?“Hi! My name is Anorexia, nice to meet you.” “You can call me Binge Eating Disorder, what’s your name?” “I go by Bulimia or Mia for short, either name is fine.” How ridiculous does that sound? And yet, for many years of my life, I could not separate my identity from my disorder. I never wanted anything to do with an eating disorder. It’s a psychological monster, but it’s also addicting with the intimate illusion of safety it provides. Quite frankly, I didn’t feel like I was good enough as I was —as Brittany. But since I didn’t feel good enough, it meant I was willing to accept something that wasn’t good for me —because I thought I deserved the misery.
The problem was I began to lose touch with myself and reality completely. The lies that my eating disorder whispered became my own. I continued getting sicker. It had nothing to do with a number on the scale, but rather satisfying my OCD, soothing my anxiety, and blanketing my depression. My identity depended on attending to these daily tasks, no different than a job. In fact, to me, my life depended upon it. Subtly I began striving to be better at my eating disorder —the best.
NOT BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE SICK …
But because my natural hardwired drive for perfection was being channeled in the wrong direction.
The identity crises I had early on in my recovery were crippling. I felt paralyzed. Paralyzed in a thick fog. I didn’t know up from down, left from right, or who on earth I was. It was the first time I truly felt naked, exposed, and helpless. But I did not feel hopeless. Although I wasn’t sure who I was without the identity of my disorder, I did know that my situation wasn’t permanent and that things would get better. I don’t want to sugarcoat the “getting better” part because it’s not an easy, nor a quick process. It took me many years, plenty of mistakes, and lots of hard work to see better days, but I did. And during that process I learned how to take the same driven characteristics that fueled my disorder, and channel them towards my strengths.
I am not my disorder. You are not your disorder. And we are good enough as ourselves alone. ~Britt?
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