Why recovery blogs (such as this one) should be read with discretion

I write a recovery blog, so I understand the irony of this post. I need to write it anyway.

When I had “active” anorexia, I never read a thing about it. I remember a couple of times people trying to send me a newspaper or magazine clipping on anorexia (yes, I am that old, and blogs were not really a thing 15 years ago). I threw them away and pretended I had never received them. I was taking a psychology degree at the time, and so couldn’t escape a couple of lectures on eating disorders, but other than that I totally head-in-sanded the subject. I did not want to know.

When I was in recovery, I never read any blogs, memoirs, anything. I read some of the FEAST forum, but that is about it. If anything, I researched scientific literature to help me understand things I was experiencing physically. I’ve only ever read a handful of other people’s recovery blogs. To this day, I have never read a book on anorexia. I don’t think I ever will, to be quite honest. That is an embarrassing truth to admit, because I now have plenty of friends in the field who have written books on anorexia, and it feels rude for me to say I’ve not read them. But that is the truth. It’s not that I don’t want to read them because I am worried I would find them triggering or anything like that, it is because if I have time to read a book — which is rare — it is going to be one from my bucket list of books I want to read. When I read I read for fun.

In recovery, I very much did my own thing. And then I started writing about it. Sometimes, and this is the ironic part, I think that one of the reasons I was so able to use my common sense in recovery was that I was so ignorant as to how recovery was done. I didn’t have thoughts of “well, so-and-so says this,” or “but whosit did this to recover … .” I just did what felt right (in terms of my healthy brain, of course, not my anorexia brain).

Writing about my anorexia experiences has been a blessing. But, there is something that concerns me about people reading recovery blogs, and that is they forget that they are a unique, special, individual, and that no two humans are the exact same.

Sharing stories is important. We can and do learn from one another. We inspire, and are inspired by one another. But my story, and my recovery, cannot be used as a blueprint. You have your own personal experience, and you will have your own unique path to recovery.

Anything you read in my blog I have written because it is my truth. If my truth doesn’t sit right with you, or conflicts with what you know about your body and your life, then you have to defer to what you know is right for you. Your own experience and knowledge about yourself trumps the advice of a stranger on the internet.

The older (and wiser?) I get, the more I am learning to use fewer blanket statements, not more. The more I understand the importance of making it clear that I write about my experiences, and that no one person’s experience can be taken as a rule.

Nobody in the world has more information about your eating disorder than you do. Nobody knows your life better than you do. Nobody else is living in your body. You are the person most qualified to make decisions about what is right for you.

As you read this blog, remember you are you. Take what you need from this blog, and leave the rest.

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