I am Not my Eating Disorder

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

My therapist and I have been talking a lot about identity. What is identity? Well, Google says identity is “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.”

“Who or what a person is.”

So, who am I?

This is what my therapist and I have been working on. But it is not something you can just decide in one session. Every person is so different and so complex. When I think of someone’s identity, I think of their core being. Their soul. What makes them happy? What makes them mad? What are they passionate about? What are their goals?

When I think of my identity, I think of anorexia.

When so much of my time is spent working on recovery, it is easy to fall into the mindset that all I am is my Eating Disorder. I started to think that when people look at me, that is all the see. They see someone who had to take a month off of school to go to treatment. They see someone who can’t handle leadership roles because of my mental health struggles. They see a girl with an ED.

But that is not true. At all.

I decided to find out how people do see me, and get rid of a little more of that nasty ED voice.

I’ve mentioned before how the bond you make with the residents and staff at Timberline Knolls is unlike any other. Whenever someone was discharged, all of the girls on lodge would write that person a note in a journal. Staff would join in too! By the time you left, you had a journal full of encouraging notes from your new friends, the BHS’s, nurses, therapists, and anyone that made an impact on your recovery. I got my journal out the other day and read through it. (Every time I read it I cry and cry and cry, but that’s beside the point.) I decided to write down every way that the girls described me. Anytime they said “you are…..” I wrote it down. I expected to have a short list with the usual things, nice, smart, helpful, kind. But instead, I had an entire notebook page full of words about my identity.

Words like:
– Bright Soul
– Inspiring
– Welcoming
– Sweet spirit
– Radiant
– Brave

And so many more. You know what? Not one person said “you are your eating disorder” or “you are really good at losing weight” or “you are really thin”

Not. One.

When I sat back and looked at that new journal page, I was overwhelmed. What a powerful reminder of my identity. As a society, we tend to focus on the negative. We focus on our imperfections, our mistakes, and our failures. We all have things that we would like to change about ourselves. But here’s the thing: When someone looks at you, they don’t think straight to your flaws. They see what they love about you. They see your smile. They see your courage, your kindness, your sense of humor.

You are not defined by your imperfections.

Even more importantly than how the world sees you is how God sees you.

There are so many verses and songs about our identity in Christ, but I’m gonna start with this one by Hillsong.

“Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am

I’m proud of you, God loves you, You got this.

One thought on “I am Not my Eating Disorder

  1. Once again YOU ARE wise beyond your years! You are BEAUTIFUL as a person and You are so talented with so many things.. Music..crafty.. Organizing to name only a few. You are right we all have voices( battlefield) in our minds. You my dear are fighting yours with God’s warriors.. Love your williness to share. YOU.ARE.AMAZING

    Liked by 1 person

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