Words by: Florence Taglight. Follow more of her unpolished journey here.
Unlike ‘Marmite,’ I have felt every way about the word community when it comes to recovery. Loved it, Loathed it, Thanked it, Wished it didn’t exist and to be honest, I still am not quite sure how thick to spread it on my toast.
I first realized I loved it when I went to treatment as I finally realized I was no longer alone – something that before then, although I saw online, and on social media, and read about – I still felt – alone that is. Despite the number of people who told me I wasn’t, I still felt like I was the only person in the whole wide world who felt like I did, who felt that sad for no reason, who looked at food as the enemy, not energy, who believed that unless she was perfect she was nothing. So being in a room with 30 people who got it ( even when I didn’t yet) was a huge weight – pardon the pun – lifted off my shoulders. I could hear their stories, and slowly but surely they began to resonate with me, I began to match their cards with mine and connect the dots.
Why I loathe it:
A bit like how a wildfire spreads from bush to bush, alighting one tree, then the next and before you know it the whole forest is lit. A bad day spreads as easy as marmite (oh, in case you are wondering, I hate marmite so why I have subconsciously chosen to make it the metaphor for this post who knows..perhaps its because my sister loves it). Although the online fires don’t always spread so fast, it’s easy for someone to bring me down, too easy in fact. People can be like a grey cloud in your day, and something I am slowly learning to do is let that cloud blow over, or if it does open, to let it open without making me stormy. Trust me, it is no easy feat. I still struggle when I hear someone talk about their diet, or how they ‘earned’ their cupcake but after all, without their rain, my sun wouldn’t be able to create a rainbow.
Why I kept it in my cupboard, long past its sell-by date (Wait, does Marmite expire?):
….and still do. I have met some people who I never ever ever want to leave my life. Their clouds are not clouds that rain on me, but for me to look after and nurture. (Oh, and in case my sister comes over.)
Why I wish it was never ‘invented’ in the first place:
Sometimes I think it would be a hell of a lot easier if I wasn’t ‘part’ of these communities, especially on social media. If I never had to see a quote on Instagram and be reminded that I have an eating disorder, or of my debilitating anxiety. Because after all, the last thing you need on a good day is to give something to the voices to latch on to. However, one day, I will scroll past these posts and the voices won’t latch, they’ll be too far gone, and then, I guess, I’ll be glad recovery communities exist.