Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Monday, October 31, 2016

"Who am I?" - finding yourself

One of the important things (amongst many!) in recovery is finding who YOU are. Letting go of your eating disorder or mental illness and finding yourself. Because your identity is not your eating disorder or your mental illness, even if you become known as the "sick person" or the "fragile person" or the "depressed person", that is not who you are. You may have an illness but that is not who you are, you are so much more.

Part of recovery is letting go and trying to find yourself and also learning to be and love yourself. A mental illness is also a form of an escape, an escape from life but also sometimes an escape from yourself. If you have low self esteem or low confidence you just sort of accept those, or you accept your illness as you... or you think, "i will always be sick", "I am the sick person", but that is not the case. You can choose freedom and recovery and to be who you are.

But also to not label yourself. One thing i hate is labels... I am not a recovered anorexic. I am not a gym rat. I am not a vegan. I am not a feminist. I am not depressed. I am not my cystic fibrosis. Of course, i am all of those things... but i dont want to label myself. Because i am more than labels... i am a happy girl who loves to be positive, who loves to see others happy and loves to listen to music and podcasts, loves to laugh, loves to workout, loves to learn and help others. I love to colour and love seeing colourful things, i love being motivational, i love seeing people reach their goals, i love being positive and enthusiastic in life, i love caring for others and animals and thinking about everyone. I love exercising, i love happiness, i love adventures and exploring, i love travelling, i love tattoos and animals and social media. ALL OF THOSE THINGS are who i am. I am my interests and my hobbies, i am my personality, my mind and my behaviours.

A good thing to ask yourself is.... "who am i if i dont have an eating disorder/mental illness". "Who am i if i dont exercise or if i amnt known as the 'gymrat/runner'?".

One of the things ive done in my life is to ask myself, who would i be if i didnt workout? Ive been known as the runner or the gymrat in my group od friends and my family. But you know what, i am more than that... and i dont want that label on me. So for example say if you are known as the dancer or the runner or the swimmer or the gamer.... think about what you would be without those things? And ask yourself whether those labels define you or not?

You need to find yourself and a good way to do that is to ask yourself what you enjoy doing. Do things you enjoy, look at your personality and your behaviours and who you are. But also learn to LOVE who you are.

Sure there are things i would like to change in my personality, such as i can be impatient and i dont often share my emotions or thoughts, but they make me who i am. Just like my positive thinking and positive outlook make me who i am.

You are not your illness and you need to learn to find and be yourself!


Its hard to get my point and my thoughts out correctly, but i hope that this post is somewhat coherent and maybe makes you think. Stop labelling yourself and instead find yourself. Or CREATE yourself. For example if you have been sick for many years its like you lose yourself in your illness, but then you can create yourself again by trying new things, exploring, finding what you enjoy and your personality outside of the illness and the sadness and routines!



3 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVE this post!! It is so good and accurate not only for those who are recovering or recovered. But for the entire modern world. So so many people strive to become a certain ' thing'. For example they strive to be a good doctor, a world athlete, have a toned body, be a good musician etc. That always leaves me thinking: But who ARE you? What do you stand for? What are you truly passionate about and what' s your personality like? People should focus more on who they are rather than what they do or what's visible on the outside. Which is hard, it is. For me as well tbh. Especially for people coming from a past with a mental illness or having a chronic disease like you (and me) do. Once again, good post!!

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  2. I second Josephine, this post is beautiful.
    I have always had a tendency to strive to be this or that, which always makes me frustrated, because I want to be and do and experience both things, and more things than those, and things that are so distinct, so different! Recovering from AN and trying to find balance in bipolar disorder, now I see and do my best to avoid the mistake of limiting myself to one single thing, one single "role" in life. I no longer want to be "the pretty friend", "the princessy friend", nor do I want to be known as the "the one who's obsessed with studying" or "the one who's unstable". I want to be known as ME. I am someone who loves pink, odd fashion and dressing up, and cute and pretty things, but also someone who loves Gothic poetry and industrial metal bands. I am someone who loves to write, but also loves to make music, to sew, to embroider, to learn new things. I am someone who loves being useful, helpful, available for those who need a shoulder to lean on, I want to show others their potential, their possibilities in life. I love stargazing and maths (who knew! I used to hate maths, but now that my brain has enough energy to think and understand things, I actually ENJOY studying maths!!) and am passionate about literature, languages, arts. I love the theater and whimsical, flamboyant things, but also love to spend time alone and be on the "backstage" of big things, rather than on the stage.
    I love that you mention that you can CREATE yourself, a new self, a healthy, full self. Somehow I think that is what we all end up doing when we're recovering, which doesn't mean that such things weren't there before, but it's because we have difficulty remembering the good feelings we experience before, so it's kind of like coming out of nowhere, and that's why we're often so confused!
    I absolutely love this post.

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  3. Great post. I wasted a LOT of years searching for my identity outside of myself. Defining myself by externals. I also identified myself by my mental illnesses and disorders at times, which made them impossible to give up - how can you let go of the very thing that makes you, you? It took a long time to recognize the error in my thinking, and even longer to learn how to live another way, think in other ways. We all need to look inward for who we are. What makes our spirits sing? When do we feel whole? When do we feel empty? Who inspires us to feel love and connection? What makes us feel satisfied and fulfilled? What makes us feel the opposite? How do we behave when no one is looking? What's going on when we feel at peace? Where are we? Who are we with? What are we doing? It is the stuff of life that makes our spirits rise up that makes up who we are. Not labels, things, appearances, etc. This journey of discovery is SO important in recovery and beyond. Thank you SO much for dedicating a post to this, it is so relevant. And I loved hearing your take on it, it helps with my own journey :)

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