Thursday, July 31, 2014

On Being a Recovery Blogger In Recovery

I am a recovery blogger.

I write about my recovery from my eating disorder and my other co-occurring conditions.

On my Facebook page, I share links about mental illnesses and recovery. I share body positive articles; I share articles about anxiety and depression recovery, about body image, about mental health in general.

I am an eating disorder and mental health activist.

I am an Assistant Editor and Writer for Libero Network, and I blog on occasion for The Project Heal.

I am a psychology major hoping to one day specialize in the treatment of eating disorders.

But I am also in recovery.

This means that sometimes, I am full of hypocrisy. Sometimes, the words I write, the articles I share, the advice I spew out of my mouth is full of truths I don't believe. Sometimes it's riddled with ED's deception goals to fake people into thinking everything is peachy. Sometimes it's all just bullshit.

Sometimes I have months like these past few and cannot for the life of me spin my experiences in a positive manner. Months where I take two trips to the emergency room and receive stitches for self-harm. Months where I accidentally drink too much in front of my entire extended family. Months where I am not even close to full meal plan compliance and my doctor threatens to not let me go back to school. Months where I struggle just as much to keep food down as I do to get food in my body.

I think I sometimes get so wrapped up in my role as advocate that I try to manage perceptions of me so I will seem more credible and trustworthy because I've been through the war. Who wants to wants to read a recovery blog by someone who's struggling? What kind of credibility do I have offering advice on healing when I'm not healed? How do I promote acceptance and recovery when I don't always want it for myself?

So instead of admitting I don't know all the answers, instead of admitting weakness, instead of sharing my struggles, I hide. I avoid coming to my blog and sharing my journey. I avoid writing posts and articles for other organizations. I avoid commenting on any articles I share on Facebook.

Here's the thing--the very nature of recovery means some days will be miserable and others will be amazing. It means some days are wired for struggle while others are pure bliss. It means there will be bad days and good days.

Sometimes my wanting to control my image perception as an advocate gets in the way of my recovery. It's hard to focus on recovery when you become obsessed with gaining blog followers and becoming a successful writer. It is harder to recover when you are consumed by your image, your credibility, your fears.

I originally began this blog for me, as a way to connect with others, process my journey, and chronicle my life. It was a way to achieve healing and peace within my own mind. I just wanted to write.

I think it's time I get back to that.