Self-acceptance is a rather complex issue, and the borders that people cross to start liking themselves and enjoy the world differ a lot. Everybody has gone through the pain of growing up and realizing that reality is not that bad in the end, but it all depends on how you treat yourself and those who surround you. It is rather difficult, though, to develop an appropriate attitude and try not to destroy yourself while being a teenager. Listening to aggressive heavy metal or dying your hair green for attention is a rather safe tool. Sweet sixteen, we’ve all been there. But what if self-destruction becomes massive and sick? What if one feels so uncomfortable in one’s body that self-shrinking becomes a mission and losing weight becomes a religion? Religion where so-called Ana is a goddess. Sensa Nostra goes inside a mind of a girl who chooses anorexia as a tool of self-acceptance and a path to self-esteem.
I’ve got privilege. I am thin.
It is very easy to gain insolence in your looks, if you let anorexia inside your consciousness. And let it control you. Totally.
The glamour of the disease causes only positive emotions, shows those around you your beautiful new appearance. I did not catch the disease, I created it for the control over those who surround me. For the perfectionism. For the ideal. I talk to Ana; she is perfect. She leads me to the source of purity and warms me with the stomach-ache.
At some point hunger disappears. It used to kick the muscles of the stomach, howl, groan, but then it quieted down and together with me started enjoying the pleasures of carbohydrates and the I-am-from-a-cover look. Let apes devour and get fat. We will become perfect by keeping to a new diet or even better, by becoming anorexic: glamorous creatures, who turned their bodies into exhibits. We created ideals up to our principals and we live according to them.
I used to do sports since I was eight. But when I turned thirteen, I had to quit because I had to start music school. When I was thirteen, my height was 156 cm and my weight 48 kg. After I stopped doing sports I gained weight. Once I came to school wearing leggings and a t-shirt and a girl told me, “Oh, you don’t look as thin as you used to be, your legs became thicker.” She was not rude saying that, but still I started panicking. I started exercising and eating less. First I lost 1 kg, then I stopped for some time. I was looking through pictures of models and I just loved their refined bodies and thin legs. My aim was to lose 4 to 5 kg more. Once I saw pictures of anorexic girls I wanted to be like them. I started starving. I’d had breakdowns, but I kept starting over. My ideals have become smaller. I am fifteen now, my height is 158 cm, I weigh 46 kg. My aim is to be 35 kg.
My mom works and we have different schedules, so she does not know that I am starving. I hide it from her because otherwise she will be worried. My best friend loves anorexia, too. There are people who don’t support this and call me names, but I don’t care about them anymore. I want to reach my goal and be perfect. I know they will be jealous in the end.
I am really good at school, too, because I don’t waste my time. When others are absorbing food, I read, learn and develop myself.
There are plenty of girls that I can share my fears and worries with. There are forums where you can ask questions and get support. These are the people who understand me, who share the same views, who live for Ana. We discuss ways of losing weight, diets and tablets. The most common medicine is fluoxetine. You can buy flu in some pharmacies without prescription. So this is the kind of information we share. Or we talk about how to hide your starvation from parents, or what to do if you’ve lost your menstruation. A lot of girls have already been through this so they are eager to help.
For me, the world of anorexia is a world that broke out of routine, it’s a world of glamour. You have to enjoy it. Reproaches and guilt are a part of its existence, a part of us, of what makes us special. I have to blame myself for being fat, for thinking about food. When I think of food I need to come back to hating myself and looking through the pictures where I look like a pig. This is my motivation to become better. To be anorexic means to belong to another world. You are aware of everything inside of you, of every capillary, every vein, every particle of yourself. You can use your intuition to tell where that red blood cell that you are thinking about is. You are different, you are above everyone.
I know the difference between anorexia and bulimia. The bulimic girls are the ones who gourmandize and then vomit. They suffer convulsive over-eating. After vomiting, they cry. The anorexic girls eat very little or don’t eat at all; they have constant complexes about their weight; they don’t like themselves. Sometimes the anorexic become bulimic. They want to eat everything, everything they have been rejecting. After eating they cry and hate themselves. These are very complex mental disorders. It all depends on your will—some people are stronger than others. Bulimia is a weakness.
Genuine anorexia is when you don’t care about yourself and your health. Your life changes radically, you live in a dream, you live for losing weight. I live every day as if it were the last one. I imagine, there won’t be any chance to become better, and you will die fat, a stupid, uneducated grub who never even had a soul. I don’t like this prospect. That is why I keep breaking through this cocoon to become a butterfly.
I realized that I can’t be like everybody anymore. People are eating all the time, they don’t think about their bodies, about dead food that decomposes in their stomachs. I am used to starving, I can’t live without this anymore, can’t forget about the world of butterflies. My bones are my drugs. Once I saw one in the mirror reflection, I knew I would do anything to get more.
I realize that I am destroying my body. I am doing this because I don’t want it. I want to enjoy the world without taking up so much of its space. I want to flutter.