I am not my Eating Disorder

I tried to hold a conversation with my dietitian last week about exercise, and it ended in me biting back tears.

If there is one phrase that I hate and I’m tired of hearing from everyone, it’s this one: “Melinda, I can’t tell if I’m talking to you or your eating disorder right now.” 

STOP.

I am NOT my eating disorder. My name is not Ana. It’s Melinda. My name has never been Ana, so please stop treating me like I’m her.

 I have an eating disorder, but I am NOT my eating disorder. It’s not some adjective used to describe me, nor does it define who I am as a person.

Let’s get this straight, I fucking hate anorexia. It has hurt not just me, but everyone around me. My eating disorder isn’t something I’m proud of, but actually something I carry with shame.

My eating disorder doesn’t get to do the talking anymore; I do.


 

***Woah. Pause.***

Did I just say that and genuinely mean it?  Because if I did, that’s really impressive.  A year ago, the thought of recovery terrified me because I didn’t know who I’d be without anorexia.  Giving up my eating disorder felt like giving up a huge part of myself, and honestly at the time, it was the only part of myself I liked.

Now I’m on the other side, and I realize I’m okay.  I was so scared of giving up that piece of myself, and I really didn’t need to be afraid.  It didn’t hurt like I thought it would. Actually it’s feel really good to finally be something more than my eating disorder.

 

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