I'm going to try and blog a little more often, but *timing* my laptop has just died. Permanently. Hopefully this will be the start of a more organised blog as soon as I get a better computer.

So two weeks ago, I started seeing a new CBT practitioner. I have been very doubtful of CBT since my last bout with the same service before I stopped and moved abroad. Looking back, I was nowhere well enough to engage in the kind of self-led programme that this course is. I was also scatting out, not turning up, not doing my homework etc. Overall not helpful. So I came ready to put in work, bear the cross and put the techniques they use into motion. I also came with questions and requests, I asked if it could be a bit more practical (because I'd completed an A level in psychological therapies and the theory wasn't new to me). I also came with things i wanted to focus on and challenge. So far, it has been surprisingly insightful and useful for managing (mainly) social anxiety.

BUT.

Last week my session ended with a question which kind of knocked the air out of me. And that question was: "Have you been assessed for Aspergers?".

Now, for context, we'd just finished talking about my traumatic primary school experience. Categorised by absolutely no friends, being taken advantage of, social anxiety, introversion, bullying, maladaptive daydreaming. Like already, they're pretty obvious signs that something "normal" isn't going on here.

She also picked up on my sensory difficulties one session in. I picked my hands until they bled. I asked her to turn off the lighting in the room, I had told her about how movement, sound and light can really play a part in my anxiety attacks.

I also told her about certain people I have going round and around in my brain as a social check, how I try and imitate them.

Whilst researching asd, many of the male traits and symptoms didn't quite match up. But on finding Tania M Marshall's blog on female aspie traits, I can almost definitely see me in them. So now it looks like perhaps my anorexia, social anxiety and bipolar actually can come under asd. AND NOW I'M TOTALLY CONFUSED!

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The recovery community on Instagram is extensive. There are over 2 million posts with the hashtag #edrecovery, and 1.5 million posts for #EatingDisorderecovery. And these are the accounts that are public. There are a large number of users on private settings using “vent” accounts and personal blogs to document their triumphs and tribulations of having an eating disorder to fellow sufferers.

The only positives for using such an account is the support of others suffering from the same or similar mental illness and true understanding. And perhaps the documentation of food can be useful to track intake for the day and remind you of how far you have progressed.

That’s it. Here are 9 reasons why starting an account is a bad idea:



1.1)The process of documentation and photographing yummy food with positive filters is reinforcing an unhealthy obsession with food, adding behaviors that waylay the actual EATING of it. For God's sake, the main purpose is to make you and others hungry for torture's sake.

1.2) An eating disorder community is adding competition. It is the scrolling through the low intake or high intake of another user and thinking either “They’re rubbing it in” or “I can do better”.

1.3) It reinforces aesthetic judgement. In its very essence, Instagram is a platform for social exposure and judgement. From the filters acting like makeup, to the amount of times you post, the likes you get. If you are struggling with body image and, at its core, your whole self, then exposing yourself to a group of very tough critics can be lethal and secretly enjoyable, if you’re wracked by self-hatred.

1.4) The poison attitudes of sick individuals giving support and love. If you are controlled by an eating disorder, there is a level of unbearable hypocrisy and maliciousness to the intentions of support to another. “X, lovely, this really isn’t enough and you know it. Try and have some Biscoff with that rice cake”. This is hypocritical self-care. Click on this person’s profile and they are emaciated, consuming no Biscoff at all. Now I can also safely say that “winning” as an anorexic and being the sickest can make you encourage eating of other sufferers so you can succeed.

1.5) The culture or calculatedly and slyly raising concern for attention. And the disappointment when nobody sniffs it out, and the excitement when somebody notices and calls you out.

1.6) The body posts, and the total inability of a comment to be positive. “You look absolutely tiny L” reinforces your disorder whilst “omg you look stunning” fails to mention how slim you are and encourages you to lose more weight. And no doubt that photo took 2 hours to take and edit.

1.7) Recovery gurus paint a picture of idealized recovery, and yet still remain suspiciously frail… an army of followers care and support them and the attention they can receive for being anorexic can be hard to give up.

1.8) You undoubtedly receive tips and tricks. What low calorie foods to consume, how much exercise one user is doing, what their routine is. Eventually you see the same foods circulating round the community feed in different filters: Nakd eaten and chopped in different ways, porridge porn, low cal snacks, F*****g Biscoff.


1.9) Body progress photos are simply reminding the other users that although they are nearly weight restored, they still run this shit.

Owning an Instagram account for your disorder is like gifting it a body and, ironically, feeding it. You’ve given it a society, attention and interactions, a sense of normality. This can be addictive

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