Topic Tuesday: Perfectionism

“The ‘P’ Word” (By: Emma Hawkins)

Social mediaEH has changed the way eating disorders work drastically. You can now be triggered at the touch of a button by scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed. Not to mention all that is plastered over TV is how to “lose 10 lb. in 1 month,” or “get the perfect bikini body with three easy steps.” Nobody can get a break from the constant ridicule of how they look. Perfection. The dreaded word everyone is compared to. It is unattainable. You can work and work on your appearance all you want, but someone will always find some “imperfection.” That is hard for us to cope with. We want everyone to be happy and everyone to love us. Not pleasing everyone is personally a fear of mine that is very hard to fight. It is a fear that was kindled by my Eating Disorder. It came from the deepest pit of my soul. I still have to work on channeling that part of my eating disorder.

Social media has acknowledged that eating disorders are deadly and that recovery is a thing, but now the majority of the world believes it a one-time thing. You go into treatment and come out “perfect”. There is that word again. That word is at the very base of so many eating disorders and it keeps coming up. You can never hide from the idea of perfection. It will always be the same, the level of perfection society wants from people will keep growing. We have to be able to tell ourselves that we will never ever reach complete “perfection”. Perfection is an idea each individual person has developed in their own mind. My idea of a perfect vacation and yours might be two completely different things, but that is okay because there is no perfect anything. The sooner we are able to admit that to ourselves, the sooner we are able to control our recovery the way WE want to and not worry about having “perfect” anything.

About the Author
Emma Hawkins is a 14 year old freshman from Murfreesboro. She was in treatment at Renfrew of Brentwood. She has struggled with Anorexia and Bulimia since she was 9 years old. She plans on majoring in Early Childhood Education at Belmont University.