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 fascinatingintriguinga 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.


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§ 16 Responses to Exposure

  • Being June says:

    Well crap. I’m sorry it went this way. My guess is you hoped for your words to be read…just not read by so many. This blogging thing, to me, is about self-expression but it’s also about people connecting and lifting each other up inasmuch as that’s possible. I hope my ignorance with regard to eating disorders didn’t inadvertently offend you or anyone else. If it did, I’m sorry. Your words touched me, and I felt compelled to respond.

    • glassrabbitbone says:

      Oh, no, I certainly wasn’t offended! I’m glad it produced a response, but I suppose I’m partly angry at myself for writing about it in a way that, to me, seems like romanticism. I’m just experiencing some confusion about why it was “Freshly Pressed,” especially with its morbid ending… Reading it now, it just sounds like my eating disorder talking and I’m wondering why that deserves exposure.
      Either way, I truly do appreciate your comments. ❤

      • Being June says:

        I just read your edit about what WordPress had to say for themselves. I must admit I’m relieved, but mostly I’m smiling for you. The very fact that you had the strength to reread Shedding Skin and gain new perspective from it speaks volumes. And, whether you like it or not, you’ve found a “tribe.” 🙂 We care about you, and you’ve certainly opened my eyes to the dangers of eating disorders. For what it’s worth, that you are able to separate yourself from your eating disorder (“was my eating disorder talking”) sounds like a step in the right direction. Whatever direction you choose, I wish you good things.

  • Denise Hisey says:

    You have touched a nerve in many of us, I think. A nerve of how we see ourselves and how we see each other.
    I didn’t read it for the shock value, but rather as a connection to another person struggling with real life issues.
    It’s refreshing that you’ve reevaluated your previous post and what the response means to you.

    • glassrabbitbone says:

      Thank you. I’m glad some people were able to relate! And yes, I think that post was a learning experience for me, in any case. It’s very odd reading it now.

  • Nataly says:

    I never read the “Freshly Pressed” pages, nor do I search for blogs with eating disorder tags but a friend asked me “if I’d been to wordpress lately”… as a result, I clicked on freshly pressed and saw your Shedding Skin post.

    I only read it because I once titled something I wrote very similarly. Anyway…getting to my point…I read your post. I didn’t find the way you wrote about it romantic or glamourous. Instead, I found it honest and authentic. And I think that is how/why things are chosen for freshly pressed.

    I also know that the ED community on wordpress is extremely supportive and new blogs on popular topics are featured to help new bloggers get started. I hope that what you find is an environment that will help support you through your struggle, whether it’s recovery, relapse or “other”. Feel free to get in touch via email or through my blog.

    Stay safe. xo.

  • Reblogged this on allcelebritiesworld's Blog and commented:
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  • Morgan Ross says:

    I agree that tons of stuff publicized about EDs misrepresents them as dramatic and romantic (and yes, don’t even get me started with the novel “Wintergirls,” which I can’t figure out why is touted as a valuable ED narrative). But, I didn’t get the impression that WordPress FP’d your post for its potential exotic allure. I suspect at least part of the reason they made such an atypical selection was to open up a conversation about a controversial issue: Thinsperation and ED blogs like yours are all over the WWW and your account is very raw. But what do I know.

    At any rate, hang in there. An ED is an addiction. Mine took many years and relapses and a whole lot of pain and agony and isolation (that’s the nature of the beast, after all), but it did eventually stabilize.

  • allthewaydoc says:

    I read your shedding skin blog and my heart was very saddened for you. Not just because of your struggles with ED and cutting but the underlying self hatred that causes it! I wonder what causes someone to hate themselves so much that they want to hurt themselves that badly?

    I thought your blog was well written and very raw and I am sure that is why it was freshly pressed. Many controversial topics are picked to be freshly pressed.

    On a completely other note, medical illustrator is an awesome career choice! I LOVE well drawn medical pictures! There is a guy Frederic Delavier who is an amazing illustrator of human anatomy! He has several books about Strength training anatomy. I find it so helpful when I am working out to have a more clear idea of the exact muscles I am working on with each exercise! I wish you the best of luck in this career!

    Wishing you a most amazing and life changing New Year!

  • Redterrain says:

    I can understand feeling regret in being so open for the world to see….
    In any case you’ve got people who are rooting for you to overcome this darkness from which you began writing.

    You sound aware, and being someone whom has been in that dark place, I believe you’ll use this as a platform to love yourself. Everyone has dark days.

    I do agree that WP sometimes features topics soley because they are controversial. If anything they may have seen your struggle and known they could help.

    I hope you can learn to love yourself just as openly as well.


  • Redterrain says:

    I feel I should add a few tricks that I used to turn my eating disorder off.

    1. Stop standing on the scales.

    2. Mark good days on a calendar, and make little goals to beat your previous record. Have someone see these and sign off for you. Knowing that you have someone else to report to, will make you second guess self destruction.

    3. After you’ve eaten a proper meal, head outside. Walk. For 20 minutes stroll, listen to music, or chat to a friend. This is not for exercise. You’ll be distracting yourself from negative thoughts and the need to purge. It’s very important to also push those thoughts away.

    4. Enjoy the taste and engery food can give you. Your body and brain need it to function properly. I was a little bit of a slow poke mentally for a while when I was not eating. Things get a bit hazy.

    Those are the most useful things I did while I was recovering. If you need someone to talk to… you can always email me: redterrain@hotmail.com

  • ntexas99 says:

    I agree with you on so many fronts … yes, I found your Shedding Skin blog article via Freshly Pressed, and initially, it was the style of your writing that drew me in, and had me reaching towards the next sentence, and then the next. At some point in the story, I became aware that I was witnessing the words of someone that was CURRENTLY in the struggle; your words were not the words of someone who has conquered the insidious voice that exists in our heads and convinces us that harming ourselves is our only salvation.

    Yes, at some point in the story, I became acutely aware that I was trespassing, and yet I kept moving forward, absorbing every word. I didn’t mean to see more than you intended to share, and it was not my right to pry so deeply into your personal story, and yet, I couldn’t stop myself from reading all the way to the end of the story.

    Your words felt honest, and true. Troubled? Yes. Dangerously revealing? Yes. Worrisome and alarming? Yes.

    There was a time on my blog that I wrote blog entries that were excrutiatingly detailed accounts of some very troubling times in my life. I was not a cutter, nor was I struggling against starvation issues, but I did some things in my life that caused me great harm. I’m over fifty years old now, and it has taken me a lifetime to undo some of the damage, and the truth is that I still struggle against some of the residual issues that constantly put me in a frame of mind that echoes the voice in my head that tells me to end it all. My own version of your admonition,

    “I’ll be thin if it’s the last thing I do.”

    When I wrote about some heart-wrenching and troubling times that I experienced, my blog gained readership at a rapid pace. I was convinced that maybe, just maybe, I was helping someone by putting voice to something that was so horrific that most people couldn’t bring themselves to speak about it openly. I convinced myself that maybe my words were saving someone else from harm.

    In the end, though, I felt conflicted. Were people drawn to my blog because of my horrendous stories of rape and incest and drug abuse and violence because they felt a solidarity with me, or were they simply voyeurs who were fascinated by the gory details?

    For now, I’ve removed almost all of my blog content. I’m simmering with my thoughts on the back burner, and am practically vibrating with all the stories I haven’t even written yet. I’m giving myself some time to decide whether it was something that served a purpose, even if for no other reason than to allow me to voice some horrors that had lived inside me for far too long. If writing them down helped me release any of the damage, well, then the writing and exposing of my secrets had some purpose. If it also helped someone else along the way, then even better.

    As for barging into your blog space and absorbing such a personal story, I have only two things to say: (1) I’m sorry you are struggling, and I hope that the writing of it will not only help to release you in some way, but that your words might also put a voice to the voiceless, and (2) I apologize for continuing to read, even when I knew I was crossing into your own personal and sacred space. I’d like to believe that I was hoping for a neat and tidy resolution at the end of the story, but then, when I got to the end, and read your

    “I’ll be thin if it’s the last thing I do.”

    I knew that I was witnessing something true.

    Some part of me has to believe that when we speak the truth, we begin the process of healing ourselves. It is only when we stay silent that we allow our secrets to destroy us, especially when it is our own thoughts that put us in danger. You’ve already demonstrated that you know exactly what you are up against, and you are arming yourself for battle. I only wish we didn’t have to fight so hard.

    Thank you for sharing your words, even if unintentionally.

    • glassrabbitbone says:

      Thank you for your comment. Your concerns reflect mine exactly… it’s weird to think that the Internet can feel so private, that through anonymity we feel we can pass unnoticed. The fact is that I put my story out on a public forum and I should have expected for people to read it. Now, that’s what it’s there for. If anything, writing it out has helped me to see myself more clearly and I can only hope it has helped others, too. Thank you again, and best of luck!

  • I understand what you mean in regards to WordPress going for “shock value” and “morbid entertainment.” But isn’t that what writing-at least newsworthy writing-is supposed to do ? Grab and shock the reader! Your post was emotional-and dramatic, and perfectly personal. If you had perhaps written with a different tone, it wouldn’t have been featured if you’d been more “rational” in it. My only hope was that WordPress didn’t include it as a motivation to lose weight, bc that would just be unthinkable.

  • I like to think that the editors or Freshly Pressed saw in your writing and in your story a possibility of change. The end of “Shedding Skin” was contradicted by how you spoke about knowing that your condition was bad for you and wasn’t rational. It seemed like a cry for help. I think the editors knew the kind of supportive responses you’d receive. I for one am glad to see that you’re looking for ways to be healthier. Keep it up friend.

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