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How I Promise to Address Triggering Subjects

Triggers can be dangerous for anyone fighting against eating disorders or depression. I recognize my responsibility to avoid them, so here are my promises to avoid the following in my writing:

1. No. Numbers. No low or high weight, BMI, exact loss or gain of pounds, body weight percentage, calories eaten while engaging in behaviors, hours worked out, etc.

Note: I may occasionally mention nutrition facts on certain food items. It will not describe something with a surprising number of calories, but with typical items that most people will know anyway.

2. No explicit descriptions of body checks.

3. No “before and after pictures”; in fact, no pictures at all, except ones taken when I was at my healthy setpoint weight.

4. No romanticization of eating disorders, depression, or suicide.

This guideline walks a fuzzy line; I have found romanticization in everything as obvious as descriptions of young anorexic girls as fragile, impressively ascetic, nearly ethereal beings, to subtle references to the “suffering, artistic genius” stereotype. I can only promise to be self-aware.

5. I will not use this account for accountability or to relate current struggles.

Honesty and vulnerability are an essential part of recovery, but I do not believe the internet is the place to build a support system.

6. No talk of suicide.

Note: I am not discouraging awareness of this subject; however, it is incredibly sensitive and even dangerous to talk about, and I do not have the training to responsibly talk about it.

Those are my personal rules that I have taken time to think about, and I would appreciate constructive feedback on whether you think they are helpful or need revision! If, after reading my personal guidelines, you believe I have left out anything that could be even slightly triggering to you- protect yourself! I recommend avoiding my longer, personal-story posts, and take at a look at my “practical help” series instead.

However, a hard truth for everyone’s recovery is that triggers are, frankly, everywhere. We live in culture saturated in diet talk where weight loss is glorified. Family members will talk calories on holidays, and you will run into a dramatic “before and after” picture online. I cannot promise that you won’t run into anything triggering on this blog.

Recovery comes with responsibilities; one of them is to refuse to act on behaviors when you are triggered. In the past, I have used triggers as an excuse to give my eating disorder free reign, pretending I was a helpless “damsel-in-distress” to the temptation of behaviors. However, I have chosen recovery, and with that choice, chosen not to act on behaviors, regardless of the trigger. Be strong, fellow recovery warriors!

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