Over the last week, I’ve seen more and more of the amazing people here “fessing up” to backsliding, relapsing, being weighed down by triggers, keeping their heartache and struggles a secret until it feels like break open or break apart.
I can’t help but wonder if sometimes we do more harm to each other than good. Monetizing weight loss and our self worth via DietBets and 4n4 challenges. Trying to make ourselves better than others by way of competition, instead of using competition to make ourselves better than we were. Posting too much about our own shortcomings that will never be someone else’s. Posting too much about our own successes that will never be someone else’s. The list goes on. The things that make Tumblr a community, I think, can also open those of us who are feeling vulnerable up to even more triggers and reasons to relapse. And it sucks, because so many of us are getting to that point.
The summer seems to make it worse, as society at large asks us if we’re beach and bikini bod ready. Obesity has just been officially added to some official document somewhere as a real life disease and disordered eating and exercise habits, despite being medicalized years ago, remain untreated and unrecognized. Everything seems like a huge clusterfuck of oxymorons and we suffer from it on a human, personal, heartbreaking level. We share in those moments here.
But I think the difference, the beautiful, life-saving difference, is that we break open, not apart. Maybe something on Tumblr will trigger someone else. Maybe it’s triggering us to be more honest, to be more open, and to let our damages be seen along with our perfections, or to see others at those moments, too. But it seems like it’s worth it because the bad things are going to happen whether we have Tumblr to come home to or not.
One thing I’ve learned here is that we’re not alone. I don’t know if there’s any correlation in how often it seems like we trigger together and teeter on the precipices of our own deep ends together, but we’re also all here together. To reach around the edge and grab onto each other and keep anyone from falling in.
It’s up to us to reach out, to reach in, and to open up our demons to the world for honesty’s sake and for support. If we can keep reaching around the edge and holding on, I think we’ll make it through. I’m not always doing great either, but in my time on Tumblr, the human connection has been holding me back from that edge when I’m not sure anything will keep me.
To anyone who is sharing their demons, thank you. For breaking open any facades of falsehood you might have been using to make everything look fine so that we might support you and so that we might find comfort in knowing that we’re not alone.
To anyone who might be suffering in silence, you can do that, or you can open up here. In a post, in an ask, whatever it is. We’ll try to take care of you as best we can.
To everyone who is reading this, just getting through the day is enough sometimes. And when you want to do more, reach for just a little further back from the edge. You might pull someone back with you, but even if not, you’ll make the circle a bit tighter and stronger for later.