Posts Tagged ‘Identity’

So this is the plan….

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Last year, a friend said that I would have to step away from Finding Melissa at some point. I knew that she was right because it pushed the ‘this is true but I don’t want to hear it’ button. Her argument? I would need to separate my identity from the eating disorder and create a new space where I could start to explore the other parts of my self.

It has been on my mind for a while now. I have got myself in knots around my Twitter profile (something I’ll come back to in a minute); and been increasingly aware of the sense that this might be the right time –

Finding Melissa means the world to me. The thought of not writing on it is terrifying – but the only way to override a fear is to go through it, and discover what happens on the other side.

I have been wondering about how, exactly, I should do this. Whether the lines have to be as absolute as I presume them to be and it must be one – or the other. What the fears are really about. Whether there is a right or wrong way for doing this sort of thing…

I don’t have any answers. But I do have a kinda plan.

Finding Melissa

There are a few things that I still want to write about in relation to my eating disorder, particularly in light of the past few months. I don’t want to end on a low point, nor be closed off should any ED related topics arise.

So, for the moment, I’ll post any eating disorder specific stuff over here; but I will be writing about the next stage of my journey on a shiny new blog. I don’t want to get into dividing myself into sections because the context informs the adventure – but it is the most logical transition that I can see.

I’ll still be doing the related ED activism stuff (because it’s where I come from, and I am desperate to help); and I’ll also be leaving Finding Melissa online, in case any of the more general earlier writing is of use.


I love my Twitter community. I’m not sure of the exact overlap of readers between here and there, but I have made some great connections and some really special friends.

I am not good with change at the best of times. I’ve been tying myself in knots around this one.

I considered a simple re-naming… but would always feel that that was dishonest to those who were following me in relation to Finding Melissa -

And, so, I’ve decided to set another profile up.

The tweets will inevitably be the same (I am after all, still me), but using my name feels important now, and a way to start exploring other ways of defining me.

@findingmelissa will continue (for the moment), in relation to blog updates and ED news, but I will also be tweeting the same plus more at @issawolfe. I’d really love to connect with anyone who’s on Twitter there.

A few question marks

I don’t know whether the order or the strategy is right.

I have ummed and ahhed over whether or not to write about what I am doing. Have questioned whether I have made it all too complicated – or whether anyone will actually care. Have been trying to find the right time, in the right way –

I don’t know what that is. So I’m jumping into the unknown –

And hoping that I land.

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.

Where I’ve *Really* Been Going Wrong

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

A while ago, I wrote about my “am I still the same?” question. There is another old favourite whining around in my head at the moment. It’s the “are you angry with me?” one. I feel like a squeaky teenager who I’d like to give a good shake.

“Are you angry with me?” “What have I done?” “Don’t you like me anymore?”

Being Beth

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

When I was a child, I wanted to be Beth from Little Women.  I had forgotten just how much I wanted to be Beth, from Little Women, until I was flicking through a quotation dictionary and stumbled over this quote:

“I am angry nearly every day of my life….but I have learned not to show it; and I still hope to learn not to feel it, though it may take me another forty years to do so.”

(Chapter 8, Louisa Alcott)

For anyone who has not read Little Women, it’s the story of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and written in the 19th century.  I can only remember the plot in fragments; but it is hung on the girls’ characters, and their presence, for me, persists. Meg is the eldest and most sensible; Jo, a hare-brained creative; Amy, blonde and pretty; and Beth, goodness incarnate.

Without Which I Would Not Be Me

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I have been re-writing my CV recently. It is clean, sparse, and formulaic. I have done a lot, in a relatively short space of time, but the lot feels overshadowed by the glaring delay. Plus, my biggest achievement remains unsaid.

I’m not too sure how well my background would go down. Whether it would be considered a liability or, as I’m beginning to view it, a difficult journey, without which I would not be who I am.

Without which I would not be me.

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.

Re Dis-covery

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I started to write an eloquent post about the semantics of the word “recovery”.

It has stuttered and spluttered, for the past few weeks, and I have made myself feel misunderstood. I do not want to write about it nicely, at the moment. I don’t want to phrase how I’m feeling in pleasantries or flowery terms.

To be honest, I’d rather just sit and cry.


Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Last night I went to a lecture, by Ian McEwan, on Originality.

I wasn’t sure what pearls of wisdom I had taken away, at first; but overnight, the ideas seem to have been infusing and fusing so that, this morning, I woke up with an understanding of what is encapsulated in originality – and a strange sense of reassurance that, in this field (and by default), we have already won.

Which is an interesting conclusion to reach from a lecture that pointed out how important it is to be first past the post (and not just in parliamentary terms); and how intrinsically human it is to want to stand out.

We are – and have been for generations – the same; and yet we are also – and each – fundamentally different.

“I am an engineer and an artist”

Friday, April 30th, 2010

“i am an engineer and an artist. #iamnotmyweight” (@thisisMEssy)

I have favourited this tweet. It couldn’t be a more timely reminder, as I am struggling to figure out how life without an eating disorder works, that the words we use to define ourselves might help to change the positioning.

Given the name of my blog and the reason I started it (“this is the story of finding an identity and giving an eating disorder up”), you’d have thought I already appreciated this; but I have focussed so hard on what I’m giving up that I have neglected what I am finding. (more…)

Things I Like About Being Me

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Yesterday, I stumbled across a link on twitter to an article listing “30 Things I Love About Myself”, and was immediately struck by the concept.

Listing things we love about ourselves is not something we are often encouraged to do, particularly in the UK. Modesty is seen as an attribute; and pride tends to come before a fall – or so I have always believed.

Accepting that an outfit looks nice takes places after some painful to-ing and fro-ing (“do you really think so?” – “yes really” – “but doesn’t it look out of place?” – “no, not at all”); and is, more often than not, accompanied by a mental twist (“she didn’t mean that”). Whilst blowing your own trumpet typically comes with an apology (“I don’t mean to brag but…”) or a quick justification (“well, that’s what so-and-so thought”) – so that it’s acceptably said.

Liking yourself might be mistaken for arrogance – or is halted, subconsciously, before the charge can be laid; and why wait for other people to point out your weaknesses if you can get there first…

You can not, I am beginning to learn, expect others to like you if you don’t even like yourself.


Sunday, April 11th, 2010

I thought that I had reached my limit and exposed all the deep, dark secrets of my eating disorder. That I had probed every sensitive area, and subjected each to my ridiculously exaggerated analytical-lens.

Nope. I still manage to shock myself.

They keep coming, thick and fast, like unpleasant discoveries or bruises that are so deep they are only felt when you push the exact spot.

This post’s on possession. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of; but it might lessen – this possessiveness – if it is acknowledged and moved on.

Nothing There

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

I think that I have writer’s block.

I can not order my thoughts, nor find the words to express them. Sentences come – and then go – before I’ve time to pen them down; and the conclusion of any chain of thought is always a few phrases out of reach.

The panic is bubbling now, like acid.