Let me preface this entire post by saying every time I post something here or to social media, they are MY opinions and I truly understand that everyone has their own recoveries. Something I may find frustrating in a post-ED world, you may not find irritating at all. Different experiences. Some of my comments recently were challenged by a couple of other Facebook users and I want to say that I respect their opinions and am SO thankful for nurses and doctors and social workers who work in the mental health care space. I am not a doctor or a counselor, but I felt inspired to start this blog after dealing with 12 years of a life-threatening eating disorder. Take what you want from it – hoping that it strikes a chord with someone out there.
This week, I was in NYC and I COULD NOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIND JEANS. Nowhere. Every pair came up to my knees and stopped. The salespeople at Levi’s were amazingly sweet, and actually had varying body types themselves, but alas – no jeans for Nicole. Everything was too small. Still, a few years after solidly entering recovery, it’s still really hard to accept my new size. Everything used to fit me, no problem. But that ease in the dressing room came at a great cost, and I’m done with that now. So, I’ll just have to deal with jeans that are literally hanging on by threads because I can’t find new ones. That’s something that I think people don’t realize: The purchase of a new wardrobe post-eating disorder is stressful and expensive. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to being healthy and curvier.
Then, while I was waiting in an outrageous line to check my bag at LGA, I happened across an ABC News post on Facebook that so upset me I was almost shaking. Again, this may not trigger you, but for me it was awful. I couldn’t even read the story (which could have been amazing) because I was afraid to see further triggering images in addition to the one that was included on social media. I think telling her story of struggle with anorexia is extremely valuable, and helps raise awareness and educate an otherwise ED-ignorant population, but there is a way to do this without the shocking numbers or visuals. I also really hope and pray that the subject of the article finds her own way to recovery. However, I won’t be able to shake that image for a long time, and I have do my job for myself by processing it in therapy next week. I know I’m not alone in thinking the image was triggering, and in hoping that media organizations would choose other imagery to accompany eating disorder articles (which again I emphasize – are so important).
In that moment that I felt triggered, I leaned on my Facebook community, which includes recovered people, those still struggling, and those completely unassociated with any kind of eating disorder. That is how social media has helped me instead of hurt. In my moments of frustration or weakness, I can instantly reach out to a circle that cares about me. I hope to provide some kind of platform or forum in the future that fosters healthy conversations and recovery support, I’m just not quite sure how to get there yet. I also texted one of my friends who was in treatment with me and vented about the image (while encouraging her not to search for it online to avoid being triggered).
Here’s to finding what YOU need in your recovery, and if something resonated with you, leave a comment below or find us on Facebook. If you’d like to write an article for Body Boop, please send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Tags: #bodyboop, ABC News, anorexia, body boop, body image, bulimia, clothes, eating disorder, eating disorder recovery, edrecovery, fashion, jeans, New York City, NYC, positive body image, recovery, shopping