Girls star and Glamour columnist Zosia Mamet opened up to the magazine about her personal struggles with an eating disorder that could have killed her.
"I was told I was fat for the first time when I was eight," Zosia wrote in her column My Zo-Called Life. "I'm not fat; I've never been fat. But ever since then, there has been a monster in my brain that tells me I am -- that convinces me my clothes don't fit or that I've eaten too much. At times it has forced me to starve myself, to run extra miles, to abuse my body. As a teenager I used to stand in front of the refrigerator late at night staring into that white fluorescent light, debilitated by the war raging inside me: whether to give in to the pitted hunger in my stomach or close the door and go back to bed. I would stand there for hours, opening and closing the door, taking out a piece of food then putting it back in; taking it out, putting it in my mouth, and then spitting it into the garbage. I was only 17, living in misery, waiting to die."
Zosia eventually sought help at the insistence of her family.
"My dad eventually got me into treatment," she wrote. "He came home one night from a party, took me by the shoulders, and said, 'You're not allowed to die.' It was the first time I realized this wasn't all about me. I didn't care if I died, but my family did. That's the thing about these kinds of disorders: They're consuming; they make you egocentric; they're all you can see."
Zosia went on to offer advice for people dealing with similar issues.
"The first step, I think, is for those of us who are suffering to start talking about it: people like me, who have been diagnosed, and people who live in that gray area of 'food control issues,'" she wrote. "We all suffer in some small way; we are all a little bit ashamed of that second cupcake. Let's diminish the stigma. Let's remind one another that we're beautiful. Maybe you'll help a friend. Maybe you'll help yourself."
Today, Zosia is at a healthy weight but she realizes that her "obsession will always be with [her] in some way."
"For years the voice inside me has gotten louder or quieter at times," she wrote. "It may never disappear completely, but hopefully one day it'll be so quiet, it'll only be a whisper and I'll wonder, Was that just the wind?"
The September issue of Glamour is on newsstands now.