Comin’ off 10 days on the east coast – and booooooy did I miss my NYC life.
Sometimes, I don’t know why I left. Sometimes, I know exactly why. It’s a forever battle – so I’m forewarning you that you’re probably about to see an excessive amount of NYC pics.
Every week, I receive a message along the lines of “HAAAAALP. I’m so and so and I have an eating disorder. New to recovery, I’d like to start writing about it. I want to help people and feel like I need that community. How’d you do it?”
In pure honesty, I rarely answer these emails or DMs. Not because I don’t appreciate them – but because it’s quite difficult to pinpoint or understand exactly why my blog seems to resonate with people. If I do answer, I usually say something along the cheesedick, admittedly unhelpful line of “I was lucky – and I wrote with little regard to other people because I didn’t actually think other people would read it. That, in turn, made all the difference.”
Eyeroll. I know.
So, anyway, I’ve been mulling over what I’d write if I ever sat down and took the time to put an answer into a post. I did everything from reviewing my stats to looking at the content of my early posts to mulling over my PR skills (which is what I technically still do for a 9-5 living.)
This is what I came up with. Feel free to comment or protest or add or question.
At the end of the day, I am just a girl with an eating disorder who got tired of being a girl with an eating disorder.
And I’m lucky I found a community here – cause Lord knows where I’d be.
1.) Share Unabashedly
Share like no one will read – but accept that someone might.
This is a big one. If you’re not ready for your ex to read your shit – or your mom – or you 85-year old Grandma – you’re not ready to go public. And that is totally fine.
I wish someone had told me this when I started. When you write, and people read, and then you write more, your life becomes an open dialogue. Conflicting, hypocritical, personal, raw and full of disclaimers.
It will 100% piss someone off – many someones – at some given time.
What you write is not yours to keep when you publish it for the masses. It becomes the interpretation of whatever human is sitting behind their screen absorbing your 2-cent thoughts about the world.
You will piss off someone you love. And you will learn the hard way. You must accept that. And also be able to handle the ramifications of that hurt when you’re left to explain it.
Not only that, but someone will make fun of you. People will talk shit. That is what people do when they do not know how to handle others truths. We are scared of peoples pain because so often we see it in ourselves.
You must be willing to accept that your ex might giggle about you at drinks with their friends.
Your mom might call and demand you remove a sentence.
Your friends might tell you to “tone it down.”
Strangers on the internet will tell you you’re a “white entitled bitch who doesn’t understand pain or anything real …” and so on and so forth.
Hurt people hurt people. That is a reality you must understand. And you better have a hard shell to deal with it. I have certainly had to learn that the hard way.
2.) Whining Doesn’t Relate
I can be fairly blunt so please understand I’m not saying to not grieve and contemplate your eating disorder in your writing. Hell, it’s all I do on this blog.
But, there’s a fine amount of times I read eating disorder posts/articles and it reads incredibly bleak.
Like the kind of bleak that turns you off on a date when a dude/girl is texting on their phone while you tell a story – and you realize the world is a dumpster fire and we’re all slowly dying.
Here’s the truth: people know your war stories. They know because they’re going through the same shit. You don’t have to TELL people how you feel. SHOW it.
Show it in stories and examples. Make your story alive by actually telling it and not just telling the world how shitty of a day it was because you hated your stomach.
Hey, most of us hate our stomachs. We’re taught to by our fucked up dumpster fire culture. (Harsh? Harsh.)
Show – don’t tell. Tell your diary. Show your story.
3.) Talk About Something Other Than Your Eating Disorder … Literally Anything
You can’t just be your eating disorder.
Talk about who you are. Show it. What did you do before? Who are the people in your life that matter? Who’s your shitty ex? Who’s your best friend?
Talk about anything other than anorexia or binge or whatever.
Write about the time you had a love affair in Europe – and you left them at a bus stop.
Write about getting bullied in middle school (but don’t self-pity. We know it’s painful.)
An eating disorder is not all you have. And people will not relate to you if you portray it that way.
4.) The “I Used to be This, Now I am This” Turn Off
My favorite. The easy way we have of trying to show we’re THIS and no longer THAT.
It’s fear – and fear doesn’t relate.
You are not black and white. Neither is your eating disorder.
Neither is your recovery.
If you write about your life like it’s daisies when it used to be weeds – people see through that. They won’t believe you.
Recovery is hard. And unmanageable sometimes. And confusing and without laws.
Write about it as such. Find the kernel of truths you can wedge out of the experience.
Comment on the parts that make you whole – and the parts that you still struggle with.
You can’t give a shit about the person who comments “maybe you need more rehab…” or the person who says “this sounds like ED talk.”
Maybe it is. But, write about how you gotta figure that out for you.
5.) Be Silly, Confused, In Pain and Utterly Human
Need I say more?
Write knowing that your mind will change.
Your perspective will alter.
People won’t always love you.
People won’t even like you.
And they’ll probably comment that your shoes look old and you need new ones. (true story)
Write knowing that a lot of people will tell you “you’re inspiring.”
Don’t believe them.
You are a person – act as such. Don’t let that go to your head.
All we can ever hope to do with writing/blogging is hope that for one bloody second we give a seed of perspective to someone else – and mostly to ourselves.
That is it.
We do not change peoples lives. We are merely storytellers of our own experience on this planet.
Hoping to write one sentence that truly matters.
Begging to leave a ripple in a world that is streaming along –