That then said:
I'm glad you've conquered your problems and you've become healthier and happier for it. You've always seemed so ethereally perfect, both in Lolita and just as a person, to me! Truly you are beautiful; think no less of yourself.Even if you didn't use your usual alias, I am so happy &proud that you could share this story. It really is a huge step in getting better, and you should know that I'm here if you ever need anyone to talk to as you continue your journey into recovery. Your fear is a natural reaction to the hell you've been going through, and it is the one thing that can drag you back down after the progress you've been fighting for. Acknowledge that fear - it's an important reminder of how far you've come - but know that you can beat it.
I'm sorry, though, Miss Lumpy - sorry that I have such a negative story to tell, and that I couldn't post this under my usual alias. I couldn't bear it.
I feel stronger too when I read these stories. I feel better that I'm not alone. People understand, out there. I want them so much not to feel the pain and the shame of it. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But it makes me feel better to see others who recovered.
Lolita was my catalyst out of eating disorders. One day, all dressed up, I looked in the mirror and realised: I'm fine as I am. There's no point punishing myself for what nature gave me; if anything, it's selfish and insulting to the girls who starve and die to get what nature gave me to believe that it's not enough. I recovered. I developed a long-needed sense of self-worth that I hadn't ever had. Lolita's a goal always dancing a little out of my reach, like a soap-bubble, and that should be a beautiful thing. Constant, positive self-improvement, isn't that a wonderful experience?
It's so painful to say these things, but I'm so afraid. I'm afraid of myself and afraid that Lolita will be not just the thing that dragged me out of my ruins, but the thing that dumps me back in there. These worries always come back to me at low times, at night and when I feel lonely or afraid: I feel so beautiful and confident in it but I'm not sure that deep down, it isn't worming holes in the sediment of my consciousness.
Isn't it ridiculous? I know that it won't do me any good. I know I'm not fat and I don't need to lose weight. It will only hurt me. It will make my loved ones worry for me. I can't get it out of my head; I'm scared about how my 'big, fat' 25" waist gaining that one fatal inch more will take me out of brand territory.
The stupid thing: I know it won't. Clearly it won't, why do I still believe it? Why do I tell myself that I won't fit any of my clothes if I have that yoghurt after lunch, and so on, to stop myself? I have so much higher standards for myself than for other people. I am the only one for whom I feel that I need to hurt to deserve beautiful clothes. I am the only one for whom I think that it's not about dressing for my shape: it's about losing weight to get the perfect shape. I am the only one who will never quite be pretty enough or perfect enough for this fashion. What a special snowflake I am.
You talk about self-love a lot, Miss Lumpy, and I've always liked the thought and wanted to seek it. I know one thing for sure: if you love someone, you want the best for them. What will I do to myself, taking all these little steps that seem so like I'm helping myself? Exercising more? Eating salads and refusing anything fatty? Feeling so guilty over my love of baking cakes? Drinking glasses and glasses of water before every meal to stop myself eating so much? They all sound so benign. They're the sorts of things that will lead me back down into anorexia.
Last time, I stopped myself before I could do myself any real damage. It was years in the making but only a few months in the performance, and I caught myself in time. Can I stop myself if it happens again?
Will I even want to stop myself? Starvation is euphoric. The power of it.
The worst thing: I write this and it makes me want to be anorexic again. There's a part of me that wants to hurt myself.
You ask about those steps you're taking to eat healthier - will it be a help or a hindrance? This is something I've been thinking a lot about, too, and here's the conclusion I've come to: if you're eating healthy because you want to cherish your body and treat it right, you're eating healthy out of love. If you're doing it with this idealized body in mind as your goal, you're doing it out of hatred. It's hard to tell the difference at first, but there is a difference, and if you can harness that love then there's nothing unhealthy about making those choices.
There's a part of all of use that wants to hurt ourselves; it's the only way we can think to react to this world we've found ourselves in. There are so many people out there who succumb without even realizing it, so the fact that you're acknowledging its existence already puts you leagues ahead of others. I's an uphill battle, but I know you can do it. The fact that you gathered the courage to share your story is proof that you know it's wrong and want to get better. It's a tough fight, but I know you're strong enough. This goes out to all of the amazing, beautiful, intelligent, all-around fantastic girls who are struggling with body image: you can do it, I promise ♥