Why I won’t share ‘my eating disorder story’

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about my eating disorder. And sometimes, when you find out that someone working in the eating disorder field is in recovery or recovered, you can get pretty curious. I get that. But it’s not what this blog or my instagram are about.

I choose to avoid sharing specifics about my own history because sharing those things can often be triggering for people.

Ask yourself this: why are you curious about someone else’s ED?

If you really think about it, it’s probably because your ED is trying to compete with someone else, or purposely seek being triggered so you have an excuse to use behaviors.

How sneaky!

I’ve tried hard to not make this blog about MY eating disorder. Of course, my experience with recovery comes up (it’s what I know) but I try to focus on larger themes, topics, and general feelings and experiences. It would be impossible to post on this blog and not share SOME of my own feelings, thoughts, experiences, etc.

But anyway.

I think sharing your story can be a very healing thing sometimes. I used to share a lot about my eating disorder (probably too much, sometimes) because I wanted people to understand how much pain I was in.

I wanted people to take my feelings seriously and validate me. Sounds familiar, right?

I used to jump on the chance to tell someone I was in recovery because I was proud of how far I’d come and I was eager to raise awareness. I still feel both of those things, but how I achieve those ideas now is very different.

For some people, I think sharing their story helps them gain strength and feel empowered. Processing our stories aloud can be helpful and healing.

You can share your story in a way that does not glamorize, romanticize, or sensationalize eating disorders.

In my personal opinion, the best people to share your real, nitty gritty story with is your treatment team. These people need this information to best know how to help you. People on the internet don’t need to read triggering content.

When I read people’s stories about their eating disorder, they mostly seem filled with triggering things: numbers, behaviors, the like.  I understand that sometimes this isn’t purposeful, but sometimes it seems like people share these things to seek validation.

Any eating disorder is bad and any eating disorder makes you sick. You deserve help.

I’ve heard the term “war stories” used to refer to the talk about symptom use or treatment stays and I think it’s quite fitting. It seems like a giant competition to see who was *sicker,* and honestly, that’s why eating disorders are so deadly. They trick you into thinking *sicker* = *better.*

When I was first in recovery, it was a huge part of my identity. As I’ve continued to live a life free from my eating disorder, my life has become so much more than it used to be. Sure, now I work with people with eating disorders, but I’m more than someone in recovery or someone who is recovered.

My story now is not the behaviors I used or the times I’ve been to treatment: it’s the work I’ve done to show my body respect on bad days. It’s the fact that I eat intuitively and enjoy food and that I only move my body in ways that are fun for me. It’s the fact that I write these blog posts and can give back to the community through my work.

Hearing my story of my eating disorder won’t help you, but hearing about my recovery might.

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