Of all the lies your eating disorder has told you, perhaps the biggest is that you’re alone. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. The South Carolina Department of Mental Health estimates that eight million Americans struggle with an eating disorder (Mirasol). It doesn’t make for a pretty statistic, but it does allow for a community of incredible support to emerge. Eating disorders are far less scary and debilitating when you permit yourself to accept support from others. And getting that support is pretty darn easy once you know where to look. C’mon, let’s find it together.
Instagram: 0 Risk and 100x the Reward
When it comes to challenging our eating disorders, few scenarios are truly win-win. It’s more like feel-like-I’m-going-to-have-a-panic-attack-but-keep-fighting-anyway….win. But this is different. Because when you use Instagram correctly, it can become one of the most powerful assets in your recovery toolbox. In fact, it’s the #1 strategy I recommend in my VIP video on Anorexia Recovery: Where to Begin.
How to get started:
- Sign up for a free email address (this will be used with the Instagram account you create)
- Create Instagram profile specifically to document the ups and downs of your recovery journey
- Remain anonymous both in your username and bio (if you’re worried about people you know IRL finding it)
- Start to follow a combination of recovery accounts going through the same thing you are + body positive accounts / body positive activists who have reached recovery and now use their experience to encourage others (see the accounts I most recommend in my VIP video #4 Anorexia Recovery: Where to Begin)
Why it’s 0 risk and high reward:
- You run 0 chance of anyone IRL finding your recovery account if you use an email address that is new and unlinked to your Facebook, phone number, etc
- You have access to hundreds of thousands of people’s stories about #recoverywins to encourage you on your toughest days
- You can look to the pros (body positive accounts) for guidance and even shoot them an email or DM when you need advice
- You will receive bundles of support and encouragement by utilizing specific hashtags (see VIP video #4 Anorexia Recovery: Where to Begin) and commenting words of support on others’ photos
The Web Is Your Friend
I love Instagram for connecting with other recovery warriors, but it’s not the only way technology helps many people overcome EDs. The great thing about living in the digital age, is that you have the capacity to find anything you want literally at your fingertips (and keyboard). Including support for eating disorder recovery. Of course, I hope that you’ll stick around and continue reading my blog for more recovery resources and self love strategies, but I’m far from the only one providing support for those in recovery.
- This online publication specializes in all things mental health (and mental illness recovery)
- They have amazing articles surrounding overcoming anxiety, staying present in your recovery, and even self care tips!
- Sarah B is an intuitive eating counselor who helps individuals ditch calorie counters and fear foods, and live a happy and balanced life
- Her articles will remind you that a healthy relationship with food is possible, and you deserve it
- Much like Libero, Healthy Place is a one-stop-shop for confronting mental illness and learning about mental health
- Explore to their eating disorder recovery section, or browse around a bit. There’s no shortage of support here.
When In Doubt, Talk It Out
You guessed it. I’m wrapping up this guide on where to find support with an oldie but goodie: therapy. Depending on how you were raised and where – therapy has many different connotations for different people. Let me tell you what therapy is to me-
- therapy is a place I went 1x a week in high school to talk about my developing eating disorder and lack of friends
- therapy is a place where I was able to hug a pillow for an hour and talk to someone who accepted me
- therapy is a place where I could pay on a sliding scale, because not all therapists are just out to get your money
- therapy is a place where I encountered my first fear food challenge EVER. (She brought me a Starbucks frappuccino)
But most importantly, therapy is a means of getting support. It’s another tool that you have at your disposal and should not ever feel ashamed or afraid to utilize. Sometimes it comes up in casual conversation that I’ve been to therapy. I don’t shy away from it, because I know how much it helped me and could help others.
Mix and Match
Maybe not every tool is your style. Maybe you get the most support when you use a combination of the three. The most important thing to remember, whether you choose Instagram, the web, or therapy, is that support is out there. You don’t have to go through this alone. There’s so much strength in simply asking for help.
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