The Internet and social media have played a complicated role in my eating disorder.
In the depths of my illness, I used to scour the web to learn how to become a “better” anorexic. I wanted—I needed—to lose weight, and the Internet, with its a fund of information and hidden pro-eating disorder communities, seemed to be the answer.
One day, however, I chanced upon the National Eating Disorders Association website and found myself drawn to the recovery stories. These women and men struggled with food just like I did—and yet their lives no longer pivoted around restrictive food schedules and (literally) running themselves ragged.
I didn’t know it at the time, but browsing the NEDA site and later its social media platforms planted an idea in my head about recovery. Like many people who are haunted by an eating disorder “voice,” I was in severe denial about how sick I was. I knew I was deeply unhappy, and in the back of my mind I wished I could reach out for help, but I didn’t think I was “sick enough” (i.e., thin enough) to warrant treatment. (Side note: there is NO SUCH THING as “sick enough.” If you have even a whisper of a thought that you might need help, don’t think—JUST DO IT!) However, I began to recognize my own struggles in the women and men in these stories—and, by default, I also began to imagine myself in their recoveries.
One day last October, I decided on a whim to reach out to NEDA to share with them how important their various social media had become to me. And to my delight, I received a personal reply from the communications team.
Read the full article on NEDA’s website!
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