Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

And So This Is Me

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a girl who spent every minute of her life thinking about food –

I am not sure where I am anymore.

From the moment she woke up, to the moment she went to sleep, it either dominated her thoughts or tugged at the edge of them so that, in returning to the thought, she realised she’d been thinking about it all along.

It has only been two years since I actively moved towards recovery, and the length of time before this is obscene.

In which I learn about ‘Positive Disintegration’

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

My friend Maria tweeted me this article on personality; and for those not on twitter, I thought it might be helpful to bring it over here. There are lots of themes, in the content, that correspond scarily to what’s going on in my head.

The basic premise is that in the quest for a fixed sense of self, we’re chasing a red herring or creating the next trap; because personality is fluid, the emphasis better placed on experience, instead of trying to hone in on descriptions -and fixed points – and an exact, unwavering sense of exactly who I am:

“The irony is that the more you seek to identify who you are, the more likely that you feel fragile about yourself. There is an inverse correlation between this question and your comfort with experiencing your life. The emphasis shouldn’t be on discovering what is buried beneath, but on facilitating the emergence of what we’d like to become.”

Ouch. I can totally relate to that.


The Illness or Identity Debate

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

A recent post title from one of my favourite blogs has been tugging on my thoughts this week, and I have realised that I need to unpick my reaction, though I’m a little scared of what I might find. The post was called ‘Anorexic vs having anorexia’; and it’s a distinction I’m finding hard to make.

This is difficult to admit.

I recognise that an eating disorder is an illness – and not an identity – but I appear to have accepted the label; and, now that it’s been ripped off, I’m finding the exposure hurts. It is strange that, although I would never introduce myself as an eating disorder and vehemently abhor the pain and damage it has caused, it seems preferable to being me.

Oh dear.

It is hard not to cast judgement on this statement and plaster it over with things I should say. There is, however, only one way of changing it: by finding out what’s underneath.

Filling in the Blanks

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

After hiding behind an eating disorder for so long, explaining my absence from the world is proving slightly problematic.

There are gaps, where there shouldn’t be gaps; and, holes, left, right and centre. Questions that should be obvious, are unanswerable; and small talk raises some pretty major issues –

My favourite food? Not sure. I’ve just got to grips with eating, full stop, and normally describe things as safe – or unsafe.

Finding Melissa

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Finding something that you have lost is always the harder part of the equation. Particularly when you’re not quite sure what you have been looking for.

Eighteen months ago, I started with a blank – albeit baggage ridden – canvas: food and all that aside, any impressions of an identity had been well and truly buried under years of sickness and obsession and hospitals and depression.

It was like learning to walk again.

It was like dressing up in fancy dress until I worked out my style, like tasting asparagus for the first time, like the first unaccompanied trip to the shop.

It was like trying a hundred new things all at once – in the hope that I’d find the bits that fit.

And these are some of the things I did….

Patient to Person

Monday, June 15th, 2009

I think I may have mistaken concern for care, confused professional curiosity with personal interest. I think I may have become accustomed to being looked after, grown used to the attention.

There’s nothing like a chronic eating disorder to rally up a medical army. It does a great job of ensuring that you’re well looked after, takes you right back to a parent child scenario – and it’s not hard to guess which seat you’re occupying.

It feels like a safer place to be. It feels like you’re special.

For a while. But then, like a child throwing a tantrum, you find yourself cranking up the volume. It’s not always a conscious thing – you’ve just got to work that little bit harder to get the same response.