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.

First I’ll start off with your blog is AMAZING, and your advice is seriously, I don’t even know how to explain how awesome it is. Second I’ll tell you my first problem. So, I’m kind of new to have best friends and shit, since when I was younger I was such a loner. So I started having my first best friends in 5th grade, and I’m in 6th grade now. (although I’m still ten turning 11 soon….)  And my best friends are so used to it ‘cause they have been best friends since KG1. Anyways, so I feel like they don’t want me to be around so much. Whenever im there, all three of them are always together, and I feel like im just the 4th wheel. They always seem to be hanging out together while im just sitting with my cousin. Is this something normal and will it eventually go? Problem number 2 : I feel like I always need to be leaded in school. (By the same friends ^_^) Is it fine and normal for someone to feel like that? Whenever my bestfriend (leader) is absent and not in school, I feel like the other too just leave me alone and I don’t even know what to do all by myself and I go out with other people whom I don’t even know that much. Problem number 3 : I am REALLY skinny, I myself am freaked out. My family keeps on saying that I’m selfish ‘cause I don’t care about how mom and dad feel and want me to eat. Another part of my family say that I’m selfless ‘cause I don’t care about my own body.  But, the problem here is that I like it that way ‘cause I’ve been too used to it since I was really young anyway. (Weird, I know.) What should I do? 

Note : Please tag this as : selfless-ness/selfish-ness 

So I can check the text post.

PLEASE HELP! My life is a mess. Thank you for taking a bit of your time to read this.

Hi! I’m so glad you like it :) Its nice to know its helping, even if only a little! 

In regards to your first problem: First off, let me tell you this. I had the same problems in 6th grade. I’m 21 now. Whatever happens, just know, you’ll be fine. The friend problems I had when I was your age seemed like a big deal at the time, but trust me, it gets so much better, and those hard times won’t mean anything! :) Now, remember that if people are mean to you, it means they have problems. NOT YOU. For whatever reason, they may not try to include you. And that’s mean, and not something a good person would do. Remember that if they start to distance you. You know what they are doing, and that automatically makes you a kinder person than them, and someone who deserves better friends. Never think that you have to be defined by the way other people treat you. It is definitely normal though, and it will definitely go with time. :) 

As for your leading problem, I get that too. That will go away with age. I was always so scared to be alone in class or at lunch or whatever, but now I’m fine eating by myself or doing things alone. 

And for the last problem, your weight, I have a bit of advice. I don’t know how well it will work since I’m not sure if there are other factors involved, like disease, etc… but what I would suggest is asking your parents for a doctor’s appointment regarding your weight. If you are healthy, they have nothing to worry about! And you asking them to get checked out will show them that you do care and you aren’t trying to be selfish! But know, that no matter how you look, you should like who you are regardless of what people think :) that’s all that matters! 

But from experience, most of the problems you think are big problems turn out to be nothing down the road. You’re at a crappy time in life school wise and age wise, I’m pretty sure middleschool stinks for everyone! :) It gets SO much better, I promise promise promise!! :) 

Let us know if you need anything else! :)


selfless-ness   selfish-ness   nicole   Friendships  
Hi, I was recently casted in an original play and my character (named Katie) is kind of the I guess you could say "flirt" of the show and she's supposed to be absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous and all the guys love her etc. and there are a couple references to her beauty in the show. The thing is that I've never been considered gorgeous, nonetheless pretty. So I'm worried that my performance won't be realistic or the audience will think it's comically ironic that an ugly girl is playing her.

First, congratulations on your role in the play! 

Obviously if you have managed to obtain such a role, there are reasons to support that. Not to sound shallow, but I assure you the casting directors would only choose someone who they think can represent the role well, and they obviously thought that person was you. I would be taking this as a compliment, because it’s evident that you have what it takes to play and look like this character!

I have no idea what you look like, but I can honestly say that throughout my entire life I have never seen an ugly person. Everyone has something they don’t like about themselves- a big nose, ears that stick out, or eyes maybe that may be too far apart. Those little things, however, are nothing compared to your beautiful smile, or your bright eyes, your confidence…this is something I could talk for days about. 

If you are confident in whatever you’re doing I can assure you will succeed. Again, they wouldn’t have considered you for the part, let alone assign the role to you, if they thought you couldn’t convince the audience of your character. Be proud- you deserve it.


self image   anonymous   answered   megan  
I've lost some friends in the past in really painful ways and I never saw it coming, and now I have the best friend anyone could ever wish for, but I'm SO scared to lose her. Like I feel like I'm THIS close to permanently pushing her away all the time, and she's assured me that that's not true, but I just can't believe her. And everytime she seems even a little annoyed I get so scared that I feel like I'm suffocating and it's come to a point where it's all I think about when I'm with her.

I’ve felt that way too sometimes, but it’s ok! I think that’s the beauty of having a true friend… that they will always be there! If she assures you of that fact, try not to worry. Instead focus on how lucky you are to have a supportive friend. 

And just think how terrible it would be to just spend all your time worrying and having THAT push her away. 

My best friend, we get annoyed with each other ALL THE TIME, but we both confront it as soon as it happens, so we never let it get to that. Maybe try that! 


Anonymous   friendship  
Recently, I've become a Christian, and I'm really happy about it and I just know that it's the right thing for me, but my family is extremely anti-religious, to the point where they despise Christians. My relationship with my mom has always been difficult but it's just getting better and I'm so scared to tell her. I'm afraid she'll hate me for it. I've never been able to connect with her about anything, and this will just be yet another huge wall between us.

I’m a Christian as well, and I know how much God means to me as a person. I think you should tell your mom, but in a way that she can warm up to the thought of Christians in general, then tell her. She’s your mom and she loves you, even when it doesn’t seem like she doesn’t. She should accept your choices in life, darling.


Anonymous   answered   family   relationships   religion  
I have a crush on my second cousin.... is that weird?

I don’t think it’s that weird, as long as you don’t act on it! But even still, it’s not like he’s your first cousin. ahah.

Anonymous   answered  
How do I become less tell-the-world-my-life like? I keep telling people who I only know in the classroom my life, like they care. I don't like that I do that.

Whenever you get the urge, try asking people about THEIR life instead :) Maybe that will work!


anonymous   friendship   answered  
I keep feeling like my bestfriend is pulling away from me. Whenever we are together, were like usual, but we barely talk otherwise and maybe its cause its the end of the school year and she has a bf, idk. I just need advice...

I think you got it just right. Sometimes, I notice at the end of the school year everything gets so stressful and intense, that the people around us suffer because of it. My roommate and I were so sick of each other by the end of the year that we could barely talk, but once summer passed and we got a break from each other, we learned how much we actually like one another and we were as close as ever :)

So maybe you just need a bit of time apart. Once summer starts, I’m sure you will both start to miss each other more and hopefully things go back to normal!

Best of luck!


anonymous   answered   friendship  
I just wanted to tell you something. I've finally realized that I don't need to depend on a guy for everything. I can finally be independent. I'm only 16 I have my whole life to live. Thank you for this blog because without it I would have never realized this<3

Awh, darling, I’m so glad! Congratulations! I’m happy that we were able to help you out a bit. You can come back if you want to talk, okay? Don’t be shy<3


Anonymous   answered   emily   love life  
I feel like I have no friends at school anymore and like no one wants to be my friend. Whenever I talk to my one friend, she either just flat out ignores me and pretends I'm not there and talks to other people and sometimes if I'm talking to her she'll just put on her headphones and turn up her music. I don't know if she realizes it but it really hurts me. It's not like I'm only talking about things I like, I talk about things she likes as well. And I'm just hurt.

I’m so sorry. :( I’ve had that happen to me as well! It sucks!

But my best advice for you, even though it seems like it’s going to be hard, but try and find new friends. I know that thought seems daunting, but just start talking more to some acquaintances you have and try getting to know them better! Don’t worry about if they are ‘popular’ or ‘cool’ to everyone else… I found when I made the friends I had now I just had to muster up the courage to talk to them more and more, and now we are the best of friends.

And don’t blame what this person is doing on yourself… it’s 100% about them- whatever issues they have! 


nicole   anonymous   friendship