Since I've started my recovery journey, my opinion on "before and after" photos has changed (thanks @fyeahmfabello, for opening my eyes to that). I've come to see those "sick to healed," "unhealthy to healthy" "thin to filled-out" side by sides as something that really only tells us the tale that EDs have a certain LOOK, and that by highlighting our struggles in that physical, stereotypical way, we can show what recovery is really like.
That idea is flawed. Recovery doesn't look just one single way. It doesn't always start with a thin body, or a white one, or a sad looking one, or a female one, and it doesn't always end up looking picture perfect on the other side. But this is also MY journey.
And for that reason I've stopped posting photos of me at my lowest weight, and I've deleted most of them, but I haven't deleted them all.
Because looking back on them, on where I came from, can sometimes snap me back into reality.
Bring me back to the dark, isolating, gut-wrenching truth of what my eating disorder did to me. How sick I was, not just by what you could see on the outside, but mentally and emotionally as well. How I piled on concealer to hide the deep dark circles under my eyes and horrible mottled skin. How my hair was falling out in clumps and thinning on the sides. How cold I was, all the time, even in a warm room. How my anxiety was through the roof every single day. How I hated my body, how my skin felt on my bones and how I looked when I smiled. How I avoided photos and gettogethers and didn't even want to leave the house.
And whenever the temptation arises, or a trigger takes hold of me, or the mind ghosts rear their ugly heads and try to convince me that "just a little bit, it'll be different this time, it wasn't so bad before" — I can look back on these photos and I remember WHY recovery is so worth it. Why there is no such thing as "just a little bit," no such thing as "different this time." Looking back on my dark past helps me to never repeat it. Because now I know what it's like to live in the light. I'll stay here. ✨