Who am I?

These past few weeks I have had so many triggers come up, I could cry.

…I have cried.

…A lot actually.

I have been reminded of my past when the detective of my dad’s case messaged me out of the blue this past week. I have been tempted to fall back into my eating disorder because of so many people struggling around me I feel like I am doing something wrong by recovering. The overwhelming sense of missing my eating disorder came back. I am doing so well in my life right now, that feels wrong. This is so frustrating!

I’ve been thinking a lot about identity. Who I am. Who I want to be. What my values are. The list keeps growing. I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection. I used to put my identity in my past…by being a victim. I would put my identity in the number on the scale or the size of my clothes. Whether I’m “sick enough” or not or if I’m recovering the “right” way. Let me tell you, there is no right or wrong way to do recovery. There will never be a “sick enough.” I will never be happy if I continue to put my identity in these unattainable goals or worldly things society praises upon. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. Sometimes I don’t even know who I want to be or what my values are. I do know I want to use my story to help people. I do know I don’t want to fall back into my eating disorder. I do know I love people and love people hard. I do know I don’t want my past to define me.

I have been dealing really closely with people who are struggling with eating disorders recently and it has been testing my recovery to say the least. I have been triggered by numbers, words, and looks. I have been trying to remember the why in my recovery–WHY I am recovering. However, the struggle is still real. I have eaten meals and cried…but I still eat it. I have called my best friend venting so that I don’t bottle things up so I do not go down a path I used to be on. I have reached out to my therapist and dietitian. I feel like I am doing everything I need to do but somehow I am still doing things “wrong” because i’m struggling. Something that I keep reminding myself is that struggling does not define me or the progress I have made. I am choosing to not put my identity in the struggle and instead put my identity in my recovery. I am standing firm in my identity in Christ too which is especially helpful.

Body image is the last thing to go in eating disorder recovery. I struggle every day with how I look. There would be times I would go weeks without looking in the mirror because I couldn’t stand the way I looked. I still sometimes look at my thighs and cry. What matters is how I deal with this afterwards. How do I move on when I am so focused on my body? How do I move on when I’ve been standing in front of the mirror crying? How do I move on when I’m driving and look down at my thighs and have horrible thoughts or lean over and feel my stomach rolls? I’m not going to lie to you, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the eating disorder wins in the moment and I fall into old habits…however; the majority of the time, I do the hard shit. I stop and say what my body does for me and thank it even when I don’t want to. I eat my meal or snack EVEN when I don’t want to. I decide to order a regular coke instead of a diet coke even when I don’t want to. I reach out to a support person, do the opposite action, and sit in the uncomfortableness even when I don’t want to. It is hard…so extremely hard and uncomfortable…but it is very worth it.

It is going to be hard going against what you feel is so right in your addiction. It is going to be uncomfortable.

The longer I sit in the uncomfortableness and complete the opposite action even when I don’t want to, the less power my addiction has over me. Sometimes I forget I DO have control in my life. I have the choice to recover or not. I have the choice to truly live my life or just go through the motions. I have the choice to listen to society and their horrific standards of “beauty.” I have the choice even when I feel like I don’t. I used to only think I had the choice and control to do negative things to my body…that’s not true.

Someone told me the other day that I look like I’ve never had an eating disorder. My eating disorder reaction was upset. I felt invalidated. Like everything I went through and still go through with my eating disorder is for nothing. My healthy self reaction then came up. I was reminded that I don’t want to look like I did when I was dying. I don’t want to relapse or be back in the place I was at when I was sick. I don’t want to be known as the girl who couldn’t get over her eating disorder. I don’t want my eating disorder to define who I am because that is not who I am. Yes, I may struggle with it but that is not who I am. I am…

…a kind person.

…an amazing mom to Greyson.

…a great worker and great friend.

…so much more than my past.

…more than enough.

Struggling does not define you or the progress you have made.

-M