This coming week is the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) Symposium here in the CA desert. I’m excited to see colleagues whom I’ve not been with since 2019. Please let me know if there are questions you’d likee me to ask any of them. And if you’re a professional, let me know if you’ll be attending so we can make plans to say hello! ~ Becky
Today, Intern Anna is sharing her hard earned wisdom regarding the use of social media in recovery.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND RECOVERY TIPS, by Intern Anna
In one of my classes this week we talked about the impacts social media has had on all of us. We discussed the positives and the negatives. It was interesting to hear what my peers’ perspective was.
It seemed easier to come up with negative effects of social media. The positives are quite obvious. Social media can help us communicate with others and share our life story. It goes beyond the barrier of distance. Social media can be used to lift up others and to compliment.
Social media can also do the opposite. It can be used to tear others down and as a source of bullying. It can seem easier to say mean things online than it would in person.
One of the biggest things that came up in our class discussion was that social media is a highlight reel. People get to decide what they post and they usually only show the great parts of their life. I know I have experienced jealousy because of this. I get down thinking my life isn’t as wonderful as theirs seems to be.
There is also a large element of fakeness on social media. Pictures can be tweaked and changed. When I was at the peak of my eating disorder it was so hard to scroll on Instagram without feeling like I was not enough. I was constantly comparing my body to those I saw online. I never thought I would measure up. This contributed to my skewed vision of health and body image.
I didn’t understand that there is no ideal body. Everyone has a different body and healthy for them looks different than it does for me. I struggled with this concept because I tended to see things in black and white. In my head there was only one right way that my body was supposed to be.
When I started changing that narrative and began to tell myself that my body was constantly evolving was when I started to make peace with myself. Just as the seasons change with time so does my body.
I decided to give up Instagram for good a few years ago because I recognized that it supported my eating disorder thoughts. For me, it only made things more difficult. It has taken a while for me to have a more positive relationship with my body. I didn’t need social media making it any harder.
The most important thing I learned from that season of life was that my body didn’t have to fit the box social media was trying to squish it into. I was free to decide how I felt about my body without social media’s standards.
Thank you Intern Anna!
If you need some support as a caregiver with checking in on someone with an eating disorder, reach out. I’ve trained others to do the work I do so even more families can get the help, hope and tools needed. If you’re coaching parents or wish you, our next training is in April, reach out and see if you meet the prerequistes. You can see info here on my website about the EDCC Training.
I’ll be at the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) conference the week of February 13th so my weekly group support will be 2 hours later on Wednesday February 15th as I’m hosting a gathering at my home. Please let me know if you’ll be here in the desert and I’ll send you an invite. And parents in my weekly group call, please mark your calendars for two hours later on Feb 15th. I’ll send a reminder for that.