25: Recovery in the age of the Internet

08:00

emma copland
heart autumn
spring style


It was my birthday on Saturday (the 21st, for future gift-buying reference!) so this is the obligatory “I’m another year older” post. I originally planned on doing a “25 things I’ve learnt in 25 years” but aside from the fact that I only got to 19 points, I realised I was kind of being a sheep. Everyone does those type of posts on birthdays, and obviously there’s nothing wrong with that; we’ve all learnt different things and sharing those helps others! But I just wanted to do something ~different. So I thought I’d write about how that now, at the ripe old age of 25 (eek!) I’m finally starting to love and accept myself for who I am. And why the internet has played such a MASSIVE part in that.

ootd
fedora and sheer shirt

I think my favourite thing about the internet is the way that it opens you up to so many different thought processes and ways of life. We've all been through the horrifically cringe-worthy phases of MSN and Bebo (we can probably add Facebook to this list now, no?) and I bloody love Instagram, but it's Tumblr and Twitter which have had the biggest impacts on my life, and most importantly, on my mental health. It's connecting with people from all over the world, from all walks of life. It's understanding that what you know, isn't the only way to be. It's learning and growing and bettering yourself. Fill your feeds with what you want to see, what you need, and the internet will become your best friend.

misguided outfit
fashion blogger

From the age of 15, I've battled on and off with disordered eating; going through phases of starvation and purging, along with phases of binging to no end. I wouldn't eat in front of people and began to develop routines that I had to follow, patterns for eating. Add into this periods of self-harm and a battle with anxiety for as long as I can remember, things haven't always been rosy. But now, at the age of 25, I'm in the best place that I've ever been in and am finally starting to love myself the way that I am. Yeah, I might still be living at home with my parents, and no, my job might not be the sparkling career that everyone expected of me; but I'm happy, I'm healthy and I'm bloody proud of myself for getting to where I am. And yeah, therapy did play a big part in this, but it wasn't the be all and end all.

leeds blogger
red skirt and straw bag

The internet can be quite a distressing place; people declaring what you should and shouldn't eat, wear or do; how you should look or behave; where you should be at certain stages of your life. But on the whole, I've found it to be the best help for getting me to be someone who actually likes themselves. For getting me to understand that I'm not the only one going through these things, that I'm not alone. Make your feeds a positive place; follow people who uplift and inspire you, who support you in your goals. Press that unfollow button if you don't like how others are living! The 'self-love' and 'body confidence' movements get a lot of (unwarranted) stick, but I think they're bloody great for people like me, who have always lacked confidence in just being themselves. What's so wrong about teaching people to put themselves first? To look after themselves and look for the positives instead of the negatives? Absolutely nothing.

head shot
style blog

I no longer look in the mirror picking apart every little thing about me that I hate; I know I'm not perfect, nobody is (apart from Harry Styles, obvs) and there's still plenty about myself that I find less than favourable; but I'm working on it. I'm going to the gym more than ever and I'm spending more time with myself, pampering and reading and anything that makes me feel calm. I've come to accept that I will never be very good at makeup and a more natural look is more ~me~ anyway; I've come to realise that fake tanning every week isn't for me and what's wrong with being pale anyway? But most importantly I've come to realise that I will never be that loud person, the life and soul of a party, the one who fills a room and talks to everyone, but that's ok. It's realising all of these little things, realising that you are who you are and that's ok, that makes a big difference in living your life to the fullest. And I might still not be comfortable eating around other people, and I might still find myself scratching at my wrists unknowingly, but that doesn't mean I haven't come a long way.

And if you'd told 16 year old me that I'd be doing photoshoots on busy streets not embarrassed by onlookers; that I'd be sharing photos of myself on the internet for literally *anyone* to see, I wouldn't have believed it in a million years. Because 16 year old me (and 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 year old me!) was the most camera shy, quiet, awkward individual who didn't have an ounce of self-confidence. It doesn't happen overnight, but learning to turn bad experiences into a lesson in putting yourself first is worth every minute.

PS can I ask for a little birthday favour? I set up a facebook page for my blog but it's got an embarrassing total of 6 likes, so can you help a gal out? It is most appreciated!

Loves. Emma.

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