As someone in the midst of an ED (eating disorder) aiming for recovery, there are many times I doubt that I want to recover. One of the reasons for these doubts is because I feel that my ED became who I am. It took over my whole identity and I need to relearn who I am without it. But I know that there was a time before my ED and there WILL be a time after.
I am constantly reminding myself that there is more to life than counting calories and restricting. That I am more than my ED. That I am worth recovery. That there is life after ED. That all the pieces that added up to make me, me are still there. ED blinded me of seeing all those other pieces of me, but just because I can't see them now, doesn't mean they disappeared. I am working on seeing them again. I am still who I once was.
I am not the ED and it is not me. I am not a number on the scale or the inches around my waist. I am not a label placed on me by myself or society. I am not the rumors that circle about me. I am not the mistakes I've made. I am not worthless. I am so much more.
So, who am I?
I am my asperations and dreams. I am the things I want to accomplish. I am all the goals that my ED holds me back from achieving. I am all the dreams that someday will become my reality.
I am my past memories and experiences, both good and not so good. Everything that life takes me through changes me a little bit and I am the accumulation of all those changes. I know I will come out stronger in the end.
I am the people I love, and those who love me. Every person who walks into my life, leaves an imprint on my heart, and leaves a piece of themselves with me. I am all those pieces put together.
I am my hobbies, all the things I love to do that fell wayside when ED took prominence in my life. They are a part of me that ED kicked out when he came, but I can get them back.
I am my strengths. And even my faults. These things are god given and they are an essential piece of me. ED made me only focus on my weaknesses and even those that never existed, and although those faults are a part of me, I need to expand my vision and see my strengths as well.
I am the laughs I've had and the tears I've cried. I am all the little moments in my life, that seem insignificant, but are oh so vital. I am me and there is no one anywhere like me. I am unique. I am talented. I am loved. I am a daughter, a sister, a neighbor, a friend. I am anything that I want to be, except one thing: I am not ED.
I also have to always be reminding myself of all the little things that ED stole from me. Besides my identity, he robbed me of my ability to enjoy all the little pleasures in life.
Waking up to the sun shining into my bedroom. Watching a beautiful sunset. Enjoying an outing with my friends without worrying about the food that might be there. Eating ice cream at 2 o'clock in the morning. Spending quality time with my family. Reading a good book. Watching a movie. Eating a nutritious meal. Taking a long walk in nature. Singing and dancing to my favorite song. Painting a beautiful picture. Baking a delectable cake.
ED has robbed me of all these things and more. He doesn't allow me to live my life. He only gives me permission to focus on food and how I can avoid it. Recovering doesn't only mean getting to a healthy weight and staying there, it means regaining my identity and being able to enjoy life again. Recovery is giving myself permission to have fun again. Recovery is being who I was before Ed gripped me in his wrath.
Recovery is letting myself stop counting calories and start counting the smiles and happy moments.
Recovery is allowing myself to live.