Am I afraid that all of this attention (after my article was published) will make ED want to stick around longer?
I am now known as the girl with an eating disorder. I’m the one who has suffered for over 20 years.
ED will want to make sure that is what I’m always known as. Why should I get better? That is who I am suppose to be right?
Who will I be if I recover? I won’t be the girl with an Eating Disorder anymore. Who will I be?
When you recover, you loose a major part of your identity. But that identify is how you see yourself .
That is ED convincing you he is your identity.
I asked some family and friends to tell me what they see when they look at me. What is my identity?
Funny. Outgoing. Loyal. Devoted. Generous. Thoughtful. Loving. Caring. Reliable.
The lists went on and on and on.
Nobody said that I was the girl with an Eating Disorder. Nobody said that I was thin.
Because those things don’t matter. What matters is (cliché I know) what’s inside. That’s what counts.
So, as much as I try to think that I won’t have an identity without ED, I know that is not true. His voice is the one that tries to convince me that I will be lost without him. My life is better with him present. If he’s gone, I don’t have an identity.
Don’t get me wrong. Loosing a part of your life that has been with you for over two decades is difficult. You have to find a way to fill that void. To fill the time you wasted engaging with the illness. The thoughts. The actions. It’s very time consuming and takes on a life of it’s own.
But it’s not my identity that I’m looking to fill and regain. Because the reality is an eating disorder is not an identity. It’s an illness.
Taking hundreds of laxatives, sleeping on washroom floors, throwing up from nausea, lying to those you love because you feel like absolute shit and missing out on events is not living life. It’s living a mental illness.
I don’t want to look back and remember my life with an Eating Disorder. I want to remember me living my life. Not my Eating Disorder living it.
So don’t let your eating disorder take over who you are, because you are not an Eating Disorder. You are you. He is an illness. And we certainly wouldn’t give any other illness an identify. Don’t let him convince you that you won’t be able to live without him. Because I have news for you. You are not living your life. He is living it for you.