...this is a very popular slogan, many Pro-Ana websites have a title about Ana as a person, Ana as a friend. Let me write my own opinions - to be accurate, my rants - about this phenomenon.
Earlier, I have written about this: anorexia might be experienced a special form of "being possessed". In reality, Ana is nothing else than the manifestation of our self-hatred, which has drained enough energy of us to be able to develop an own personality, to act like a separate person who lives inside us and tells us what to do. Any time. At any occasion.
Some of us have heard her voice, and there are some who even saw her.
Earlier, I used to think that anorexia may be a special form of schizophrenia... but there is a very important difference between the two illnesses. A schizophrenic person's thoughts are mostly not clear enough to see his or her situation (while anorexics are more aware of the things than one would probably think.)
What does one expect from a real friend? A real friend should be reliable, someone who is always there for you when needed. Someone who knows you well, yet accepts you the way you are.
I remember how it felt when my eating disorder was my only "friend" whom I could rely on, this is why I was sticking with her so much. Eating disorder never betrays you. It is always there. (If you are willing to recover, sooner or later you will have to understand: even if you wish to forget about your eating disorder, it will never forget about you.) As soon as we try to look further, we must ask a difficult question: is Ana really, really such a good friend? Let us see.
A true friend's love is unconditional.
A true friend never terrorizes you, a true friend never blackmails you by harnessing your lack and crave for love and acceptance.
Let us compare this with the things "dear Ana" does to you!
She treats you in an incredibly gentle manner, if you obey her. You have just got to do all the crazy and self-dangerous things she tells you to do, and then immediately you can feel the touch of angelic wings, and you may be sure that you are worthy to be loved, you can know that you are special, it is only the best ones whom dear Ana needs...
But, try to disobey her, just for once, in any tiny and unimportant thing! For example, eat one cereal bar more than she allowed you to eat. She will command you at once to rush home, and to work out those extra calories, with at least half an hour of very hard exercising. It does not matter if you are missing from school (and therefore fail your exams.) You did not have any self-discipline, you ate much more than you needed, so - suffer! No, do not do that self-pity thing. Your muscles hurt, you are so exhausted and hungry that you are crying - so, what? You DID deserve it! THIS is what you actually deserve. Can you see how DUMB you are, how badly you miss talent? You were unable even to pass that class. Anyway, why are you so sure about that you have the right to stay alive?...
Or, try to eat anything, in spite of that you are not feeling (too) sick of hunger (yet.)
"How dare you do that? You do not feel dizzy, you can see normally, you do not see darkness around yourself - and yet you DARE TO EAT? Phew, what a disgusting, greedy pig you are! Now, you must go and insert your finger to your throat and throw EVERYTHING up!... Has it all gone out? No? Then go, drink water and do it again... now, are you sure that you have thrown everything up? Yes?... I am still not sure, so drink more water and insert your finger again...
To make it sure that you will remember how filthy you are, how much you are a prisoner of the dirtiest lust, I must punish you. Let us say, clean the toilet without wearing rubber gloves. That's it, do it, this is what is really for you... what can I do if you are so primitive and greedy? You will never, ever be worthy to anything else or better in the world. For a long time, you have been knowing how little you need for staying alive - what else do you want? Why do you want more? Be thankful I forgive you for not being able to starve yourself to death. No-one else would be so gracious and forgiving to you - if only they knew how bad, filthy and selfish you are, they would hate you. I am the only one who really does know what you are like, yet I am here for you! I really don't expect any great thing from you, in exchange for my everlasting love, and you are not able to do this..."
Tell me: would you call someone who is so cruel to you a true friend?
When you begin to fall back to a 12-year-old kid's intellectual (and social) level, being practically unable to do anything without help, and burst out in tears or in rage over the tiniest problems - the only thing Ana warns you about is "how wonderfully fragile you have become, how airy, how ethereal... really, a fragile and pure being like you is not meant to be in this vile world. How about hanging yourself? They say it does not hurt if done in the correct way..."
A true friend never wants to own you, does not behandle you as her own property, does not wish to change you to fit her expectations.
Ana is not like this.
The only thing that matters to her is how you can meet her expectations and rules.
She does not care about that you lose everything you had, everything that made life worth to live for you.
She does not care about that you regrediate physically and mentally.
When you are looking bad - even the best makeup cannot hide the dark grey shadows under your eyes, and you feel your protruding ribs when you lay on your stomach, Ana is amazed by the beauty of your bones. Your hair starts to fall out, your face is thin and greyish, your eyes got a yellow shade, and the only thing Ana does care about is "well, you see, it was not in vain to suffer so badly, now there is a small space between your thigs when you walk!"
A real friend accepts you as you are.
A real friend will not attempt to make you believe lies about yourself.
A real friend never tries to convince you that you are ugly, you are fat, you are gross and you should lose weight in aim to get the chance to be loved. A real friend will not want you to believe "well, if you lose two more kilograms, then everything will be okay." No.
If you go down to 48 kilograms, Ana will immediately say "you can make it! you can reach another goal weight (of 47...46...45...!"
"Dear Ana" reminds of Cinderella's wicked stepmother, doesn't she? Poor naive Cinderella selected the lentils so obediently, believing that she can go to the ball if she finishes in time... and the wicked stepmother laughed at her, even if Cinderella did everthing she was told. Isn't "dear Ana" like this?
Ana will never tell you the truth. She will never tell you what her real opinion is: she will not be fully satisfied with you until you reach the terminal, ideal goal weight she decides for you - this is around 3 kilograms (cremation urn included.)
Why would anyone have a "friend" like this?