I, Anonymous

Good-Bye, Ana

The worst part about having an eating disorder is not even realizing you have an eating disorder until a friend looks you dead in the eye and says, "I think you have an eating disorder." When we met up in front of the movie theater, I was disoriented and could barely stand because I hadn't consumed anything other than diet soda and water for more than three days. Walking toward Pine and Sixth to find you on the busy sidewalk was strenuous enough without me constantly thinking about how that girl on the bus stayed so thin and how unfair it was that she could probably fit into a size zero while I barely squeeze into a three. But what really got me talking was when you looked at me and asked if I'd eaten today, as if you knew what I was thinking. You couldn't have known, but you asked me with so much goddamn conviction that I couldn't lie like I wanted to and make up some story about reheated spaghetti noodles and how full I was. It all slipped out. Everything. Every thought I had kept bottled up inside of me for almost two years poured out of my mouth, and instead of telling me I was being childish or it was just some phase, you looked right fucking at me and said: "You don't have to be afraid of food anymore. You don't have to be afraid anymore." You split a sandwich with me, and for the first time in a while, I asked the waitress for a regular Coca-Cola instead of a diet. Thank you so much.


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Comments (23) RSS

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... and then you went and got counseling, I hope. Body image problems don't just go away with cheesy well-wishes from friends.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on September 26, 2012 at 9:11 AM · Report this
I've been there, Anon. I've been there.

Best of luck in your recovery. Be prepared for some of your body systems to not function well for a while.
Posted by Former.Ana. on September 26, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 3
Get into therapy, fast. Eating disorders are perniciuos. @ 1 +
Posted by thatsnotright on September 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 4
Have to mirror what the others are saying, please do not think you can just get better by eating more/kind words from friends.

The first step is always the hardest, but it is still just the first step.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on September 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
AlyinSebby 5
LW Thank you for sharing that life altering moment. And honoring the person who reached out and pulled you up.

Congratulations for stepping into that moment & into your truth.

Everyone else is right. You've opened the door of recovery and now comes a lot of personal work best done w a therapist who is familiar with eating disorders.

:) it's so cheesy but this always grounds me AND makes me laugh, Al Frankin as Stuart Smalley on SNL
"You're good enough!, you're smart enough! and DOGGON IT!!! People like you!"
Posted by AlyinSebby on September 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Thank you I, Anon, this brought tears to my eyes. I have been there as well.
Posted by sicccck on September 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM · Report this
This rings true. @1, don't be such a cynic.
Posted by portland scribe on September 26, 2012 at 7:39 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 8
Wonderful I, Anon! Thanks, Anon- I'm happy for you. Please get some counseling, too...please?
Posted by OutInBumF on September 27, 2012 at 1:46 AM · Report this
OutInBumF 9
PS- Where's the malt liquor and piles of cocaine for this one?
Posted by OutInBumF on September 27, 2012 at 1:47 AM · Report this
@9, I think you just did ..
Posted by friedchicken on September 27, 2012 at 6:15 AM · Report this
This reminds me of one of the most powerful commercials I've seen in a very long time.
Posted by Hybrid Vigor on September 27, 2012 at 7:59 AM · Report this
Bonefish 12
9: That's been replaced by "Bullshit she's obviously just a lying, cheating, MAN-HATING psychotic BITCH just like my WIFE!!!!!!!!!1"
Posted by Bonefish on September 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
onion 13
kuh-riste. where are the kudos for the friend? instead of calling friend "Cheesy" how bout a "good for her/him, for paying attention and for caring enough to say something."
sure LW should now get counseling, but from the way she writes, friend is what started her on the path to salvation.
thank goodness for friends. counselors are crucial, but you'll never get their help without actually going out and finding one. good friends find YOU.
Posted by onion on September 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
@7: It's not cynical, it's reality.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on September 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
This is lovely. good for you and your friend. i hope you are both doing well.
Posted by turtlemilk on September 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Megan 16
Anon, I'm glad you had this moment of realization, and I hope you've started counseling as well.

I also hope you were able, or will be able, to share this message directly to your friend. Although you may not be ready yet, I know from experience how much it will mean to them to know that their words got through.
Posted by Megan on September 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Cured! That was easy.
Posted by Erok on September 27, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
Except that regular coke is full of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Nobody has to starve themselves to lose weight, just be more careful about what you eat. HFCS is the one thing permanently banned from my diet.
Posted by montex on September 27, 2012 at 8:12 PM · Report this
I doubt the LW needs to lose weight.
Posted by migrationist on September 27, 2012 at 9:42 PM · Report this
@montex: Woah. You missed the point.

But still I'm glad you shoehorned in that anti-HFCS point. This is the first I'm hearing of it's negative health effects. Tell me more!
Posted by DMElkins *registered* on September 27, 2012 at 9:59 PM · Report this
@Montex, STFU. The last thing an anorexic needs is diet talk in any form.

Anon, I'm so glad your friend was there for you and that you were able to hear her. Some counseling would definitely REALLY help you on this road to recovery.

To get started, you can give the National Eating Disorders Hotline a call: 1-800-931-2237

Or take a look at their online referral service to find a treatment provider in your area:…

Anyone else who can see themselves in this story, please also give treatment a chance!
Posted by planned barrenhood on September 28, 2012 at 4:14 AM · Report this
easternstar 22
Thanks so much for writing, anon. You and your friend are beautiful!
Posted by easternstar on September 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
mtnlion 23
It's just like in Silver Linings Playbook, when Bradley Cooper and that borderline mess of an alcoholic woman fall in love and start dating in the end.

'Cause true love makes mental disorders all go away.
Posted by mtnlion on September 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM · Report this

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