You know what really really irritates me??? The people who say they are recovered but are actually still very poorly.
I was thinking about it earlier whilst sending a message to one of the most inspiring and determined people I know and in my opinion (because this is my opinion and nothing else) those out there who claim to be recovered from eating disorders on social media are probably the most damaging and stigma imposing (I don’t know the correct way to say they back up the views of ignorant people, of those who also suffer and strengthen stigma) people with in online communities.
At the moment I see a lot of ‘this community has become toxic’ in various social media sites. Part of this is due to people who are pro Illness saying damaging things which back up a persons beliefs, but I personally think the problem lies more in those who claim to be recovered, but are 1) still under weight 2) still using behaviours or avoiding food 3) switching between illness (towards orthorexia commonly).
You see those who are pro Illness are niiave and ignorant. They are people strongly influenced by the society we live in and have many insecurities because of that. Those who are pro illness have not been subject to the harsh reality that maybe it distracts from in problem, but an illness in its self is a whole lot worse.
But those people who are spreading the message that they are recovered with out restoring to a healthy weight, with out been able to eat out still or the same meal as their families, those who eat, but still in a restrictive way- they are aware of the pain cause by developing a mental illness (specifically an eating disorder) they are aware of the emotional and physical pain. They have felt the torment first hand. They know the physical consequences are very real and the impact it has upon the whole of their lives. Yet by claiming to be well when they aren’t, they are allowing people to look up to them, in a way which could be very harmful.
How many times do you see someone who is ‘recovered’ eating a salad when your meal plan says x and then question why should you be eating x? It makes you feel additional doubt and guilt. How often do you see those who are ‘recovered’ going to the gym everyday or becoming obsessed with certain food groups (protein) and then question why you can’t go to the gym everyday or feel pressured to add extra of one food group and less of another?
How often do you look at you weight restoring or restored body and compare yourself to the ‘recovered ‘person and feel your body image worsening and yourself asking why they were allowed to remain one size when you are told you keep in gaining?
You see the general public know very little about Illness. Those who are pro Illness have a distorted view of what it’s like built on ignorance. But those who were ill and have now ‘recovered’, well they have been there and as an individual suffering we look at them with hope. Hope of recovery yes, but also disordered hopes. Hope that we will only ever have to eat clean food, that we can keep avoiding food groups or exercise everyday. We look at the small size and believe we can stop there to or we can keep set meal times….
But the truth is, we can not recover by doing things halfheartedly. In recovery we can’t compromise or meet in the middle with the Illness. In recovery we have to give up every rule and every behaviour. And unless we do that, we can never trust live. If we hang on to parts of an illness, in a way we can disguise, we are just as poorly as someone in the deaths of a disorder. We still are consumed by thoughts and limited by our fears.
Recovery is something which we have to choose say in and day out-even on the days we don’t want it. Recovery is challenging everything you thought you knew and learning what really is true. Recovery is crying for hours and planning a relapse, but still avoiding the gym or the bathroom and instead eating something extra. Recovery isn’t easy and any change towards recovery is extremely positive. However for those contemplating recover or struggling in recovery, those who claim the be recovered whilst living a disordered life (and most likely being in denial of those fact) can be very damaging both emotional and physical to others.