She currently stars as the beloved character Shoshanna on Girls, but Zosia Mamet has been hiding a dark secret — her eating disorder. In a magazine column for Glamour, the actress opened up about the illness that has plagued her for years.
“Do you have a secret?” she began. “Is your secret something that could kill you, a silent gnawing feeling that’s slowly melting you away, little by little, something deadly that nobody else can see? Mine is. And it is this: I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since I was a child. This struggle has been mostly a private one, a war nobody knew was raging inside me. I tried to fight it alone for a long time. And I nearly died.”
After revealing that she considers herself an “addict in recovery,” while sharing statistics about eating habits, Zosia went on to tell her specific story.
“I was told I was fat for the first time when I was eight,” she explained. “I’m not fat; I’ve never been fat. But ever since then, there has been this 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.”
Eventually, the HBO star recalled, her dad got her to go into treatment. “Really these diseases are about control: control of your life and of your body,” she revealed. “For me “recovery” was simply the flip side of the illness; everything was still focused on numbers and food. I was given a goal weight I had to reach by a certain date. Everything I ate was written down. And I did eat; I looked cured on the outside. But the monster inside wasn’t brought to trial.”
Once Zosia was released from treatment, she spent the summer losing every pound she’d gained, recalling, “Nobody had helped me dissect why I’d abused myself.”
She concluded, “Today I’m at a healthy weight, though I realize that my obsession will always be with me in some way. For years the voice inside me has gotten louder or quieter at times. 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?”
See her full article here.