Friday, March 25, 2011

Blogxygen Misinterpreted

I’m a little troubled. I just got out of therapy with the T, and we were discussing my writing. My blog somehow came up, and she asked me if my blog was pro-recovery or pro-ana. I was surprised she’d even ask, and told her that it was a pro-recovery blog, but that recently, it was more of a I’m-pregnant-and-miserable blog. She said that she had heard (from who? I don’t know.) that my blog “glorified the eating disorder.”

I’m floored.
Above all else, I have tried to demonstrate time and time again that I think my life is more rich and beautiful without the eating disorder. I have documented my struggles, yes, but I feel that I have always tried to do so in a way that demonstrated that I was trying to get rid of the ED, and that I absolutely, irrevocably, DID NOT condone it.

Have I not done this?
Do people come to my blog for pro-ana material?
Do I glorify anorexia in any way?

These questions lead me to wonder if I should make it private, or take it down altogether, so that people cannot make hurtful assumptions, or worse – read my blog because it triggers them; keeps them hanging on to their eating disorder.

I honestly…I’m stymied. And a little hurt. I’ve never wanted to “glorify” anything but that life is good and breathtaking when letting the eating disorder go, and learning about the mystery and spontaneity and absolute wonder that life can be when not tied down with an addiction . Yes I have deeply struggled, but I thought there was beauty and honesty in sharing it and what I learned from it.
Maybe I was wrong. I don’t even know anymore.

What should I do?


Erin said...

I don't think that you glorify your ED at all! The person that said you do is probably either sick themselves or has no idea what it is like to have an ED. It is YOUR blog, and if someone is too stupid yo know what they should or should not read or what it is like to honestly share your struggles, that is their problem. I love what you have to say and, I think that you are doing so well in recovery. Don't let one person bring you down. Just keep moving forward. Maybe something else to consider is when it would be time to quit going to therapy. For me. I got to the point where I was just ready to live and to quit feeling like I was constantly trying to fix or improve myself. That is just me though. Do what works for you!

agoraphob said...

No way is this is a pro-ana blog. I wouldnt worry about it.

Stacy said...

no one in my life really knows how much I still struggle... I have been so sad when you haven't posted as much (until you were prego and sick... good reason to not post) because I felt like you showed a light that was achievable after a long struggle with and eating disorder. I Like that you make light of the messed up stuff sometimes and you talk about how really and crappy the feelings and mental game are even when you are doing well.
I find humor and strength in your blog. That being said, people find what they want. The good or the bad whatever they are looking for. So if they found something they considered glorifying the ED, well they were probably looking for it.

Stacy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaity said...

I in no way think your blog is pro-ED in any sense of the definition. Whoever said that really was misinterpreting your posts in a very confused way.
I've missed your regular updates so much. I always looked to this blog as inspiration for what you can achieve through recovery. Real inspiration, with it's struggles and triumphs. So often so many people think they're getting it 'wrong' as they try to take back their life because recovery is painted as sunshine and rainbows and your life is new and fantastic and thrilling. You keep things honest and genuine and I don't see how anyone could take it as anything other than pro-recovery.

Tylaine said...

Give me her number...I'll set her straight Brie!
WTHeck! You are SO Pro-Recovery and it's beautiful and refreshing how open you've been. Anyone who would say that must have some serious problems of their own and its no reflection on your blog.

ania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ania said...

My personal answers from my own personal point of view.

2-I have no idea if they do or not. But I do not consider your blog as a pro-anorexia resource.

As far as making your blog private:
That's up to you. It's an issue as old as....blogging ;-)

Further thoughts:
Actually, I've seen your "healthy voice" grow over the time you've been writing. You continue to speak openly of your life, ups and downs. Sure some of that includes struggles. But I always see it as you being real. When you speak of eating disorder things, it's not in a manipulative way. (You know what I mean?)

I'm not sure how the mysterious other person (Whole other thing, by the way, because I'm not sure why your therapist approached sharing her concern that way. But then, I never like "someone-but-I-won't-say-who) told me such-and-such" revelations.) oh - anyway, I'm not sure how the mysterious person was able to perceive that. Especially at this point. I also wonder what hindered that person from talking to you about it directly.

Anyway, hang in there, my girl.

With respect....

Sia Jane said...

I do not think you do at all.
I actually respect how honest you manage to be, without even being triggering.
You work so hard in all aspects of your life, including your battle against the eating disorder.
Take it from us, that this is in no way a truth.
And your therapist could even look!!!
And she should trust YOU.
Because we all do xxxxx

brie said...

thanks all for your comments. hopefully only a handful of people think i'm glorifying the ed, and i'm hoping that maybe the overwhelming majority think the way you do - that my blog is helpful and pro-recovery. maybe? hopefully?

lisalisa said...

I def don't think that your blog glorifies the ED. Remember that to someone who is ill, any ED-related material can be triggering. But that's their stuff, not yours.

For one thing, you dont ever post specific weights or numbers. Also, you post frequently on subjects other than ED. So I wouldnt even say that your blog is just a recovery blog. It is more like a life/family/recovery/randomness/funny stuff blog.
If you are worried about what your T thinks, I would print these comments and show them to her.

Missy said...

Ignore it.
You know in your heart what this blog is all about and so do we.
It was one person's comment.

Just do you.

Anonymous said...

I've read you're blog a little here and there and I agree with everyone who has posted their comments your blog is in no way pro anorexia.

battleinmind said...

I would have to say this blog is the opposite of 'pro ana'. I really think it must be a very very small minority if any that could view this blog in any way 'pro' eating disorder.
Love Battle

crazykenz said...

I don't think so at all! Although I don't personally have an eating disorder, I've had many other mental health issues. Your writing is SO great, and often times you say things that help me in my struggles. I've never viewed you as pro-ana! You are pro-recovery ALL THE TIME! I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your journey with people like me.

Courtney said...

Are you serious? I have never EVER found your blog to be even the slightest bit pro-ana. Sure, you've had your struggles but personally I think that's why so many people love your blog (and why it's inspired and helped others)...because it's REAL! I agree with everyone else that if your readers are triggered it's their issue, not yours, because they're LOOKING to be triggered.

I know there have been times when I've had to distance myself from blog reading because I tend to compare myself and feel like a failure (especially when it comes to those picture perfect blogs out there that make everything look so easy...perfect house, perfect kids, perfect vacations, perfect home cooked meals, etc). But I would never blame the person writing the blog for making me feel that way because it's my own insecurities that are making me feel inadequate, inferior, or even jealous.

You have come so far and I love that your blog is about so much more than your eating disorder, so don't let what seems like (to me) a very ignorant comment get you down.

Sarah said...

i found your blog while searching for "nose piercings" about a year ago (yes, really) and have followed ever since. i've never looked at this blog as anything other than a witty commentary on working out life, which is exactly what i love about it. you are hysterical.

if you've glorified anything, it's staying positive and having a fabulous sense of humor.

i say, suck it haters. i'd miss this too much if you shut it down.

Stevie said...

Definitely NOT pro-ana. I don't even think of if as an ED blog. I just think of it as YOUR blog. If people are misinterpreting it, you can't control that, but I think you're firmly in the pro-recovery camp and have nothing to worry about.

Tiptoe said...

I've never looked at your blog as pro-ana. I've always found it honest, charming, and funny.

But here's the thing to remember, you will never make everyone happy, nor people to always think what you want. If someone thinks your blog is pro-ana, it is either their choice to read it or not, but that doesn't mean you need to close up shop. In the end, we are all accountable for what we read, what we write, what we think, etc.

As hard as it is, this is only one person's comment. I think the rest of your 266 followers would beg to differ on this person's opinion.

Hang in there. You're doing great!

Journey said...

Has your T even read your blog? To say something like that because "someone said so" without reading themselves is beyond a stretch.

No way are your posts pro-ana.

Elle said...

Here's the thing - I don't think you intentionally glorify AN. BUT you are beautiful, and very thin, and have commented about how you think you're huge while still actually being thinner than I am and thinner than I think most people are . . . and yes, that's somewhat triggering. But not because you mean to be, and not because you are doing anything "wrong," just because for people who are already dealing with AN comparisons are inevitable and even at what you call huge you are still so small.

But this is your blog, and you absolutely have no responsibility to anyone else to filter your honest feelings here. My reaction is my own issue, not yours. I'm just trying to provide a perspective about how someone could find it triggering.

Cammy said...

I have absolutely ZERO patience for pro-ana sites or anything that I think is promoting the lifestyle. And I have never, ever thought that your blog was anywhere close to being near to being in the ballpark of that. With all due respect, I don't think that your T's assessment is accurate, and you have no reason to stress over this or stop writing. You have an amazing blog, and are an amazing person, and I personally have found it super inspiring and motivating to follow what you have gone through and watch you fight through it and come out on top like the badass that you are. You have nothing to feel bad or guilty about, quite the opposite.

Alicia B. Designs said...

I never read pro ana blogs anymore and I look to your blog for inspiration. I do sometimes (i'll be honest) get sad when you say that you don't look pretty or you feel fat. I think you're gorgeous and SO FUNNY. Like funnier than humor blogs. :) I don't think pro ana but maybe just more like the rest of us: dealing with this shiz day to day and feeling bad some days and feeling hot other days. I'm so glad that you're writing more often though. It's inspiring to all of us. :)

Telstaar said...

I think if someone is quite sick with an eating disorder then it doesn't matter what the focus of a blog is, they are able (or rather the eating disorder is able) to twist it around to serve its own purpose and feed the eating disorder. I remember one author of an ed book once said, it is a fine line when writing the book because you want to share information to help someone but someone with an eating disorder may still twist that information to support their cause. That is just how it is, that doesn't mean that YOUR blog is pro-ana in any way (and in fact, if anything you've really moved away from the eating disorder at lot more anyway)its been an up and down journey for you but its quite clear that its not a fun journey. Just remember that others will always twist things to serve their own purposes, that doesn't make it true. Hang in there and try not to let their comments get to you!

love Telly xo

Standing in the Rain said...

definitely NOT pro-ana! i love your blog. so full of honesty, wit, and encouragement. in my opinion there is nothing about it that's pro-ana!

Stef said...

I agree with Journey. Your therapist should not be bringing stuff up based on rumors on one person's opinion. That was badly played on her part, badly played.

Sheryl said...

I love your blog for the honesty it shares and the truth in it. When did it start meaning that something is pro-ED when it mentions and talks about eating disorders? I agree with other comments that whoever thinks it is Pro-ED is probably stuck in a bad place in an eating disorder of their own and can't see your blog for what it really is. Or, maybe they don't understand or have never had an eating disorder so possibly do not see a difference in pro-ED or pro-recovery... they just see eating disorder. I think it's crap to be honest. I love your truth and your writing and have been in recovery for some time now. I appreciate that you discuss your LIFE not just the eating disorder anyway - you talk about everything and that's why I love ya and your blog. Maybe your T just wanted to get you thinking... cause that's what they do, ya know ;)

bananas said...

Ah, reason #1 why it's bad to be friends with people that share your therapist maybe? That would really piss me off. Has W even looked at your blog?

Ew, I hate the term "pro-ana." No, your blog certainly is not that. In the ED-related posts, you've done nothing but try to promote wellness.

Now here's a doozy! Have I been triggered? YES. Especially when I've read back on older posts. But I really think that's about ME being fucked up and not you. *I* get so easily triggered that someone mentioning they are underweight will upset me, and you have posted a lot about being underweight. But that is MY deal, ok? Not you. And you've never been like, "wooo, this is awesome, I'm underweight!" You were struggling with trying to gain. This triggers my ED thoughts because I'm effed up and it's not just you, it's EVERYONE. I didn't want to say anything ever because you did nothing wrong. You are not responsible for how I perceive anything. You're not responsible for me.

And I love your blog, like hella a lot. I miss the days when you'd post lots! (Sounds like we all do!)

Karen said...

I definitely don't think your blog is pro-ana in any way. It inspires me in my recovery. I really hope you don't feel the need to stop posting.

Kerri said...

I am with everyone else-- how in the world this can be considered a pro ana blog is beyond me. For all the time I have been reading, all you have done is progress. Sure you had set backs, but that's recovery for you. If anything it is the MOST honest view of what it is like to go through recovery. I think you are amazing and I can't see how this blog could do anything but inspire recovery. I can freely admit to coming to this blog when reading stuff I shouldn't have been, which most certainly would have led to my own 'issues' returning. However, I found your blog and I immediately loved your style of writing and the way you can connect with your readers. You tell it like it is and that's important. You share your horrible moments and your great ones. It made me remember that being sick is not the way to go and so no, definitely NOT pro ana.

alison said...

I agree with the majority of the commenters above that your blog is not pro-ana at all! I found your blog a couple years ago when I was searching for tools to help me understand my sister, who was struggling was an ED. Reading about your own challenges and successes was encouraging to me that she, too, could pull through (and she has!). Thanks for writing and sharing your life. I hope you won't stop!

Sarah @ Bearing, Eating, Being said...

I agree with everyone above! I recommend your blog to others, and I would not do that if I found it remotely triggering. If anyone is triggered by the contents, it is really much more about them than anything you post here, and you shouldn't feel responsible for it because you consistently post hilarious, witty, honest steps forward. Like another commenter said, your "recovery voice" has grown stronger as you've written, and your blog is nothing short of inspirational. I find your therapist's comment really awkward--it wouldn't make me feel safe in my therapeutic environment to know that other people are talking about me behind my back and that my therapist is playing "intermediary." Let us know how your follow up conversation goes, because I'm seriously peeved for you!

Will said...

Wow, I was not expecting to read that. I hope you don't make it private or stop writing, I really look forward to reading it. I have loved ones with eating disorders and I like ready what you say b/c it's so honest and I feel like I can understand them and where they are coming from a little bit more.
Maybe the person who read it was coming from a place of jealousy. If they are struggling and see that you are moving/have moved on and have a great hubby, son, and now baby on the way...maybe they were reading what THEY wanted to and don't want to see you in reality.
I think your website if inspiring to many ppl and helpful to even more. It would be a shame to listen to one persons warped view and take it away from everyone it has helped!
IMO- it by no means glorifys it. In reading it, I know that I am so blessed not to have to go through that daily struggle.
I can't imagine anyone reading it and thinking that all the thoughts/consequences that have come along with it are a positive!

Will said...

I thought about this some more on my drive home and it's pretty disappointing that you T would just bring that up. She should have read your blog first and not just stating a rumor or someone else's thoughts that clearly impact you.
Also, why does anyone else need to be talking about you or your blog. I think that girl needs to focus on herself!

Rachel said...

I hope you don't get weirded out by comments from people you don't actually know, because here I am :-) You've got a million comments on this one already, but I just wanted to say that I love your blog--it is not remotely pro-ana to me, and I have always appreciated your honesty about your life and your struggles with recovery. It's so refreshing to read a blog that's REAL--not sugarcoating how hard everything can be, how awful you feel sometimes, how much you sometimes just feel like giving in . . . and it is so encouraging to watch you deal with that in a very real, honest way and come out on top. I hope you don't go private because I love having a little peek into your thoughts even though I've never met you (but hey, just do what works for you). I think you're beautiful and inspirational and I hope you keep this blog going just the way you have been . . . you're doing great :-)

kristen chamberland said...

I'm late to the party but I wanted to include one more vote. I find your blog to be the exact opposite of pro-ana. And yet more than a recovery blog, too. You've shown what it's really like to come out on the other side and build a life that's influenced by your experiences, but not overshadowed by them. The way you learn and enjoy parts of your life while struggling with others is such a refreshing thing to read. I hope that one totally uninformed comment doesn't change what or how you share, because I really enjoy reading it.

I hope that you keep sharing and I hope that a totally uninformed assessment doesn't make you hold back or second-guess what you write.

Alexandra Rising said...

I'm just giggling because bananas said 'hella'