Thursday, July 29, 2010


Jan, after therapy

"Hi Medusa.

At first I just wanted to tell you, that I think, your page is one of the most important in the whole "pro-or-against-eating-disorder" thing.

I'm very sorry for my bad English, I hope, I'll find the words to tell my story. Maybe it'll help anyone to find his/her true self and leave his ED behind.

Half a year ago I thought my eating disorder started in 2008. Now I know that this is not right, it's just that nobody recognized.

When I was at the kindergarten I was a very small and thin child, always underweight. When I started elementary school I also started binging, I don't know why. With 11 years I had a weight about 130 pounds (about 145 cm tall), my parents always asked themselves what was wrong with me (another interesting point maybe is, that my younger brother (I'm 4 years older) started binging also when elementary school began).

I always hated my weight. I always hated my body. I always felt useless, unable to be loved, outstanding and misunderstood, my phobia started with about 8 (I feared nearly everything. Day, night, people, loneliness, darkness, mirrors, talking, and so on), my depressions with 11, with 12. I tried to kill myself or the first time.

With 14 I was diagnosed with Borderline, I was also cutting myself. I was so full of hate and all of it was against my worthless existence.

Jan, a half year before her bulimia started

With 15 I started therapy at a psychiatric ward and stayed there for 5 months. When I went home, I thought it might go better from now, but that was not the face, it went worse.

After another try to kill myself on New Year 2008 I had my second therapy on a ward. I started purging but nobody saw it. At this time it wasn't often, about 2 times a month.

In July I found pro-ana-pages and that was when my ED was complete:

First starving for about 3/4 of a year, I lost nearly 50 pounds. Then my body didn't wanted to do this anymore, but I wanted to, so my bulimia went out of "control" (of course, it's been ALL out of control before. But I never realized).

One year in hell passed, I still don't know how I survived it. Then I went to a clinic which was specialized on eating disorders. This was where I found out, that my ED did not start when I found pro-ana. Where I learned what kind of problems I ever had and why I tried to hide them behind symptoms like cutting, purging or starving. It's been all the same but my parents never saw my problems. I was always the one who said: "I can't live on like this, I need to go to a psychologist", my parents never realized. This does not mean that they didn't take care of me, they just... did not SEE the problems.

Jan, during therapy

After the last clinic I moved out from my mother’s house. I'm living alone now and slowly I started to LIKE myself. Not loving, not yet. But there's an acceptance and some days I look in the mirror and think: "Hey. You're a pretty girl, aren't you? Why did you hate yourself all this time?"

In the end I still don't say that these 15 years of mental disease are wasted. Because they made me being what I am now and they made me also realize that life's often harder than the other might know.

I'm happy at the moment. I like myself - and I LOVE life. And I am glad I survived.

Best greetings to everyone. I hope you'll also find out one day that life's worth to be lived.


Follow on Buzz

Monday, July 26, 2010



You've probably noticed the Photobucket "Bandwith Exceeded" messages all over my site.  Something is amiss as I have a Photobucket Pro account.

I've reported the problem to Photobucket, so hopefully the glitch will be fixed soon.

Serenity now, serenity now...

Follow on Buzz

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Frozen Flower


I stumbled upon your site in an effort to better understand myself and the patients I was helping to treat in an eating disorder clinic, where I am a psych tech. Every day I see women who struggle to decide if they want to get better, stay where they are, or end it all. Sites like yours help give me faith that even if the time isn't right for recovery for that person, maybe they will stumble upon yours or another similar site, combine that with past treatment, and get the encouragement and support they need to take back their life and control from their ED monster.

I myself struggle with eating issues and bulimia, which is why I sought a job in this particular field (I am in a place where I am not triggered by my job and am doing well).
I wanted so badly to show to those patients and gentle souls how I really do know how it feels, and that recovery is hard but worth it (but employee mandates require me not to disclose my condition which I understand. their treatment is about them).

But I can say with out a doubt that there are people out there who I have only known for a few weeks or even days who I truly love and wish the best for. If every person treated themselves with the dignity and respect they deserved, and to which they are truly entitled to, seeing the amazing person they are inside and out, I really believe making the choice to choose health and happiness over pain and death would be easier.

So often we want to give friends and family a perfectly pain-free life experience, and take care of all their needs, yet we make the conscious decision to not do so for ourselves (for reasons of guilt, unworthiness or self hatred, etc.) My goal is to always remind people that they are worthy of being taken care of by themselves.

For anyone who is struggling in a treatment center, outpatient therapy, or silently suffering, there are people who care about you, who you have never, and may never, meet in person. My only desire is that you hold on, and know that somewhere in the world there is someone who understands and loves you unconditionally and that those in treatment centers who appear to be "phoning it in" for their job go home and cry when they see the devastation and pain written in people's eyes and on their bodies.

I see people at the worst part of their lives, who when they come in are a shadow of their personality, a splinter that is sharp and rough; who are depressed, angry, hurt, have had sexual, psychological, or physical trauma, and have been carelessly used in ways that are criminally indescribable.

But even when I am yelled at for asking a patient to finish their meal, for asking them to follow a rule or policy, or to just take one more bite, I know that it is worth it. They may decide to refuse their meal. They may decide to cut, to overdose, to act out or tell me directly they hate me, and may even hit me. But I still love them, every one, even if they will never know.

These people are daughters, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers and friends who deserve all the care and respect in the world, and I feel privileged to be a part of the recovery, and healing process, even if the patient isn't ready, yet.

Thank you for your website, for people's stories and for the support you give.

From frozen winters to new life and beauty, recovery is possible and wonderful

- tmmk”

Follow on Buzz

Monday, July 19, 2010


"Death doesn't bargain."

(August Strindberg, The Dance of Death)

Follow on Buzz

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I received the email below from Tasha* yesterday. It nearly broke my heart.

Tasha is begging for help. I'm unable to reply to her directly because she wrote to me using her father's email address.

Tasha, if you read this, please talk to your parents about what you're going through. Please be honest with them. They love you and will help you to get the medical attention you need.

If you're unwilling to tell your parents, please call the telephone numbers below as soon as possible. The person who answers the telephone at those numbers will help you.

Thursday's Child National Call Center/The National Youth Advocacy Hotline:

1-800-USA-KIDS (1-800-872-5437)


Boys and Girls Town National Hotline:


If anyone is able to offer Tasha advice, please leave a comment on this post. Thanks so much to all who comment.


"hi medusa ,

i probably wasting you time by emailing in, so im so sorry. please can you not email back, as i want to keep evrything that i think about and do private from my parents .

but anyway ima 12 yearold girl and i always go on your site , almost obssessively! to be honest with you i found you looking for pro-ana. it makes me feel sick and im ashamed to admit i look at such sites but its as i derserve to starve.

ive always been obsessed with my weight. in fact i remember going on a diet about 5 and being thrilled when my ribcage protruded. im a disgrace and a failure though now. i eat compulsively , always thinking about what to eat next my next meal. if i try to diet i ALWAYS end up binging and eating all the snacks at home. fat failure. i know im not really fat but i am. i no it dosent make sense but thats how i feel.

im 70 pounds and am 4 foot 8. all the girls on your site weigh less than me. i no they are sick and i should be repulsed but they have an elegance about them. theyre tiny and perfect and dainty and delecate. im a gymnast so i often see my body very graphicly. my gym has a lot of mirrors , and i cant help starung at how big my thighs are , how round my bum is. how heavyi must be.

im sick and twisted and depressed. i always look up vi deos and pics of anorexia. im sick and derseve to die. those poor girls are dieing and all i can do is be envious if them. no selfcontrol cow. ive made myself throw up twice but i scratched my throat and then i realised how stupid i was.

how come evryone around me is stick thin and eat chocalate and cakes and dont feel guilty or get fat?! do they throw it up to? sometimes when im ona diet my freinds make me eat. i hate them for it because then i loose evrything and eat it all. then i love them bcause they care. my parents worry because i always look up my bmi. i think it is 17.5. obese. only one person understands, a close freind of mine whos been through the same.

exept im sick fat idiot. noone understands either. i hate myself and soorry for wasting your time. please if you do put this on the site change all names. but i dont know why you would im justa fat nothing.

lots os love tasha* xxxx
thankyou for being their, i really need a shoulder to lean on right now . :'( x"

*name changed

Follow on Buzz

Saturday, July 17, 2010


"...the number of men treated for anorexia has increased by 67 per cent in the past five years."*

Hello Medusa,

I've been reading your blog for quite some time now, and have found it of great help in my recovery. It helped me put into light what I was doing to myself, what I was at risk of becoming like, the absurdity of it all. Reading other people's stories led me to put things in perspective, see from the outside what I was subjecting myself to; and seeing how sad it made me to read about other people in similar situations made me imagine how sad it certainly was for the people who love me to see me harming myself in such a way.

I wanted to share part of my story with you; because it's good to talk to someone who can understand, and because I feel that I'm at a turning point in my life. Feel free to share it on your blog if you wish.

My name's Oliver and I'm French. I'll be turning 23 soon, and I've had, shall I say, 'explicit' trouble with food since I was 16. Up until then, it was merely a matter of combining bad eating habits with depression and anxiety (due to a major physical birth defect), thus resorting to unhealthy comfort eating when I felt particularly unwell. I had no one to talk to; I always was an extremely reserved and taciturn child, and did not get along with other kids my age. They usually thought I was weird, and constantly made fun of me for being different. I was verbally and physically abused, and, when I was 9, raped, because my physical condition made me an ideal target.

Then, on top of my depression, I came to realise that over the past years, I had gradually become really unfit. This added to my self-loathing and anxiety, which in turn made me resort to binging in order to shut off my feelings for a while. The bouts were few and sparse at first, accompanied by short fasts every once in a while; but as time went by, they grew more and more frequent, and my main method of compensation became purging.

I was incredibly successful in hiding it from my family; to this day, they still have no idea what I've been going through - and I have no desire to tell them. I have always thought I was the only one responsible for my decisions and actions, and that my recovery depended on myself and myself alone. My girlfriend did not understand why I was doing this, and talking to her made me feel guilty more often than not, so I kept to myself most of the time. Sometimes she made fun of me for having a "girl's" disorder - the kind of comments that, in my opinion, make many men with eating disorders wary or afraid to speak up about their illness.

Green Tower by Roger Dean

When I was nineteen, I underwent the last of three major surgeries meant to try and correct my disability. They helped me, but I was painfully aware that my body was still abnormal and not entirely functional, and would always remain so.

My depression eventually got to the point where I sought professional help. Nevertheless, I had a very hard time opening up to my therapists about my eating disorder. Partly because, being a man, I feared I would not be taken seriously, but mainly because I was not looking to hear the 'reasons why' - I knew those well enough - but rather the 'way how'. How I could possibly deal with that, with all the depression and anxiety and anger and frustration that had slowly been building up inside me for the past nineteen years. And I truly believed that I was the only one capable of finding the answer to that question. I saw myself as weak and powerless, which added even more to my lack of self-esteem.

It got to the point where I was purging almost every day, sometimes twice a day, sometimes without even binging. That sent me in a downwards spiral of worsening depression, which I 'fought' by restricting and over-exercising. The mere thought of eating disgusted me (albeit on a moral level more than physical), every meal was a nightmare. I couldn't stand seeing people eating, let alone having them see me eating. I was weighing myself everyday, counting calories, and I was completely unable to enjoy a meal, let alone eat out. In spite of this, I never was underweight; in my mind, I was so pathetic that I even failed as an anorectic. Even at my lowest - yet still normal - weight of 58kg for 1m75, I perceived myself as disgustingly fat and repulsive. I wanted to be emaciated, to take as little space as possible, to disappear.

I started working in the Summer of 2008, when I was 21. It was of tremendous help for me, both with regards to my depression and lack of self-confidence (I worked as a funeral attendant and master of funeral ceremonies), and although I still felt very anxious and ill at ease in my body, my job allowed me to find relief, something to focus upon. When I was with a grieving family, everything related to myself didn't count anymore - everything had to be perfect for them, and I felt I had the ability to provide them with a service that would make them feel relieved and supported.

My eating also got a lot better at that time. Prior to that, I'd had orthorexic tendencies that interfered with my every meal, surrounding them with guilt and remorse about eating something 'wrong'. My job required me to be adequately nourished so I would keep all my physical and mental strength - and my job was more important to me than what I thought was a way for me to keep control of my eating.

But I still wasn't recovered. I still didn't know how to deal with my emotions without turning to binging and purging, and although I was beginning to open up to my girlfriend, I had yet to find something I could consider a solution. My psychologist, whom I unfortunately stopped seeing when I began working, had given me a few tips I could use when I felt a breakdown coming, but I still felt alone facing my eating disorder. I needed a perspective, something that could make me look at the future and see hope amongst the frustration and anxiety that overwhelmed me.

That perspective was brought to me through the decision I made to pursue my initial professional goal. I applied for entrance into an embalming school, was accepted, and over the course of my studies, was constantly comforted in the thought that, at last, I had found what was right for me, what I was meant to do.

Of course, that also was, and still is the cause of an insane amount of stress and worrying, especially since the main issue that caused my depression in the first place - my physical abnormalities - is still far from being resolved, which seemed to multiply the intensity of my anxiety exponentially. I went back to seeing my psychologist, and he's helping me realise that I've already come a long way, and that I'm doing very well in fighting what can be fought.

But even though it was objectively better, my eating disorder was still a problem. It was still waiting, bursting out from its hiding place from time to time, to prove me I was still failing against it.

But I have found one thing that proved to be, for me, the source of nothing but well-being and happiness. This year, I joined a gospel choir. I love singing, but I never liked my voice. Singing with other people made me feel at ease, and what's even more important for me, I've made friends there.

I quickly came to realise that my eating disorder was interfering with my singing, that it was impossible for me to sing with a sore throat, a stuffed nose and a reduced vocal range, as a result of purging. Not to mention that I was feeling hypocritical singing about hope while puking my insides out in despair at home.

I am an atheist, but I am convinced one does not need to believe in God to perceive the message that gospel gives out. It is a message of hope and faith, and while I personally don't put my hope and faith in any particular spiritual figure, I definitely feel I can apply those to my own situation nonetheless.

Singing is the one thing that can never fail to make me happier. It brings me relief, it makes me feel empowered towards my eating disorder; it gives me the strength to tell it straightforward 'guess what, no, I'm not resorting to you anymore for comfort, I have something you could never rival with now, and you're not ruining it'.

Yes, I have something that truly makes me feel better, and which only brings people happiness and peace. I'm no longer harming anybody, myself included.

I am not recovered, but I am recovering. And succeeding."


Male Models who are too thin have been banned from the catwalk

Follow on Buzz


Mick Jagger & Peter Tosh

A little something to get you in the groove this morning :^)

(You Gotta Walk And) Don't Look Back...

If it's love that you're running from
There is no hiding place
Just your problems, no one else's problems
You just have to face

If you just put your hand in mine
We're gonna leave all our troubles behind
Gonna walk and don't look back

Now if your first lover let you down
There's something that can be done
Don't kill your faith in love
Remembering what's become


Places behind you
There to remind you

Now if your first lover let you down
There's something that can be done
Gonna heal your faith in love
Remembering what's been done


Songwriters: W. Robinson & Ronald White

Follow on Buzz

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Dear Medusa,

Tonight was the first time I have ever visited your blog, and tonight is the first time I have ever wanted to recover from my ED.

Last year I was diagnosed with anorexia. I was 17 and finishing high school, and lost 18 kg in 5 months. It has been the worst time of my life. I have been hospitalised twice, and have become half the person I used to be.

I am studying law, champion dancer and have amazing friends and family, but yet I still feel I don’t deserve to have this amazing life and so therefore continue to punish myself. I am now at the tail end of my weight gain process as I have gained 9 kg since I was diagnosed, however the threat of hospital still remains.

I feel your website is the only one I have ever been on that shows anorexia for what it actually illness. It is NOT fun to be skinny, you are NOT happy, or more successful. It will end your life.

Luckily I have been treated quickly and so I will be able to make a full recovery. My mum has anorexia and I have seen the damage it has done to her.

I want girls to see the reality of anorexia. It is nothing like anyone could ever imagine. Once you experience it, you will never get away. Next time girls look at a thin model, I don’t want them to look at her ribs and hip bones, but and look at the emptiness and self-hatred in her eyes. Next time girls look in the mirror and see how fat they are, find your true beauty through your intelligence and family and friends around them.

When we all leave this earth, no one will ever remember you for how much you weighed, but by how many lives you touched and achievements you accomplished. Anorexia took every single positive aspect of my life, and some of these I can never get back. However, at least I now know that what I say is so much more fucking important than how I look.

Thank you for allowing me to want to recover tonight. This is the first time in my recovery that I have decided I don’t want to look like this anymore. I am finally doing this for me, and no one else.

Kind regards,
Colleen* xxxx


Follow on Buzz



“Hi Medusa,

I came across your site and just wanted to share my story with you.

I've been a big girl for as long as I can remember. At my highest weight I was 230 lbs. Looking back on it now, I think I've always had an eating disorder. I remember spending all my free time substituting friendship with food. I was a major binge eater.

I grew up in a complicated situation, my father being of a middle class background, and my mother of the working class. My parents were never married and I lived with my mother. My father exposed me to many different things like Broadway plays, trips to Europe, etc. I've always been torn between two worlds.

I'm a 19 year old African American girl and my whole life I've never been "black enough" or "good enough" to meet anyone's expectations. I didn't have any friends in my neighborhood because I was always accused of "being too white". I also didn't fit in with anyone in my school (being 1 of 2 black children there) because I did not meet their stereotypes.

As I previously stated, I was also a large child. When I went off to college one of my friends there suggested I diet and exercise with her. She also told me about how she went on pro-ana websites and got tips from those girls on how to lose weight fast. I started doing the same thing, and soon found myself being drawn into their world. I found that they could care less about race or background, as long as I could empathize with their struggle to lose weight. As long as I was thin enough. I managed to get down to 103lbs in a little less then a year just by restricting and over-exercising.

Things got worst when I switched campuses and moved in with my best friend who was battling depression at the time. My eating disorder shifted gears. I began binging and purging to compensate for my restriction and my anger at my friend's "control" when her depression took such a toll on her that she slept most of the time and did not bother to eat. She went from a size 12 to a size 8. I went from a size 6 to a size 00.

I was made to go see a psychiatrist, my mother unable to deal with my "white girl issues." My therapist advised I go into treatment, and I began day treatment at the Renfrew Center. My weight went up to 142lbs while I was there. I became so depressed by it that I became suicidal. I began cutting again, something I had not done since I was 13. I attempted suicide 3 times while I was there. Things got so bad that finally they forced me to go into the psych ward and I was made to stay 6 days. During that time I dropped back down to 130lbs, as I would not eat. I was told that I could not go back to the center unless I agreed to do residential treatment. I refused. A week later my mother gave me the ultimatum of either going into residential treatment or being kicked out of the house. I chose to go.

Next week I will begin my stay at residential. I am nervous and afraid. I am no where near underweight. I'm now 132 lbs, my weight having bounced around since I left. I know that a lot of the girls there are very much into their eating disorders, and I worry that I'll come out worse than when I went in. I'm still ambivalent about recovery. Having only gained any semblance of friendship and admiration when I hit my lowest weight to date (via my followers on blogger) I find it hard to even think about recovery. But I suppose that I'm willing to give it a try.

Anyway, that is my story. Thanks for listening.”

Follow on Buzz