today i thought i’d surf around for some blogs on anorexia. i was looking for active, relatively up-to-date blogs that would talk about the experience of living with or recovering from anorexia, or perhaps the experience of living with or caring about someone with anorexia.
i thought it would be easy – it’s a well-known topic, it’s an issue that affects a lot of people. but after spending almost a whole day on and off (granted, with a slow connection here in kelowna, where i am on vacation), i came up with nothing. only when it occurred to me to go to xanga, a blog/friend site used quite a bit by young women, did i strike gold.
why could i not find anything anywhere else?
let’s see. if i were dealing with anorexia, would i want to write about it?
there are several stages/layers of anorexia. in the beginning, it seems to the person that nothing is wrong – maybe she just really enjoys being slim and making sure that she won’t overeat. the thought of anorexia would not ever come up, so there is nothing to write about.
later on, people start to comment on how thin the person is, that maybe she should see a doctor, that she should “just eat more”, or not be so concerned about body image. maybe the odd person might mention the possibility of anorexia.
at this point, the person will either look into the possibility that she has anorexia, or get annoyed at all these people trying to mess with her life (this latter one being the far more frequent scenario). i could see how writing an online journal might be a way to let off some steam here.
as the anorexia progresses, this annoyance increases more and more, although it may not feel like the anger that is perceived as annoyance – labeling feelings, especially feelings that are not “perfect” can be very difficult for people with anorexia.
if i was in that situation, i might want to hang out with people who understand, people who won’t bug me all the time about my thinness, people who understand how crucially important it is not to be fat. this is the point at which many people – and more often than not they are women – discover the pro ana movement, a group that promotes anorexia as a lifestyle rather than an illness.
the web was full of pro ana sites and blogs a few years ago but understandably, many ended up being banned (for example, people aren’t able to post pro ana sites on blogger anymore). i wonder whether there are still quite a few such blogs around but only in little niches in the web that are hard to access for people who don’t know their way around the pro ana world.
at this stage of anorexia, some people end up in treatment, willingly or unwillingly. i wouldn’t expect too many blogs to appear during the beginning phases of individual therapy or while they are in a treatment center.
after (or between) treatments, some people end up back in an anorexic lifestyle (who might then re-join the pro ana community on the web), and others wrestle with the challenges of recovery. it is here that i am most surprised that i couldn’t find anything other than in xanga. there are quite a few blogs around of people in recovery, why not anorexics in recovery? hopefully we’ll get some comments on this.
it makes sense, of course, that young women with anorexia would want to stick with sites such as xanga, which is a site designed for and frequented mostly by teenagers. “serious” older bloggers would probably not want to use xanga as a platform. which leaves the question, where are all the 25+ people who live with or are recovering from anorexia? no bloggers there? maybe i should post this question at something fishy, one of the most frequently used sites for people recovering from anorexia.
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