Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Day 22 Keep you, kick ED

Did you ever feel you couldn’t tell where you ended and your ED started? Many people find it difficult to fathom their identity separate from their eating disorder. Who are you? What makes you – you? How do you tell the difference between the eating disorder and you? Why is it important to find you identity and recognise it as being separate from your eating disorder?
One of the greatest things I struggled with when making the decision to let go of my eating disorder was losing a part of my identity.
Regardless of how long or short the period of illness is It consumes your whole being, your thoughts, your spirit, its what you live or die for.  Nothing else comes close.
In a way I had become my eating disorder and it was me. Friends commented on how they missed 'me' and wanted 'me' back. Whilst going through recovery I felt a huge sense of loss, who was I, what was I going to do, what could I focus on.  It was almost like bereavement or losing a good friend.
I must have written numerous list of pros and cons of recovery or staying how I was. I was supported with the eating disorders nurse to look at myself, who I was, a friend, a wife, a Mother, a Daughter, a colleague, a person totally separate from the illness.  
I no longer have an eating disorder and I have a huge smile on my face and a lump in my throat as I say that. I am me, I have a job I love, I have wonderful family and  friends, I talk too much, I spend too much money on clothes and shoes, I love to sing, I love to dance and that's who I choose to be.

This is a poem I wrote in November 2010 where I wrote about Identity.

Dear Friend,

You came into my life many years ago and have never left.  You always turn up uninvited, without warning, giving me no time to prepare for the chaos and distress you bring to my life and those around me.
I may not see you for years on end, but you are always at the back of my mind.
let me tell you that those years you were not around were the best years of my life.....
You have influenced me, gave me motivation, control and a numbness from things I found difficult to cope with in my life.
But...you also lied to me, controlled my thoughts, my feelings, my actions.  For this you are never forgiven.
You turned me into a liar, a cheat, a manipulative person who hurt those around me, those who care.
You threatened my health, my friendships, my relationships, my self esteem and self image....and continue to do so If I allow you to.
I am often scared to let you go, scared of losing something special and part of my identity.....but with that loss comes hope, a new beginning, a future a life.
You have moulded me into the person I am today....a strong, positive and determined woman who can and will fight. 
 For this, Dear friend, I thank you.

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