December 29, 2012 § 16 Comments
EDIT: I finally looked through my e-mail and found the message that told me I got “Freshly Pressed.” In the e-mail, the editor said of my post, “[W]e know it will resonate with lots of other people in the community, and hope that readers will share stories that will give you (and each other) strength as you move toward self-acceptance.” I have a better understanding of why it was featured now. I certainly hope it had the desired effect, and well…I admit nothing but good has come out of the response to “Shedding Skin.” I hope this means the road to recovery for me and the many responders who, too, suffer from eating disorders and other mental illnesses. Thank you all again.
I’m a bit angry. Or, rather, confused.
When I first made the post “Shedding Skin,” I figured it would go completely unnoticed. I see that today it was selected for the “Freshly Pressed” page. To reflect the thoughts of some of those who commented: why? Why should something like this be featured?
Though I only posted it ten days ago, I’ve come to my senses about some things since then. When I reread “Shedding Skin,” I see the delusional ramblings of a girl surrendering to disordered thoughts. That post does not tell the whole story—that is, that I realize exactly how deluded I sound at times and that I am constantly looking for ways to recover from disordered eating, self harm, and OCD behaviors.
However, the end of that post is what disturbs me and makes me question WordPress’s decision to feature it:
Call me insane. But I will be thin. I’ll be thin if it’s the last thing I do.
At the time of writing that post, I was prepared to literally starve myself to death. Do we see the problem here? Are we featuring this post because it’s fascinating, intriguing, a peek into the twisted mind of an anorexic? Yes, it’s interesting to read about mental illness from the perspective of the afflicted, but “Shedding Skin” comes to no logical conclusion and answers no questions. I feel that its only function is shock value and morbid entertainment. Even if it was “good writing,” I think by featuring such a post, we are further romanticizing and dramatizing mental illness. I regret writing out my story in the way that I did. At best I was using writing as therapy. But I wasn’t helping myself or anyone else by talking about weight, posting triggering calorie amounts, and attempting poetry.
This is not Girl, Interrupted or Wintergirls. This is real life, and people die from this. Reading that post is like watching a car wreck, and I don’t think we need more car wrecks on the news. I hope some of you are right and that my writing has the power to help somebody…but for now I am convinced otherwise.
On a different note, I greatly appreciate the many supportive comments I’ve received (and am still receiving), encouraging me to seek help. I’m not sure what direction I’m headed in right now, but I have taken all of your words to heart. Thank you.