I think tumblr has left a lot of us emotionally stunted. This is a great community for empowerment, catharsis, or coping, but those things aren’t recovery in and of themselves. Comparatively, they’re easy when compared to the painful self-reflection and real-world scenarios you’ll have to encounter on the road to true recovery. Not only does Tumblr not focus enough on recovery, but there’s almost a disdain here for the very notion.
There’s a lot of time spent validating everything. “Your symptoms are valid! Your responses are valid! Your depression is valid! Your coping is valid!” Well, yeah, all that stuff is definitely valid, and understanding that is important step in recovery, but it’s certainly not the final step. All that stuff is valid in the same way a baby chewing on a teething ring is valid, and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about if your recovery is still in its infancy, but Tumblr almost encourages you to stay there, to never grow out of it.
There’s a difference between what’s valid and what’s healthy, what’s best for you. I recently saw a post that validated people who stay in their room all day. Is that a valid response to anxiety? Sure. Is it a healthy response? Hell no, and there isn’t a person on Earth who can convincingly make the argument that the best thing you can do for your anxiety is to never leave your room.
Or how about those “how to care for a _________” posts? They’ve got some great tips there, and a lot of what they say is true, but you cannot reasonably expect people to coddle your issues, insecurities, or self-perceived inadequacies. Your recovery has to come from you. It has to be a difficult decision you make with yourself and carry through with because you need it. Your recovery can’t come from hoping other people will validate you.
No one should be ashamed of where they are in their recovery process, but there’s also no reason why you should be in the same place with your issues as you were in 2010.
Your final goal is not validation. It isn’t empowerment. It isn’t finding a way to get through the day. It isn’t being comfortable with your problems, nor is it accepting that they’ll never go away. The final goal is health. The final goal is happiness. The final goal is contentment. The final goal is recovery.