For weeks it feels like you’re doing okay. You’re not gaining, still bodychecking, wishing you were thinner and thinking about food all the time. At the same time, you’re not losing weight and you’re kind of okay with that.
But one day you wake up and realize that the thoughts are back. You feel the need to need to lose weight, skip meals and move more.
For me it felt like it came out of nowhere. It seemed like nothing special happened, but the eating disorder thought came back like a wave. Where it first felt like you had a choice to engage in the thoughts, it now feels like the choice is already made for you.
I felt so frustrated and felt like I was letting everyone down. But after a few days I realized that something DID happen recently. I saw a picture of a very skinny, fragile girl on Instagram. That was the trigger for my eating disorder. My disorder had a yearning to be as skinny as she was.
What do you do about social media?
I think that pictures on social media are a tricky thing in recovery. You want to connect with people who are on the same journey, you want to help them and receive help from them. And that is all wonderful.
But recovery comes with ups and downs, people struggle and slip up. And seeing that on social media can be very hard to deal with.
Seeing people lose weight while you are still trying NOT to give into those thoughts is extremely difficult. While this can’t be avoided with your immediate circle of friends and family, it can be avoided by not engaging in social media.
Social media can be really helpful in a lot of situations. However, when it’s not being helpful, you have to make the decision to change something.
I wish I could give some tips and tricks on how to not be triggered by it anymore. But to be honest; I haven’t figure out how to deal with this yet in my own life.
Here’s my advice
But there is something I can say to all of you: ask for help! Ask your therapist, treatment team, or parents for help and advice. Try turning off your phone and focusing on your own recovery. Remember that recovery goes with ups and downs and that there is a reason why you need your eating disorder to cope with things.
Ak yourself questions like these: Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to disappear from this world because it feels like you are not worthy enough to live a happy life? Do you feel useless and losing weight is the only goal you have? Do you not really want to lose weight, but just want to be too sick and tired to have feel the difficult feeling you have? Do you want to feel in control because it feels like you lost it?
When you find out why you want to loose weight, be skinny, have an empty stomach or whatever it may be, you are able to work on the real problems that made you develop an eating disorder.
Try to focus on the real struggles and not on the lies your eating disorder tells you.
You are not alone and people want to help you. But in the end, this is YOUR journey. You have to choose what’s best for you.