Labels


I came across this post written by fevers-n-mirrors, and I thought I’d share it with you:

Why are people so obsessed with putting labels on themselves??

Don’t we complain and get angry whenever someone, or society in general, attempts to label us as ‘this’ or ‘that’?
Then why do we do it to ourselves?!?!?!

I mean, I truly can understand how giving a name, a classification, to whatever ‘symptoms’ you’re suffering from, can help you understand what you’re going through better, and in turn, it can help you treat it.

BUT, can such extreme emotions and behaviors really be fully contained under a ‘label?’

As a human being, I know I don’t fit perfectly into any box… you can’t contain me, my life, my emotions, under a label. That’s freaking ridiculous. For every symptom, every emotion I experience, that can be explained by my diagnosis’, or a label someone slaps on me…there’s always something else that just doesn’t fit.

Why? Because I am not that label!!! I’m me… a living and breathing human being… the specifics and driving forces behind my struggles are unique to me… only I exist as me, and that is my label. I am ME!!!!!!

People end up clinging to their labels, to these diagnoses’ that are supposed to explain them, and too often it keeps them from getting better. They won’t seem to let it go. If you only identify yourself with your sickness, or if you identify too strongly with it, you let it become your identity, or too big a part of it. What are you without your identity? NOTHING. You’re nothing. So you keep clinging to it, because if you let it go, when you open your clenched fists, you’re left with nothing to show. NOTHING.

So, you cut… you’re not ‘a cutter’…
So, you have a mental illness… you’re not that mental illness…
So, you have an eating disorder… you are not the eating disorder…

These are labels that describe your struggle… and labels are vague. They are not all-encompassing.

You are not these things. You are not these things. You are not these things.

You are not confined to an existence with them. You are not living a life that will ineviatbly lead to the projected course of whatever you’re struggling with.

Stop looking at yourselves through the filter of these labels.
Start viewing yourselves as an individual who has power over these things.
They are not you, and they do not get to decide the course of your life.
They don’t get to decide on your happiness.
They don’t get to decide your fate.

THEY DON’T NAME YOU!

It’s your choice whether or not you dwell on your disorder.
It’s your choice to immerse yourself in it.
It’s your choice on whether you let it consume you completely.

It’s your choice.
You decide!

Me? I refuse to accept any of these labels.

Advertisements

Coping…


Partly to be numb, partly to remain a little girl, partly because people always complimented me on how skinny I was, partly to destroy myself, anorexia nervosa  was a big part of my life. I began exercising when I was 16 years old, spending countless hours at the gym.  There was one particular girl I looked up to.  She was thin, happy, beautiful.  I began wanting the thinness and happiness.  So, there I was every day, the room filled with sounds of pain, running, jumping,  to forget the image that stared back at me every day… I demanded perfection from my body, the perfection I couldn’t get in my mind.  I would spend almost the entire evening there, my eyes blank, my hands weak, muscles sore, every day became more and more intense.  After a while I had little time to even eat.  Work, gym, run, work, gym, run.  Where would I have the time.  I began losing more and more weight.  At 21 I weighed probably 100 pounds, which for me was very little, but in my mind it still wasn’t enough.  What I saw in the mirror and what people saw were two different people.  I was disgusting, obese, I literally saw a monster and part of me, a HUGE part of me, just wanted to DISAPPEAR.  What better way then to literally wither away.  At 27, a boyfriend broke up with me.  I had to stop the pain.  How?  I began running 14 miles every morning at 4:30 a.m.  While most people were in bed sleeping I was out in the cold, snow, rain, hail, heat ,running for almost 2 and a half hours.  I remember going to a therapy session on one of those days and this is the diary entry I wrote that day:

Dear Diary,

It’s amazing how a body can feel completly numb.  My legs are moving, my arms are moving, but it’s not me.  I feel I’m watching everything from overhead, this is another girl.  I caught a glimpse of myself in a train window as it zoomed through a dark tunnel.  My hair was different, what once was a cascading waterfall had turned into strands of hay, and the eyes hollow… I looked at my feet, sentenced to a lifetime of pounding on the pavement, to nowhere…I got out on my stop, there was a man dancing with a lifeless doll.  A subway performer, his partner was a doll with crimson lips, stilettos, legs as long as the sky, she wasn’t real but for a moment she had taken life in this man’s arms, he, this subway performer, had breathed life into this doll, together they became one, legs moving in unison, his soul, his essence sailing into her, bringing her to life.  She’s more alive than I am , I thought.

A short time after this I stopped running so much, my coping mechnism was failing, and I decided to use another coping mechanism.  Dance.  I have been dancing ever since.  I now am at a healthy weight and on those days that I feel like I’m watching someone else’s life I go live my own and dance 🙂

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week


This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week!

Check out I Chose To Live, which is “a Recovery Movement utilizing team principles in the recovery process. We intend to work hand in hand with other organizations, treatment centers, and fellow activists to support and empower those fighting for Eating Disorder Recovery and Awareness.”

You can also find them on facebook and twitter.