I normally do not post much about my battle with an eating disorder. My previous post was a result of a wave of emotion and strength – I found out it was National Eating Disorder Awareness week and I wanted to speak out and say “It can be overcome. I am proof”.
I have found that when I do mention it, all of a sudden it seems people are afraid of/for me. Or, afraid I will regress. And so often I don’t mention it. I am just grateful that people accept me for who I am.
If someone were to ask me “How do you define yourself” I wouldn’t define myself as a person with an eating disorder. I am not there anymore. It is my past. Which is why I don’t bring it up often – not because it is taboo, but because, to me, people suddenly see me as something by which I no longer define myself. But sometimes I do bring it up – when I feel proud and excited, and realize what I have gotten through, and where I am. I realize how grateful I am to no longer be there, but instead to be where I am now, and excited to work on my future.
I know that my past is my past – my personal history. I cannot change it. Be my history good or bad, has helped make the person I am. It has formed decisions that brought me to where I am today. It has let me cross paths with many amazing people I am proud to call friend. It is countless countless memories – good and bad. I use my past as a comparison: where I was compared to where I am. It may have helped me define who I am now, but I don’t believe it is a definition of who I am now.
Which brings me to a point (or at least part of one). On my run today I thought about “Who am I?” It was a short run, and I had some things to think about technically, so I developed a short list. But it is one on which to build.
I am: a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, friend, wife, athlete, triathlete, marathoner, ironman, engineer, volunteer, fund raiser, mentor, mentee, employee. Are these general titles all I came up with? No…I started thinking more abstractly. I am also a practical idealist, avid supporter of going after dreams and goals, firm believer in that even from bad one can pull positive outcomes (lessons in life), extroverted engineer (a.k.a. ‘socially awkward’), motivated, diligent and not too organized (but somehow that surprises people). I am emotional; I am happy, sad, proud, afraid, grateful or angry at any given time, although I tend to be on the more positive emotions much more often. I love to be challenged. I push limits. I am human. I am strong.