Zosia Mamet is opening up about a battle she's faced since childhood – and the "Girls" star has revealed that it almost took her life.
"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," the 26-year-old actress, who plays Shoshanna Shapiro on HBO's "Girls," wrote in a column for Glamour magazine's September issue.
The actress, who describes herself as "an addict in recovery," said it began after an incident when she was just 8.
"I was told I was fat for the first time when I was eight. 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," she wrote. "I was only 17, living in misery, waiting to die."
With the help of her dad, playwright David Mamet, she began her recovery.
"My dad eventually got me into treatment. He came home one night from a party, took me by the shoulders, and said, 'You're not allowed to die,'" she recalled in the piece. "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."
As for today, the actress explained that she's in a healthy place.
"Today I'm at a healthy weight, though I realize that my obsession will always be with me in some way," she continued. "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?"
-- Jesse Spero