My time in residential treatment was a whirlwind of emotions. Being in treatment helped me in my life in some ways. Yet there’s one aspect of the treatment center that’s been on my mind. While there, I felt like my ED was all that I was. That I was only anorexia. Perhaps you’ve also felt that you were your eating disorder?
I understood that my time in treatment was an emotional path of healing. I was there to focus on doing everything and anything to work on my ED recovery. However, the approach the center took led me feel like I was an eating disorder. That I was just the girl with the eating disorder.
When you believe you ARE your eating disorder…
When I came out of treatment, I continued to feel this was the truth. That all I am is an ED. That it was my identity. That it’s all that people saw me as. Especially since I’d gone to treatment.
By having this feeling, I became insanely insecure and lost. I felt the ED was my identity. It’d been drilled into my mind for the past months that the ED was my life. I mean, every day in treatment was focused on the ED and how to cope with it. Yes, I learned coping skills. A lot of great ones, in fact. However, all my mind could focus on was that feeling of being an ED.
So let me remind you, dear warrior. You are not your eating disorder.
You may feel like this is all you are and who you are. But this is not you! It can feel like it is. But I promise you it’s not. You are so much more than your disorder. You are you. And you are absolutely wonderful.
When it feels like you are nothing but your eating disorder, keep these three things in mind. These are things that are authentically you. Things that your eating disorder can never do for you.
- Be happy
- Living in the moment
These are three things in your life that are you. Something an ED can never define. These are a part of you! The you that makes you you!
I’m still learning who I am. It’s all a process. But I’m now understanding that I’m not my eating disorder. And you aren’t either warrior.