Anxiety

The Story Of Who I Am

{ New Mexico road trip with my then-boyfriend Jason | 2005 }

For about four years in my mid-twenties (roughly ages 22 to 26), I was anorexic.

Just typing out that sentence is a big deal for me, because for a long, long time it wasn’t something I admitted even to myself, and certainly not to anyone else. I’ve always referred to it as “that time when I was super fucked-up” or “that time when I decided not to eat ever again” – jokey, hyperbolic half-truths intended to swing the conversation towards lighter subjects. I’ve never even said the word “anorexia” to my mother; I called her yesterday to talk to her about this post so she wouldn’t be blindsided (although of course she knew anyway). But over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself saying out loud to one friend or another, whenever a related subject comes up, “Oh yeah, I was anorexic.” And we talk about it or we don’t, but it’s out there either way.

I’ve been trying to figure out what changed; what made me start feeling like that was a thing that I could – even should – say. For a long time the thought of laying that boulder of a title on my shoulders was beyond comprehension: sort of like “I have a mental disorder,” it’s the kind of thing that once you say, you can’t take back. But now I don’t care who knows this about me, just like I don’t care who knows that I have an ugly tattoo on my lower back or that I take Zoloft to control my anxiety or that sometimes I put my children in front of the TV because it’s 6PM and I’m done with the whole “parenting” thing for the day. All facts; all things people might take issue with; all things I’m cool with saying out loud.

So what happened? I think maybe I realized that the reason I was so uncomfortable admitting that I was anorexic was far too closely tied to the reason it happened in the first place: I wanted to pretend everything was great. Perfect, even.

Oh man, am I ever not perfect – a fact that I’ve covered in this very space ad infinitum, to the point where it’s sort of funny to me now that I was ever interested in even pretending. In addition to all the stuff that makes everyone imperfect (being a human being, essentially), I have (treated, thank god) anxiety disorder, and severe, crippling (and also treated, also thank god) insomnia. And yeah, I was anorexic. I did drugs when I could find them to make it easier to not eat (and in early 2000s Hollywood finding hard drugs was about as difficult as finding someone who was “writing a screenplay”). But I really didn’t have to, because the rush that I got from watching the number on the scale slip down was all the high I needed.

*     *     *

It started a couple of weeks after we taped the first episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (one of the two self-shot episodes we used to sell the series to FX). I remember I was watching back the tape with the guys, and they were laughing about how massive my breasts looked in a scene we’d shot in my apartment building’s basement gym – we’d snuck in our cameras hoping we could film without anyone noticing and/or evicting me. (The episode was actually called “Big-Breasted Violence,” and the scene had been specifically tailored to emphasize my not-inconsiderable cup size…I guess because it was “funny”? I never really did get that joke.) I stared at myself on the screen, and suddenly everything on me looked massive – certainly in comparison to the other actresses who were in the episode with me. I had never been one to weigh myself, but the next day I did, and discovered that I was fifteen pounds heavier than I’d thought.

And so I stopped eating, just like that. I bought a scale, put it in my bathroom, and watched the numbers go down. I developed weird, obsessive habits around my meals, like not eating anything all morning and then, at 11:30AM on the dot, driving somewhere to buy a single slice of pizza with olives, or a Coffee Bean Morning Muffin, or a Coldstone sugar-free sweet-cream ice cream. I’d sit in my car with the seat pushed back as far as it could go and eat my little “meal” as slowly as possible. I lied to people: “Oh, I just ate; I’m so stuffed I couldn’t possibly eat any more,” that kind of thing.

It's Always Sunny original pilot story

{ On Set | Downtown Los Angeles | 2004 }

At first, I got nothing but pure validation. By the time we shot the actual Sunny pilot commissioned by FX (pictured above) the same actress who I’d felt embarrassed to stand next to was joking about how I made her feel fat. Seemingly overnight, my agents started sending me out for leading-lady roles instead of best-friend ones (you’ve heard actresses refer to this phenomenon countless times, I’m sure; it is real, and it is immediate and obvious and a majorly self-perpetuating cycle). I felt “hot” – not just “pretty,” but actually hot – for the first time in my life.

After awhile, I stopped menstruating – it would be nearly a year before my period came back; a fact that I did an excellent job at ignoring – and started losing my hair. All of a sudden I could see people looking at me a little differently, a little warily. At the gym one day, a trainer stopped me and asked if he could measure my body fat. It was 6%. He told me that it was lower than a professional male athlete’s should be, and that it was dangerous. I left the gym feeling proud, and wishing there was someone I could brag to about my accomplishment.

*     *     *

Now, with a full decade of hindsight, I know what was going on, of course. I went from being a person who had spent the bulk of her lifetime accomplishing a lot on a daily basis – tangible accomplishments like getting a good grade or writing a paper I was proud of – to being someone who didn’t feel like she was accomplishing anything at all. The title I identified with shifted from “Harvard student” to “struggling actress,” and the reactions I got from others shifted accordingly. I went on auditions, didn’t get the parts, went home to watch Elimidate, and then did it again the next day, and the day after that. I got fired from the job that I had thought would be the turning point in my career. I couldn’t land any roles; couldn’t make my new (and terrible) relationship work; couldn’t figure out how in the world to be happy. But losing weight? That I could do.

I wish I had some astounding nugget of wisdom to share about how, exactly, this turned around, because it did. Shortly after I fled Los Angeles, I quit my pack-a-day smoking habit simply because one day it just didn’t feel especially good anymore and I stopped wanting to hold a cigarette in my hand. I started eating again in much the same way: it started feeling bad to not-eat, and good to eat. I distinctly remember feeling bored with myself; I was so sick of thinking about food, of doing the mental gymnastics required to calculate the calories ingested over the course of any given day.

I know that’s not a typical story. I know that it should have been harder to stop this pattern of behavior, and I also know that it’s not especially helpful to say “I guess I just decided to stop having a serious disease.” But that’s also, of course, not exactly what happened. Whatever forces created my anorexia didn’t magically disappear; there are threads of them in my life still. I’m still hungry for control; I still place too much importance on external markers of validation. And, of course, there’s the fact that I just had a surgery to make myself feel more confident about my post-baby body. It seems to me extremely irresponsible to ignore the similarities between my decision to pursue breast augmentation and the anorexia I struggled with for years; both are rooted in a willingness to put one’s body through enormous ordeals in the pursuit of some societally-created idea of physical beauty, and both are rooted in centuries of expectations held over the heads of women. But this is something I gave a great deal of thought to, and I ultimately felt that (to me) they were very different indeed: one was about self love, and the other was very, very much about self-loathing.

Still, though: I think it’s fairly obvious that both my surgery and my anorexia were expressions of my desire for control. One came from a healthier place than the other, but at the base level they’re really not so different at all. My need for control is a living thing; it’s been coursing through my veins for as long as I can remember, and emerges to make itself known in ways that are constantly changing. I used to control the size of my body; now I micromanage every facet of my family’s life and hold on to the reins of my job with an iron fist. I’m shitty at delegating, and I live in daily terror of my career falling to pieces, leaving me at sea once again.

I am not Zen.

It’s no mystery to me where this overwhelming need for control came from: it was born when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to control the thing that frightens me most, the thing I want control over more than I want anything on this planet.

I want to stop the people I love from dying. And I can’t. And so I control what’s in front of me instead.

Mother and baby looking at ocean

{ Monterey Bay with my daughter | 2016 }

You know the saying “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference?” I’m terrible at that. My anorexia is many years gone, subsumed by the counter-balancing forces of my desire to keep my mind and body healthy for myself, for my husband, and of course most of all for my children. But I cant accept the things that I cannot change; I’ve never been able to. I do, however, think that it helps to acknowledge that simple fact, and to try to remember that the point I’m at is far less important than the direction I’m pointed in.

*     *     *

Why write about this now? Because it’s a topic I’ve been dancing around for years, and I don’t feel like doing that anymore. For a long, long time, the memory of the person I’d been made me feel ashamed, and shame is a big part of what allowed my disorder to bloom in the first place. Look, I haven’t “beaten” anything; I’ve just found some perspective. And it’s perspective that I need to work at preserving, because the forces that work to combat it – from media to misogyny – are real, and they are insidious.

I guess I’m just really disinterested in continuing to pretend that massive swathes of my life didn’t happen because the memories are embarrassing. They’re not good memories; I’ll give you that. But they’re mine, and shame and secrecy help no one.

These are my memories. This is my story. And the more I can own that story – whatever scary and humiliating and uncomfortable things that ownership forces me to confront – the more I take back my power from those who try to strip me of it…including myself.

  • Laura

    you are inspiring. reading this made me think & made me feel & most of all made me want to tell my story & be braver in everything I do. thank you. <3

  • Olivia

    BRAVA! We all have fucked up body image stories (I like to think). Thank you for sharing! xx

  • SmallBlondeChic

    Thank you for this, it resonates with me. The best takeaway – I, too, am not Zen.

    • jordanreid

      doesn’t being Zen sound nice? 😉

  • Luisa

    I’ve been reading you for years now & love how much you’ve grown. I am learning things about myself through your words & (hopefully) am growing too. It is really hard to stop the bad patterns, because there is so much comfort there. It’s even harder to pull back the curtain of whys, where there is only fear. Thanks for sharing this part of your story.

  • Sarah

    Great post. I was anorexic for about a year or two, also. I was a cheerleader and because I was so starving I couldn’t remember a single cheer. My end was so simple like yours, thank goodness, I remember so clearly I ate a piece of toast with butter for the first time in years, I think I had the flu and my mom gave it to me, and the butter tasted so wonderful I just stopped being anorexic and ate butter. Sometimes I wish I could tap into that self control again. I used to have the fear, crippling fear of death like you do. I don’t anymore. I don’t know why except that I have a deep faith and am confident in eternity and this is just one stop. Thanks for your openess.

  • cmguglielmo@gmail.com

    I love this, I have something similar going on with my life now .. I needed this. Thank you for being so honest, so raw and true. Thank you Jordan. I usually don’t comment but I am grateful for you sharing.

    • jordanreid

      sending love to you. email me if you ever want to talk. <3

  • erinabaer

    This is awesome, and what you went through is not at all an uncommon phenomena that women in our generation went through in their late teens/early 20s. As a matter of fact, in my early years of college, it felt like you HAD to be paranoid about calories and fat in order to fit in. Every single girl at the table in my cafeteria was sizing up the portion sizes on every single other girl’s tray.

    Growing up, we heard endlessly that we could be anything, and what we took away was that we had to be EVERYTHING. You should read the book “Perfect Girls Starving Daughters,” by Courtney Martin. That, and running, literally changed the relationship I have with my body. I realize a lot of the reason I cease to endlessly control it and pick it apart is because of the messages I get and the overachiever indonctrination of my youth.

    I’m a bit different than you (150-160lbs) and many still may consider me “heavy,” by societal standards, but my relationship with my body is constantly evolving, and I try every day (some more successfully than others) to be thankful for the curves I have, rather than demonizing what my body is not. (It also helps to repeat Amy Schumer’s mantra that “I am 160lbs and I can catch a D anytime I want. That woman is my hero).

    Thanks for sharing. Hope you enjoy the book if you do, in fact, read it.

    • jordanreid

      i’ll read the book for sure, especially in light of the fact that i’m the mother to a daughter who i expect will grow up in similar circumstances (privileged, “you can be anything!” etc).

      my greatest fear for my children is drug addiction, but my daughter suffering from an eating disorder runs a close second, and thinking about her one day reading this post…i’m not sure whether it frightens me or makes me feel like it’ll give her a few tools she can use to avoid this struggle herself.

      there’s this book, ‘beautiful boy,’ that’s a true story of a berkeley journalist whose son fell into a severe battle with meth, and in the book he talks about wondering whether the fact that he was honest with his son about his own past drug use (essentially saying “yeah, i did drugs when i was younger; here’s what my experience was and here’s why you shouldn’t do them” as opposed to just saying “No, of course I’ve never tried them, drugs are not an option, don’t you dare even consider them”) contributed to his son’s interest in experimenting in the first place – which, of course, ultimately led to his addiction. Basically, he wonders whether if he had lied things might have turned out differently.

      I wonder this myself – should I hide these parts of my past in hopes that…I don’t know, my children’s interest isn’t piqued, or so they see me as A Paragon Of Maternal Strength And Authority rather than what I am (a flawed human being who loves them and is trying to do her best)? I’ve thought about this so much; talked about this with Kendrick so much – and what it comes down to is that I can’t hide things from them; it’s not how I operate (at least it is now), and I will never be able to look them in the face and lie to them about the hard stuff of life. I wish I knew how to guarantee their safe travel though the minefield that is your teens and twenties, and I wish I knew that telling them the truth would save them (or that there was some other magical parenting trick that I could employ, in which case I’d figure out a way to do that).

      I’m glad you feel good about where your journey ended up (and is still taking you). That Amy Schumer quote is THE BEST.

      • Manda

        I’m happy you addressed this, both in this post and in this comment. I didn’t comment on your breast augmentation post because I feel so conflicted about cosmetic surgery.

        On the one hand, I want to support the it’s my body and it did amazing things making babies and I want to reclaim it and feel sexy and like me again view. I so do. And yet I have a daughter just a couple months older than yours, and the last thing I ever want her to think is that she needs to undergo surgery or any amount of pressure to look a certain way that society has deemed desirable, rather than focusing on how smart she is, or kind she is, or funny she is. And every time someone gets cosmetic surgery, it reinforces those “desirable” stereotypes. I’m not sure I could look her in the eye and tell her she’s perfect and gorgeous as is if I don’t embody that myself.

        Conflicted. But happy you’re starting these conversations. I truly admire your honesty and for providing a space for this to be discussed.

      • Kristine

        I think that truth is always the best option and your children will appreciate your honesty. I think I would have felt so much safer in my life if i did not had very serious issues hidden from me during childhood and adolesence. You do not need to show kids the perfect life, they will be happiest to see the real you. Thank you so much for your story.

  • Katy

    I can’t tell you how much I admire you for tackling these topics. Thank you for your unflinching honesty, even when it’s hard. You rock.

    • jordanreid

      <3 love you.

  • ellaquinlan

    Me too, baby girl. Me too. 15 to 21. And at least the last three years of that we’re spent trying desperately to get better. Thankfully, I’ve never had shame around having had Anorexia/ED-NOS, as mental illness (and denial of said illness) is all over my family and anorexia was the least of it. I spent so much of my life watching people be in denial about their issues that my comfort came from being very open about my disorder, for fear that I would think I was being slick when it was obvious to everyone around me what was going on. I really put my body and mind through the ringer in those 6 years. It ruined my metabolism which encouraged me to continue to eat less, even though I was actively trying to get healthy, because I was terrified of how big I might get if I didn’t. And that’s not healthy either, I told myself.

    I went to countless endocrinologists, gastroenterologists and other specialists for help getting my body back in order and no one was able (and most not even willing) to help. The way I eventually got loose from its grip was simple but also incredibly difficult. I quit the gym, threw away my scale, and moved in with other people. I forgave myself for whatever happened as a result of going back to normal eating and I definitely gained weight, but it tapered off and eventually slid slowly and gradually back down to a weight that felt better. More than my body, getting better has freed up so much SPACE in my head that I didn’t even realize was being taken up by my anxiety around my body and food. That has been by far the best part.

    Since then I’ve tried to be really careful with myself, so, afraid that it might come back. What’s really solidified my recovery is being in a loving, healthy relationship with someone who loves my body no matter what and miraculously has ZERO issues around food in the most endearing way. With him around, staying on track has been insanely easy. It hasn’t felt effortfull in years. I’ve got a better metabolism now than I ever have in my life – it’s like I’m a different person. It’s a really amazing feeling to be able to enjoy eating what I want, maintain my weight, not feel anxious before/during/after every meal, and still feel really good in my body. In fact, I think my body is way better now than it was even when I was at the height of my sickness and just feeling myself SO hard.

    I honestly never thought full recovery would be possible for me. I was resigned to choosing my health over liking the way I looked and I feel like I won the lottery being able to have both. But there’s a little part of me that will always be watching carefully, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be rid of that. In all likelihood, I’ll never be safe from it. But I plan to defend my health like a ferocious mama bear if/when it does try to slip back into my head.

    Sorry for the novel. I’m only telling my story in the hopes that someone like me may be reading this, as I likely would have been, and trying so hard to climb out of their own patterns. Maybe it’ll help give them the push they need to fight to get healthy. Thank you so much for sharing Jordan. You are at your most glorious when you’re being honest with yourself and your readers. I respect and love you so much. And I’m so sorry we have this thing in common but I’m so glad we can share it. <3

    • jordanreid

      i’ve written about this before, but i think a lot of my shame came from the fact that my family is the opposite – very much “get over it.” there is literally zero open discussion of mental illness. and of course there are ten zillion things that are wonderful about my family – and even good things that came from this attitude; i do tend to “get over it,” whatever “it” is, pretty easily – but it also definitely made it harder to acknowledge (even to myself) what was going on, and virtually impossible to ask for help.

      that’s really interesting, what you said about how being in a healthy relationship helped. i started thinking about when, exactly, things started to turn around for me, and i’ve always sort of assumed it coincided with the start of my relationship with kendrick (the title of this post, btw, is a reference to a brandi carlisle song, “the story,” that’s a bit cheesy but completely sums up how he made me feel in those early days)…but when i thought about it more i realized it started when my (terrible, horrible, completely screwed-up) relationship ended and i met francesca. he moved out, she moved in, and all of a sudden life felt joyful again in a way that made me want to participate in it (and spending your time calorie-counting, as you know, takes up an ENORMOUS amount of headspace).

      i think recovery is enormously personal and i don’t want to suggest that it’s anyone’s “fault” i was sick or that it was anyone’s responsibility to “cure” me, but still: it helps to remember that you can make a decision to surround yourself with people who make you feel like your best self (or, even better, like just being yourself is a great thing to be).

      i’m so happy you’re better. and happy you’re careful with yourself even so. thank you for being so open with your story, both here and elsewhere; i’m absolutely certain that you help people.

      • ellaquinlan

        My family too – they’re incredibly proud, they don’t like feeling vulnerable, and they’re big fans of the “if you ignore it it’ll go away” method. I grew up watching that, which is why I think I have such a big aversion to seeing that in myself.

        I think Francesca is likely a HUGE part of what changed things for you. Also the upheaval of big change sometimes makes other change easier – big moves, breakups, new jobs, leaving jobs, etc. And when your environment changes, you have the opportunity to learn what’s you and what’s your environment. I grew up with a mom who has erratic disordered eating patterns and a history of anorexia/ED-NOS, so, not only did I have the genetics for it, but I also had the behavior modeled for me all my life. When I moved out with my best friend, it helped me shake off her influences in a lot of other ways, but it only fueled my ED as my friend had one too. Two ED-NOS girls in one house is no bueno.

        You mention in the comments below being worried about Goldie – the big thing you can do for her is model a healthy relationship to your body and food. I spent so much of my childhood hearing my mother’s angst about her weight and her love/hate relationship with eating. The very best thing, in my opinion, that you can do to protect your daughter from developing those habits is to never ever let her hear you talk negatively about anyone’s body or about eating in any context aside from nourishment and enjoyment. And the best way to do that is to not just do those things when she’s in ear/eye shot – but always. Because they hear things we think they miss and they see thing we think they won’t understand. But it all seeps in. And the upside is – it’s good for your brain too. 🙂

        I know The Story really well and I may or may not have scream-sag it in my car driving around at night in LA having feelings. Listened to it this morning and thought of you and how much you’ve created since you were that lost 20 something and how weirdly our lives can line up in these little ways.

        Love you, girl. Seriously, truly.

  • Jocelyn

    I love the honesty of this post, Jordan. We all carry secrets inside of us and until we can set them free and put them “out there” we are basically prisoners of our secrets. When you finally tell someone, just let it out, it’s like a giant exhale. I applaud you for your honesty and your ability to put your experiences into words. You’re like a beacon of light. Thank you for sharing your story. And the Brandi Carlisle song you referenced is my FAVORITE…every line on our face does tell a story. Our scars tell our stories and they are not stories of being a victim, they are stories of being a survivor.

  • Rain Mikajlo

    reading these heartfelt posts always makes me feel like i am never alone. you’re a wonderful writer and an even more wonderful person. one day jordan, i’ll thank you in person at one of your book signings 💕

    • jordanreid

      you’re the best, rain. thank you. (and it’s true: you’re not alone, ever.) <3

  • nutt

    This is a great post, and an important subject even if it’s hard to talk about.

    The links back to your old work show how your writing style has matured and improved, too.

    I’m built from stout peasant stock, and have spent most of my life too heavy. But there was one summer in my early 20s when I dropped a lot of weight. My disastrous first marriage came to an end, and I was so upset about the whole thing that I couldn’t eat. The weight loss was such a surprise that I vividly remember going to the mall, taking a pile of my usual size 16s into the dressing room, and being confused as hell when it was all too baggy. I was so wrapped up in my sadness, I didn’t even know I’d dropped something like 40-50 pounds!

    Anyway. In the end, I left the mall with much smaller clothes that actually fit my smaller body. Soon after, the validation started rolling in. Suddenly, positive vibes were everywhere. When you’re fat, people don’t see you, unless it is to cast judgement or set you up as a cautionary example of what not to be like. In most situations, you disappear into the background, deemed not worthy of time or energy or consideration. But as a thin person, I got so. much. attention. Some of it was scary and aggressive, but the vast majority was positive and flattering. Even my own friends and family were suddenly nicer to me. I was perceived as more competent at work. It stood in such stark contrast to the rest of my life, which was falling apart. Weight loss felt, as you say, like the only thing I knew I could do right. The jarring dissonance between the compliments I got during this time, and the horrible way I felt inside – I was so low, and hurting so badly – is something I’ll never be able to shake.

    And that’s a big lesson people need to hear: just because a woman loses weight and you approve of her new, thinner body, doesn’t mean she’s doing well. Even if she starts out overweight, her weight loss doesn’t automatically imply health. I gained the weight back, eventually, because once I stopped feeling so sad, I was able to eat again. And my happier, more whole self again faded into oblivion, as far as the rest of the world was concerned, because now I was chubby and thus less than human. It all so deeply messes with you.

    The irony in all of this is, “doing the mental gymnastics required to calculate the calories ingested over the course of any given day” is the exact advice doctors and everyone else give to a person who is overweight. Constantly, all the time. Can you imagine living like that forever? You correctly identify that mindset as exhausting and disordered and unrealistic, but if I go to the doctor tomorrow, she’ll tell me to do just that. Everything about the way we treat these issues is a mess.

    So yeah. Too much me me me, but it’s good to share these things, and thank you for providing an opening for this discussion. I can see why you think your boob job raises some hard questions for you in light of this need for control, and I don’t have any good answers. But, that you are open and honest about both things at once is, I think, rare and important. We’re all just doing the best that we can in the near impossible constraints the world puts on women.

    • jordanreid

      “Everything about the way we treat these issues is a mess.” Yes. Everything you wrote here is so insightful, and so true. Thank you.

  • Erin

    Been through it too, but too chicken to admit to it personally. For what it’s worth to you, the reason I keep reading your blog is because you are honest, and increasingly so each post. I will forever follow real, honest bloggers. We all know everyone is a little vain, everyone wants to look prettier/thinner/more successful than they appear, but so damn many of these bloggers either won’t cop to their issues at all (yes of course your facial features completely changed because you had a baby! No surgery or diet here!) or decide to make it their life’s goal by way of narcissism to “spread awareness” about their ‘big issue.’
    When I’m over here feelin’ fat, paying my bills late and arguing with my husband, I look at your blog and I don’t go “damn, I feel even worse, look at that gorgeous woman with her fabulous wardrobe and adorable kids. She’s perfect! I’ll never be like that!” I go “hmm. Ok, she’s real, I can dig this.” I enjoy your writing, pictures, and most of all your realness. Like I said, for what it’s worth. Kudos!

    • jordanreid

      worth everything to me. thank you.

  • Sophie

    That’s such a hard age…it’s weird how people feel so entitled to judge your body when you’re a woman in your early 20s. And you’re just a blob in terms of self-development, so the pressure feels so extreme. I have never really felt like I needed to be thinner–I’ve got a sturdy frame but naturally not much body fat, and if anything have gotten more comments that are like, you would look better with more fat. You should eat more (I eat like a horse). You are too thin. Which have also felt invasive, disrespectful, invalidating in their own way (don’t tell me how to manage my body or that my own pleasure in how I look is somehow delusional or unhealthy), though there was probably way less pressure than on someone on the other end of the spectrum.

    It is nice to hear these stories from someone who seems to be doing great in life! We recently had a mental health meeting at our graduate school where this girl said the final thing that made her feel comfortable getting on meds was when this girl she adored, whom she thought was so amazing and had everything figured out, said she was on SSRIs. You definitely made me feel better today!

  • Jordan, this is such an important post. Thanks for sharing your story. Though I didn’t struggle through an eating disorder I certainly made my fair share of mistakes in my 20s (and still do… who am I kidding), but those experiences made me who I am today and it’s important to recognize that. Thanks for making that crystal clear. xoxo

  • The Most Special

    Oh please, you still have an eating disorder who are you trying to kid. I doubt you eat those whole bowls of pasta you post, you take a few bites and throw the rest away. The gluten free diet? No bread! Win!

    Really, you got better just like that when Francesca moved in. No-one who had an eating disorder, just gets better overnight. But once again, you want to paint yourself to be a much more special snowflake than anyone else. You want everyone to walk around in Mombod sweatshirts, while you post photos of yourself half naked so that everyone on the internet can make comments about how skinny you look, particularly after having kids.

    You spend all day looking at yourself.

    You don’t fool anyone Jordan, not even yourself

    • Claire Zulkey

      Wow, look at you! Taking the time to set up an anonymous account just post something like that. I bet you’re the baddest kid in your high school class.

  • Hannah

    Thanks for writing this Jordan. I’ve followed your blog for years, even though I am not a mother, or a homeowner, your advice has always stuck with me. I too was anorexic in high school, a decision made kind like yours, weight started coming off, and soon I was known as the “skinny friend” and people admired me, until it went too far and I remember people giving me weird looks as I walked down the street. I read so many eating disorder stories where the individual had a huge revelation, or went to rehab, and that’s so different from my story. One day, I just looked at myself and realized how exhausting it was to try to keep up the charade, and how exhausted I was physically. My family has still never admitted to my past eating disorder, or my current anxiety, but that’s just the way they are. Thanks for keeping it real, and being so relatable to a cheap, apartment renting, no kids, student from Canada

  • One of the things I find most powerful about your writing is how vulnerable you allow yourself to be — not only in terms of content, but, perhaps even more importantly, that you admit you don’t have it all figured out. It’s a good reminder to all of us who write (professionally, personally, in diaries, on blogs, wherever) that we don’t have to wait until we find the solution to put pen to paper. That’s a different, and really special, kind of vulnerability, and one that is often missing in today’s “What I learned”/”5 Quick Tips” culture. Thanks for the reminder. Long-time listener, first time caller 🙂

  • Azalea

    Amazing post Jordan. It actually helped me put my own control issues in perspective. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote about not wanting to lose the ones you love. So hard to realize that it is out of our hands.

  • Heidi

    Bravo for such honesty.

  • TK

    Wow. This is such a powerful and brave post. It must have taken so much courage to write and felt so good to get it off your chest. You are a true role-model and inspiration!!!

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