I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned, in my posting history, my love-hate relationship with other blogs. I got into the “healthy living blog” scene at the height of my unhealthy behaviour- my eating disorder. Instead of reading blogs, I’d scour them for pictures and evidence that what I was doing was “ok”. It wasn’t ok- and it wasn’t a healthy thing for me to be doing at all. Seeing other bloggers wax on about workouts and low-fat this, low-calorie that allowed me to feel somewhat justified in my illness. Even if I was, from an outward perspective, not treating my body with the respect that many of the bloggers I followed did, I couldn’t see that. All I could do was compare myself, unfairly, to everyone else. I was caught in a cycle of self-beration while idolizing everyone else.
Throughout the course of recovery from my eating disorder, I began to re-evaluate the sanity of reading certain blogs. Rather than dreaming of chronicling my daily eats and workouts, I began to imagine putting my thoughts down on the page in a different way. Speaking out about the struggles and triumphs I encountered along the way. Visiting only blogs that made me feel better after reading them, not like a lazy slob for following the advice of my doctors and not exercising- period- for months on end. Little by little, I saw evidence of my recovery and treatment plan really working for me. I felt myself beginning to care again about activities that I had replaced with obsessive recipe-hoarding and food-photo stockpiling. I overcame the itching desire to see every morsel of food that passed the lips of others- both “real” people in my lives and bloggers. Instead of talking to my friends and parents about my daily intake, I could converse like someone who actually cared about things like music, the environment, society, the arts, my community… about life. Very (painfully) gradually, I emerged from a cucoon of comparisons.
It might seem paradoxical that I have a blog, given my prior obsession with unhelpful internet usage. However, there is something to be said about the role that writing has played in my recovery. I’ve been able, through my writing, to touch upon issues of which I was previously unaware. Writing is undoubtedly cathartic for me, be it poetry or prose. And I do still read blogs- but I’ve limited myself to visiting only those blogs with positive messages. Some of the blogs I visit now are healthy-living blogs, some are design blogs, photography blogs, random-musing blogs like my own. Sometimes, other bloggers do things differently in their lives than what I do. But the biggest difference is that instead of beating myself up for what I do or do not do in my life in comparison to these others, I can congratulate myself for staying true to what’s best for me. I actually feel secure in the knowledge that I am unique. There is no one out there exactly like me, so why should I expect myself to fit perfectly into a single niche?
And that, my friends, is being true.