as my mind returns to a state of sanity, that you are slowly killing yourselves.

Be forewarned that there will be many pictures of severely emaciated individuals, so if you are likely to be triggered by such graphic material, then by all means, tread carefully. I have posted these shocking and frightening pictures so that someone coming upon this site is able to tackle the touchy issues head on. I have been working very hard on this project. I just felt that it was time to take a long and hard look at what I was telling these girls and what the enormous impact I may have had on teens and twenties. It has taken me many years of disordered eating, bingeing and purging and engaging in extremely strenuous excercise regimes to come to the rather unsettling conclusion that there are these two very distinct philosophies in cyberspace. Would I want any Xanga users to endure what I have and continue to struggle with? Absolutely not! A frightening number of anorexics die from this lethal mental illness. I remember reading about Scarlet Pomers, a 17-year-old actress who played one of Reba McIntyre's daughters on the television series "Reba." When this girl was systematically starving herself and exercising for six hours a day, she found tips on how to successfully shave the pounds off her already small frame and ways to hide her anorexia from her parents and friends. You would think that this would have opened my eyes, but it didn't. I have to take the blame for my wrong-doing and that's what this site is about. Eating disorders can severely affect peoples' lives for the worse. No good ever came from whittling bodies down to wraith-like proportions and no good ever will.

I have been hospitalized on four separate occasions when I accepted help to deal with my eating disorders. Each inpatient stay, I managed, with the passing of several months, to get healthy and engage in weekly therapy sessions with a female psychologist dealing with anorexia and bulimia. I am hesitant to say that, despite all the help and good intentions, my recoveries were all unsuccessful in the long run. There is a great deal more to eating disorders than simply diets that went too far. It is a complex network of events and situations that promoted my disorder. It was always in my best interests, I erroneously thought, to voluntarily starve in order to gain some measure of control in my turbulant life and to numb myself from emotional pain and torment. For the last two major relapses, I used what is now known as "exercise bulimia" to aid in my rapid weight loss. In 1993, I spent the entire summer powerwalking for six hours, seven days a week. I even went out in thunderstorms, determined to strip the fat from my body. There were many steep hills and my muscles would ache tremendously, but I forged on regardless. I only ate once a day and made sure to keep the calories to a minimum. At the end of this four-month endurance race, I weighed only 85 pounds at a height of 5 foot 3 inches. Any muscle I would have developed from the strenuous workouts wasted away, leaving a skeleton barely covered with skin.

One would think that I would have learned my lesson, as I was hospitalized for over a year and a half----16 months to be exact---during which I learned to deal with the pressures that drove me to run myself into the ground. I was given Zoloft, a pretty potent anti-depressant and intense therapy. I discovered that I had been sexually abused at two years of age when these horrifying flashbacks caused me to remember what an emotionally disturbed babysitter had done to me, before I was even able to walk or talk.

But my problems didn't stop there. I began slashing myself with razor blades at age 14, but had not self-harmed again until I was nearly out of high school. In the years between 1991 and 1999, while I was hospitalized on a psychiatric ward on and off, I cut so badly and with such brute force that my body is practically one big scar. At one point, I cut most of my body, causing a serious loss of blood. Fortunately, I haven't slashed since 2000, but the urge has never completely left me. I have to take things one day at a time.

My traumatized family sat by and watched their daughter, sister, aunt and cousin routinely starve herself into a state of near-death. And after the third episode, they all began to distance themselves from me. I was alone, having lost many friends to my eating disorders. I pretended that this rejection didn't bother me, that everyone was simply jealous of my svelte body and didn't want to have to compare themselves to me. It became a safe, comfortable and friendly place, this throne on which I stood, basking in the giddy notion that I was achieving perfection through starvation and purging and if that meant I was destined to live a lonely and skeletal life, then so-be-it. The thinner was the winner every time.

What You Will See On this Site:

I am a writer with an autobiography under my belt. Three chapters deal specifically with the anorexia, exercise bulimia and cutting and the passages are extremely graphic. Writing is my one true love---it has literally saved my life on many different occasions. I will be posting a lot of essays on this site, along with creative endeavors, such as original poetry, short stories and a novel-in-progress. These all deal frankly and honestly with all manner of eating disorders and self-harm. When this website was dealing with the pro-ana lifestyle philosophy, some of the verses and short stories reflected that stance. I have been altering them and will have them posted when they are finished. I communicate much more effectively by writing. I composed my first "novel" at age 12, a lengthy story about running away to join the circus. Of course, it never saw the light of day, as my book of short stories at age 13 remained my secret. At night when I couldn't sleep, I got under the covers with a flashlight, paper and pen and would write until I fell asleep. I ended up with far too little sleep and had trouble in class, but my writing was obsessive. If only I could have stayed focused on my craft. Maybe then I wouldn't have had so many emotional problems.

You will no longer be able to read any pro-ana pieces of literature, as I was doing a disservice by promoting and supporting people to get and stay sick. They have been deleted. The only way I can carry on with this site without succumbing to rapid and constant guilt is to forge onward with my sincere efforts to help people with eating disorders that are severely compromising their health and happiness.

What Prompted My Change Of Heart:

After I had created my own Xanga site and checked out a myriad of sites that primarily advocated eating disorders as lifestyle choices, I met some pretty incredible, articulate, complex people that almost immediately opened my bleary eyes to the stark reality that anorexia kills, it causes the body to waste to such a degree that it ends up being consumed for fuel. I was touched and saddened to find girls and young women who were actively rebelling AGAINST pro ana "wannarexics" and some felt it their responsibility and raison d'etre to fight the dangerous mindset of anorexics-in-training before someone actually died.

One of the more vocal and intellectually gifted pro recovery women goes by the name of Tamaranyc. I met her a couple of weeks ago on her starkly-graphic Xanga site, when I was privy to a large number of photographs of her as a 5 foot 5 inch, 83-pound anorexic. These pictures are highly disturbing and that is the whole idea behind showing them to the world. Tamara has been struggling with serious eating disorders for years and has suffered, pretty much in silence until she gained access to the Internet and was able to put herself out there, to enable teenage girls to come face-to-face with the frightening spectre of severe starvation and its sobering results. After I came across Tamara's site, my eyes were finally opened, forcing me to take a long, hard look at the potential damage I was causing by having a pro-ana section to my website. I'm sure I was destined to come across this remarkable and sad individual, so that I would see the error of my ways and get real about the messages I was sending out to young girls online. Thank heavens I stopped before any harm was (hopefully) done.

You are going to see a lot of pictures of rail-thin celebrities, but unlike the use of them as "thinspiration" to spur young women to diet themselves down to the waifishness of Mary-Kate Olsen, the ubiquitous Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff and Calista Flockhart, to name but a few. Xanga pages are rife with these vacuous images, along with self-portraits culled from camera phones and webcams of the girls themselves. They offer encouragement, support, as ill-conceived as it may be and, most importantly, they enable the wannarexic Xanga-dwellers to suffer in silence and to actively not seek medical help for something they hold up to their own mirrored images and see, not hollow cheeks, thinning hair and bodies in various states of emaciation, but complete physical "perfection."

But those girls seem to be in the minority on Xanga's turbulant pages. The majority of them are just veering, hellbent and with loud whispers of solidarity who have not, as yet, lost a significant amount of weight. They look for diet tips and chronicle their diminishing bodies in the form of blogs that are shared by like-minded individuals. They post statistics ("stats") of their BMI's (body mass index), their Current Weight (CW) Height, Highest weight (HW) Goal Weight (GW) and, more often than not, their 1st GW, 2nd GW and even up to five or six goals to meet, one after another. If one of them gives in to hunger (the enemy) and goes so far as to degrade herself to the extent that she beats herself up by daring to eat a piece of toast. It's really sad, actually.

The celebrities mentioned above, along with others like Kate Bosworth, Teri Hatcher and the notorious wasting women, Victoria Beckham, will also be featured in my stories. These faces are plastered everywhere and the various tabloids are absolutely and completely fixated on stories about these women's diminishing weights. For example, one short story posted below deals with a young woman's gradual disintegration into the nightmarish world of bingeing and purging and this person will be represented by those actors, musicians and all manner of the privileged emaciated. This may seem a bit odd, but it's something that hasn't been done yet, at least I don't believe that it has. I have posted a message boards where those with eating disorders can come and meet like-minded individuals for support and friendship. I belong to a number of these forums, like the Something Fishy board and I am constantly in awe at the courage of those people I have met and I feel as if I have known them for a very long time.

I Am FINALLY Updating This Site!

My apologies to those who frequent this site. I have been so swamped with writing, caring for my dear, diabetic cat, Champagne and coping with life as I know it, that nothing has been added here for an obscene amount of time.

Okay, now that's out of the way. Nothing gets me more worked up and hot under the collar than all these many, many sites for the eating disordered that quote one of my favourite bands, Radiohead's iconic songs, "Creep." Now, I can say this with absolute certainty that the lyrics are NOT supposed to be used as an "Anorexic Creed." When this alternative band sings, "I don't care if it hurts I want to have control. I want a perfect body. I want a perfect soul." These are the ubiquitous four lines so oft quoted and misconstrued.You can't take a step into one of these Xanga sites without tripping on them. I do know that Radioheaddo NOT find it amusing that their lyrics are being taken way too literally and plastered all over the eating disordered online communities, as if it's denouncing bodies and souls that may be imperfect and have a burning desire to aim for perfection and will not settle for anything less.

The song is a metaphor and deals with striving for lives that are so much more than appearance and social status. I realize this is my interpretation, but Radiohead has always been a band for alienated kids. Generation X was squeezed in there between the Boomers and the Y's and as such, will never live out the "American" dream because they are so outnumbered. Bands like REM, Nirvana and Pearl Jam spoke of alienation, disenfranchised youth and were seen as heroes.

This may or may not make a lot of sense, but what I am referring to is a much greater and meaningful commentary on "The Lost Generation." It's a teen anthem of sorts: Kids feel they have to achieve more than their counterparts because there are far fewer of them. Rock music in the 1990's was decidedly dark, depressing and with an air of hopelessness. Radiohead is asking the burning question: "Am I not more than the outward appearance? Is how we look the most important thing?" The answer is a resounding NO.

So when I see those hundreds of Xanga eating disordered websites latch onto what they perceive as needing perfect bodies and clean, perfect souls. There is far, far more to life than how we look. My eating disorders were never about wanting an emaciated body to be my "golden achievement" in life. It's just too damned short. So, my sincerest apology to the Radiohead band.

Now that's out of the way and I'm moving on to something more interesting. Over the next week or so, I will be writing original stories about various people struggling with eating disorders. As the title of this website says, I will be focusing on creative writing, my true love.

Fighting the Battle Of Our Lives:
When Recovery Becomes An Option---But A Very Shaky One

Songs That Dwell On Eating Disorders:
By Today's Top Musicians

Katharine McPhee Faces Her Bulimia Nightmare:
Purging Her Feelings Of Self-Doubt and Insecurity

Stories Of Grief, Of Hope and Of Extreme Courage:
The World Of Anorexia and Bulimia Through Original Creative Works

The First Two Chapters Of My Novel-In-Progress:

Susie Harper Disappears:
Live Journal Of A Tragic Heroine

The Hollywood Enquirer:
Featuring the Best and the Worst In Tinseltown

Singing Meant Everything To Alice
Until Her "Loyal Friend" Returned With A Vengeance

The Hollywood Rogues Gallery:
They're All Starving For Perfection(?)

Maelstrom In A Mirror:
The Search For A Middle Ground

Kicking At the Darkness: Original Poems:
Depicting the Classic Love/Hate Relationship With Ana

I Want A Perfect Body:
The Maelstrom Within

Nicole Richie's Weight Issues:
She Makes It Seem Beautiful

On the Borderline Of Despair

I just don't know you anymore.
You're snorting coke right off the floor.
If you falter, then your nemesis wins.
And then your life in hell begins.

Fame can be a prison for the emotionally lost.
You'll get ever-thinner, no matter what the cost. I can clearly hear your cry of pain.
You can't go down that road again.

As for your family: Cut them loose.
And please stay away from that Grey Goose. Find yourself some worthy friends,
Before you crash and your life ends.

Look, you can tell me where to go.
It's not my business----Yes, I know.
But if you find you're life's mess,
You have my number and address.

No-one hears your frightened screams,
Or sees you straining at the seams.
You many die young. Is that what you want?
You look so fragile and so gaunt.

To starve and slash: Does that work for you?
I really know not what to do.
You're so young, yet seem so old,
They left you shivering in the cold.

I guess that's all I have to say.
Please keep your demons all at bay.
Your family seems so put upon.
Before they reach you, you'll be gone.

Here's my address if anyone needs me:


Self-Talk To A Fatass

I'll run far away from here.
Many miles from my hated mirror.
I've seen the beast; felt his fear
My future could not be clearer.

I must purge the fat from my hidden bones.
It repulses, sickens me.
And like flying, splintered stones
It hurts me----can't you see?

I banned you once, you fatted cow;
Sent you screaming into the night.
But now you're back and I must vow
To claw and tear and fight.

I'll reclaim my power----just wait and see.
You'll no longer taint my life.
I'll emerge one day; I'll be lithe and free
While you dig your grave with your fork and knife.

Running from you will diminish me;
Make me aerodynamic and small.
You will fall by the wayside and see
That I'm not fearful of you at all.

----Delicate Sylph.

I have decided to leave this poem on the site, because, even though this site is no longer pro ana, it deals specifically about our ambivalence when it comes to confronting our eating disorders. I find myself succumbing to the self-hatred of what I perceive as my body's stark imperfections in times of extreme stress. I lost a good friend recently and I am watching my old fears and views somewhat shaky at the moment.

Dying To Be Lindsay:
Her Life On the Borderline Of Despair

A Life-Changing Summer On the Beach:
Daphne Stone's Relentless Pursuit Of Ana

Finally Updated On February 12th, 2008.

It's been nearly eight months since I updated this site. Things have been extremely hectic, with one disaster after another, keeping me held captive in my own depression. Sometimes it gets so overwhelming that I cannot get myself off the couch or out of bed for that matter. But it is with sadness that this update concerns the untimely death of Polly Williams, one of the four women at the Renfrew Center for eating disorders and the focus of the HBO documentary THIN. Please take a few moments to try wrapping your head around just how badly she was feeling that suicide was the only option she had left:

Polly Williams From the HBO Documentary, THIN Dies:
Anorexia, Again Takes Another Young Life With So Much Potential

Polly Ann Williams: Your Cause and Mighty Heart Live On: A Poem

I'm Only Happy When I Starve:
Sara Jane's Introduction To the World Of Anorexia

As you can see, I have unsubscribed to all the pro-ana webrings and will be seeking out pro-recovery ones to put up here instead. I am sorry to have seemingly snubbed the "anorexia as a lifestyle" people who came here. It's not snubbing as much as it's redirecting you and showing that seeking treatment, such as an Inpatient care to literally save your lives. To those who are not ready to be helped with their disorder, I wish you well and that you will have a change of heart.

Take a careful look at the three girls pictured below. They looked happy, albeit slightly chubby in the first photograph. They wore genuine smiles and appeared confident about themselves and their bodies. Still, as societal pressures forced them into slimming down, they all decided to lose weight. As you can see by the second picture, they are substantially thinner, but look miserable. Thinness doesn't automatically make you happy. If you have accomplished little because of obsessing about body size, you will discover, upon shedding the pounds, that there really is more to life than wasting away.

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