RECOVERY ISN’T TRENDY: Teens, #TikTok and Mental Health

I’m going to be honest: I personally hate the direction that social media — particularly TikTok — has taken in the last two years or so.

Today, “TikTokers” glorify mental illnesses through quirky 20 second videos, or “snackable” content that romanticizes conditions that people should be getting help for. ADHD, Borderline Personality Disorder, eating disorders, OCD — these conditions are being profited off of, at the expense of others’ recoveries and wellbeing.

I never thought that it was okay to do that. Especially with anorexia recovery: glorifying or romanticizing the disease to make it catchy on social media: that can not only be incredibly triggering for ED-Warriors who are fighting for their recovery; but also highly toxic and harmful for those still trapped in the throes of the eating disorder. And seeing content that flirts with “edgy” too much can entrench them deeper and deeper into their eating disorder. And with the rampant “monkey see-monkey do” mentality that is TikTok…it has become a breeding ground for mental disorders.

So these TikTok videos about, “Eating what I used to eat when I was anorexic,” or “Things Ana Made Me Do” — frankly they just make me sick.

As I’ve been stewing in disgust over this recent trend…which has contributed to a meteoric rise in teens falsely diagnosing themselves with this or that, based on what they see on TikTok…I have been left with one resounding thought:

Recovery isn’t flashy.

Recovery isn’t achieved once during a mountain-top moment, and then forgotten about. But rather, it is earned day in, day out, during little moments that no-one sees except for you and God.

Anyone can shout from the rooftop that they’re doing XYZ…but recovery’s real work is done in the dark. Doing things that people can’t see. Doing things that are little, minute details, that build, brick-by-brick upon one another.

Recovery is choosing to eat the food that you “want” to eat, rather than choosing what the eating disorder dictates that you’d eat.

Recovery is having dessert after dinner.

Recovery is resisting the often-times overwhelming urge to partake in ED-behaviors, and using one of your coping skills instead.

Recovery is sharing your feelings instead of bottling them up.

Recovery is ditching the scale, and throwing away (or donating) your “measuring stick” jeans, because you are committed to getting well and never returning to that sick weight anymore.

Recovery is choosing to engage with your friends and be social, rather than isolating and hiding in self-loathing.

Recovery is actually going to your therapy, dietician and aftercare appointments, because you are committed to this new life, free from ED.

Recovery is taking a day off from the gym because you’re tired, or because you simply don’t feel like going.

Recovery is speaking gently to yourself in your mind, and not scrutinizing your body in the mirror, or doing “body checks” — however that manifests.

Recovery is surrendering your eating disorder — and everything that entails — to Jesus to redeem.

Recovery is small. Recovery is personal.

I’m in a place now, where these little things have become my second nature. That’s a hard concept to believe, thinking back to the scared, young girl at inpatient, but there will come a time when recovery isn’t scary anymore. There will come a time when you think about things other than food, and exercise, and meal plans, and fear about your body, and fear about gaining weight — there will come a time when that is all behind you. I’m living proof of that.

Recovery isn’t flashy. It’s not trendy. It’s not something that can be filtered or boiled down to a soundbite and amplified in a video that gets 10,000 likes.

Recovery is quiet. It’s you. It’s God. And though no one will recognize the Herculean efforts you are putting in day in, day out…it matters. I see you, Warrior.

Until Wednesday.

Caralyn’s Cooking Corner!

Each post I will share a new Pinterest recipe video! Please SAVE to your Pinterest! Doing so is a free way to SUPPORT THIS BLOG! THANK YOU!!!

To hear my story, click here.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is patreon.png

Thank you for your support on Patreon!! You make this blog possible 🙂

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is care-dad-hat-1021x1024.jpg

Yay for cute hats!


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2724-1024x683.jpg

Be sure to check out my affiliate, Audible. Listening to audiobooks while I cook is literally my new favorite thing. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. Plus, it’s a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!! 


@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram




This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_1288.jpg

And really quickly, I’ve had several questions concerning my Amazon link ( — You do not need to buy one of my specific highlighted products on my page, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my Amazon page, will credit this blog and help support this blog ministry. I am truly so grateful and appreciative to those of you wanting to do so! So thank yo

10 responses to “RECOVERY ISN’T TRENDY: Teens, #TikTok and Mental Health”

  1. This reminded me of something my pastor told us in morning class last Wednesday – it is becoming fashionable to HAVE some sort of psychological disorder! It isn’t about recovering from something, but having something. It used to be having designer jeans, handbags, etc. Not it’s having a cool psych problem. Oh, dear!

  2. Spot on, Caralyn! Recovery is an ongoing process, day in and day out, no matter what you are recovering from. The climb is not flashy but the rewards of a true recovery are a blessing.

  3. A great post, Caralyn. I have never used that tik tok thing because it is based in China to the best of my knowledge. That alone should disgust potential users in my opinion.

    Social media is fun but it is so damaging to our youth, a fine tool for the evil one, isn’t it?


    I just turned 62 and am not influenced by the crap on IG or other platforms. Too old for that!

  4. Amen. Whatever you are recovering from, ED, addictions, divorce, or depression, the road is very long. As you said, it is done in the dark. There are plenty of days and especially lonely nights when you just want to give up. The old ways are all too familiar and easy. It gets worse when you start comparing your apparent lack of progress with other’s flashy success .

  5. 100% spot on. I won’t ever download TikTok because I believe it’s dangerous for a number of reasons. There’s a reason, by the way, that the only videos allowed on the Chinese version of the app are educational videos.

  6. The same thing applies to porn addiction. Some treat it like a joke. It’s no joke. I destroys people and families. I’ve been in recovery from it for almost 14 years and I know better than to take my sobriety for granted. My recovery is vital to my mental, physical and spiritual health. I know how you feel. I thank the power of Jesus Christ every day for delivering me from slavery to my own desires.

  7. Miss Caralyn as I read and respond to this the Church as just entered Ordinary time. It is a time of daily living, no extended or major feasts, simply the business of daily living, daily walking our faith journey getting closer to our Lord. While Ordinary time seems easy peasy, it is not, it is the daily commitment to prayer, health, work and all the little things.
    Your description of the work recovery as: “recovery’s real work is done in the dark. Doing things that people can’t see. Doing things that are little, minute details, that build, brick-by-brick upon one another.” is sublimely beautiful and necessary.

    I started exercising in June on a regular basis and can see how this necessary thing for me can become disordered and addicted. I don’t use those words lightly as I needed to deal with my own thoughts of pushing harder, of my body image and how long I should workout.

    You are a delightful gift Caralyn. I do hope the wedding planning is coming along. My husband and I celebrated 30 years in 2022. I can see how God has worked through our marriage to help us both grow in holiness and grace.

  8. Tik tok is by far the worse app. In China were it was created there are limits to the time it can be used, plus educational pop up that have to be completed to continue using apps, but in the US or UK, no, lets just allow are young peoples attention pans fall to record lows. It is so frustrating.

Join the Conversation!

%d bloggers like this: