Dis-Identifying From My Eating Disorder by Taylor Jackson
Blog written by Taylor Jackson, Community Marketing Extraordinaire & Yoga Instructor at The Body Image Boutique
I remember when I used to be in a place, where I believed my eating disorder and I were one and the same. My eating disorder was my identity. The stronger it was, the more comfortable and safe I felt. I felt it was somehow my ticket to being loved, because it would keep me in my safe zone. I believe this began in childhood, when I was frequently complimented on my size. I began to associate the word “thin” with “loveable.”
I knew I didn’t want to stay in this place for the rest of my life though. An impactful moment which created a shift for me, was when someone was talking about one of their addictions and said “I want to be able to move on from this because I want to have bigger problems.”
I thought, “woah, me too.” Bigger problems and different problems. I knew, that if I continued to obsessively and solely focus on my eating and exercising habits, there wouldn’t be room for anything else. There certainly would not be room to grow and evolve like I wanted to.
I had to begin to detach from my identity-“being thin, not eating enough, being anorexic”. I realized I wasn’t actually any of those things. I wasn’t Taylor the anorexic girl, I was Taylor, who struggles with anorexia. We are separate. We can disconnect.
That was a big step in moving past my connection and dependency on my eating disorder, along with of course, much support, guidance, and love from my friends and family.
What I want to focus on here is that we are not our addictions, or diseases, or struggles, we can choose to heal from them when the time is right. We can choose to move forward and create a healthier relationship with them, rather than a co-dependency.
A few years after the most intense parts of my eating disorder, I now have plenty of other awesome problems and victories to focus on. And don’t get me wrong, I still have my days, even weeks, where I can get awfully close to choosing my eating disorder because it feels like a semblance of control, but I know I have a choice.
I want to be me, constantly growing, evolving and having big awesome life problems that I choose to overcome, not just attached to one.