This is the question I’ve been struggling the most with lately. When I’ve been defined by so long by my eating and body issues – how can I find out who I really am without them? In the past when I faced any issues I would respond with an attack on my body. Failed a test? Binge and purge. Get dumped by a boy? Restrict. I have no idea who I am, what I like, or where I see my life going. I have been wrapped up so long in thoughts of weight loss, body image and food.
How do i start from scratch to find out who I really am?
I imagine this is a very common concern for those recovering from an ED. It’s no longer a safety blanket, it’s something we have to leave behind. I’m sure you have all seen that
Now I think this is so substantial in ED recovery. Despite the fact that we are ‘sick’, that sickness is a comfort to us. For the last 12 years of my life, being ‘sick’ has been my norm. To be healthy is what is out of the ordinary for me. However, to truly recover, every piece of literature I have read has told me that I need to push past my limits and MAKE myself uncomfortable. By no means is it going to be easy. In fact it’ll probably be the hardest thing I ever have to do in my life, but god…will it ever be worth it.
Now one of my favorite books to read the past couple years has been ‘Wasted’ by Marya Hornbacher. However, I loved it because I found it insanely triggering. I would read it and absorb the information about weight loss and how sick she got, and want to do the same. TRIGGER WARNING for those with an ED who have never read it, I would not recommend you do. That being said for those who don’t have an ED, it is an amazing look into the eyes of someone who has one, and a great read to help someone to understand the thoughts that can go on in an eating disordered person’s head.
Anyways, now in my recovery when I read these books I try to see them through a different set of eyes. A quote in Marya’s book says; “Never, never underestimate the power of desire. If you want to live badly enough, you can live. The great question, at least for me, was: How do I decide I want to live?”. This is incredibly accurate. Recovering from an ED means making the choice between living a long healthy live, or dying a short, slow painful one. It is all about CHOICE. Making that choice every. single. day. to eat your meals, talk to your friends and loved ones about your struggles, and not isolate yourself from the rest of the world.
The only way we can discover who we really are without our Eating Disorders is to get out and live our lives.
I’m going to go and do just that. How about you?
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”
– Mary Anne Radmacher