The Ana Commandments
If you aren't thin you aren't attractive.
Being thin is more important than being healthy.
You must buy your clothes, cut your hair, take laxatives, starve yourself, do anything to
make yourself look thinner.
Thou shall not eat without feeling guilty.
Thou shall not eat fattening foods without punishing one self afterwards.
Thou shall count calories and restrict intake accordingly.
What the scale says is the most important thing.
Losing weight is good/gaining weight is bad.
You can never be too thin.
Being thin and not eating are signs of true will power and success.
The letter from Ana
Allow me to introduce myself. My
name, or as I am called by so called "doctors", is Anorexia. Anorexia Nervosa is
my full name, but you may call me Ana. Hopefully we can become great partners. In the
coming time, I will invest a lot of time in you, and I expect the same from you. In the
past you have heard all of your teachers and parents talk about you. You are "so
mature", "intelligent", "14 going on 45", and you possess
"so much potential". Where has that gotten you, may I ask? Absolutely no where!
You are not perfect, you do not try hard enough, further more you waste your time on
thinking and talking with friends and drawing! Such acts of indulgence shall not be
allowed in the future.
Your friends do not understand you. They are not truthful. In the past, when the
insecurity has quietly gnawed away at your mind, and you asked them, "Do I
look....fat?" and they answered "Oh no, of course not" you knew they were
lying! Only I tell the truth. Your parents, let's not even go there! You know that they
love you, and care for you, but part of that is just that they are your parents and are
obligated to do so. I shall tell you a secret now: deep down inside themselves, they are
disappointed with you. Their daughter, the one with so much potential, has turned into a
fat, lazy, and undeserving girl.
But I am about to change all that.
I will expect you to drop your calorie intake and up your exercise. I will push you to the
limit. You must take it because you cannot defy me! I am beginning to imbed myself into
you. Pretty soon, I am with you always. I am there when you wake up in the morning and run
to the scale. The numbers become both friend and enemy, and the frenzied thoughts pray for
them to be lower than yesterday, last night, etc. You look into the mirror with dismay.
You prod and poke at the fat that is there, and smile when you come across bone. I am
there when you figure out the plan for the day: 400 calories, 2 hours exercise. I am the
one figuring this out, because by now my thoughts and your thoughts are blurred together
as one. I follow you throughout the day. In school, when your mind wanders I give you
something to think about. Recount the calories for the day. It's too much. I fill your
mind with thoughts of food, weight, calories, and things that are safe to think about.
Because now, I am already inside of you. I am in your head, your heart, and your soul. The
hunger pains you pretend not to feel is me, inside of you.
Pretty soon I am telling you not
only what to do with food, but what to do ALL of the time. Smile and nod. Present yourself
well. Suck in that fat stomach, dammit! God, you are such a fat cow!!!! When mealtimes
come around I tell you what to do. I make a plate of lettuce seem like a feast fit for a
king. Push the food around. Make it look like you've eaten something. No piece of
anything...if you eat, all the control will be broken...do you WANT that?? To revert back
to the fat COW you once were?? I force you to stare at magazine models. Those perfect
skinned, white teethed, waifish models of perfection staring out at you from those glossy
pages. I make you realize that you could never be them. You will always be fat and never
will you be as beautiful as they are. When you look in the mirror, I will distort the
image. I will show you obesity and hideousness. I will show you a sumo wrestler where in
reality there is a starving child. But you must not know this, because if you knew the
truth, you might start to eat again and our relationship would come crashing down.
Sometimes you will rebel.
Hopefully not often though. You will recognize the small rebellious fiber left in your
body and will venture down to the dark kitchen. The cupboard door will slowly open,
creaking softly. Your eyes will move over the food that I have kept at a safe distance
from you. You will find your hands reaching out, lethargically, like a nightmare, through
the darkness to the box of crackers. You shove them in, mechanically, not really tasting
but simply relishing in the fact that you are going against me. You reach for another box,
then another, then another. Your stomach will become bloated and grotesque, but you will
not stop yet. And all the time I am screaming at you to stop, you fat cow, you really have
no self control, you are going to get fat.
When it is over you will cling to
me again, ask me for advice because you really do not want to get fat. You broke a
cardinal rule and ate, and now you want me back. I'll force you into the bathroom, onto
your knees, staring into the void of the toilet bowl. Your fingers will be inserted into
your throat, and, not without a great deal of pain, your food binge will come up. Over and
over this is to be repeated, until you spit up blood and water and you know it is all
gone. When you stand up, you will feel dizzy. Don't pass out. Stand up right now. You fat
cow you deserve to be in pain! Maybe the choice of getting rid of the guilt is different.
Maybe I chose to make you take laxatives, where you sit on the toilet until the wee hours
of the morning, feeling your insides cringe. Or perhaps I just make you hurt yourself,
bang your head into the wall until you receive a throbbing headache. Cutting is also
effective. I want you to see your blood, to see it fall down your arm, and in that split
second you will realize you deserve whatever pain I give you. You are depressed, obsessed,
in pain, hurting, reaching out but no one will listen? Who cares?!?!! You are deserving;
you brought this upon yourself.
Oh, is this harsh? Do you
not want this to happen to you? Am I unfair? I do do things that will help you. I make it
possible for you to stop thinking of emotions that cause you stress. Thoughts of anger,
sadness, desperation, and loneliness can cease because I take them away and fill your head
with the methodic calorie counting. I take away your struggle to fit in with kids your
age, the struggle of trying to please everyone as well. Because now, I am your only
friend, and I am the only one you need to please. I have a weak spot. But we must not tell
anyone. If you decide to fight back, to reach out to someone and tell them about how I
make you live, all hell will break lose. No one must find out, no one can crack this shell
that I have covered you with. I have created you, this thin, perfect, achieving child. You
are mine and mine alone. Without me, you are nothing. So do not fight back. When others
comment, ignore them. Take it into stride, forget about them, forget about everyone that
tries to take me away. I am your greatest asset, and I intend to keep it that way.
Strict is my diet. I must not
want. It maketh me to lie down at night hungry. It leadeth me past the confectioners. It
trieth my willpower. It leadeth me in the paths of alteration for my figure's sake. Yea,
though I walk through the aisles of the pastry department, I will buy no sweet rolls for
they are fattening. The cakes and the pies, they tempt me. Before me is a table set with
green beans and lettuce. I filleth my stomach with liquids, My day's quota runneth over.
Surely calorie and weight charts will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell
in the fear of the scales forever.
I believe in Control, the only
force mighty enough to bring order to the chaos that is my world.
I believe that i am the most vile, worthless and useless person ever to have existed on
the planet, and that I am totally unworthy of anyone's time and attention.
I believe that other people who tell me differently are idiots. If they could see how I
really am, then they would hate me almost as much as I do.
I believe in perfection and strive to attain it.
I believe in salvation through trying just a bit harder than I did yesterday.
I believe in bathroom scales as an indicator of my daily successes and failures.
I believe in hell, because I sometimes think that I am living in it.
I believe in a wholey black and white world, the losing of weight, recrimination for sins,
abnegation of the body and a life ever fasting.