Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day #22 - Keep You, Kick ED

Ah, the identity post.  I knew this would come at some point.  Let's get crackin!

Keep YOU, kick ED!

I've struggled a lot with figuring out who and what I am if I am no longer Anorexia.  I've even blogged about it quite a bit, so if you're terribly interested in a terribly bored way, type in "identity" in the search box, and I'm sure you'll have plenty of light reading to last you the next decade.

Or, just stick with this one post.  It's cool.  :)

Photos - this morning Whit and I had a photo shoot with Mila!

For pretty much as long as I can remember, growing up in my family, I was always known as the "sick" one.  That started with my long hospitalization and near-death experience I had at five.  My siblings were probably scared and confused when I was gone so long, and maybe a little jealous that Mom spent all her time with me, so, they started calling me the Sick One.  Or AG.  (Stands for Attention-Getter.)  Lovely, I know.  I have SUCH a nice family!  ;)

But, that always stuck with me, forever after.  I was the sick one, the dramatic one, the one always needing attention.  And yes, what nearly killed me as a five year old did make me sick and I definitely squirreled away more of my mom and dad's attention than I normally would have, but this made me feel so bad.  So embarrassed.

And then, a little later, the depression and the anxiety hit me.  And once again, Mom was paying a lot of attention to me because I was "faking sick."  Or that I was just being a drama queen; gosh Brie, stop doing that!  I don't blame my sibs for all the things they said to me back then, because they were just kids too and needed attention as much as I did, but I do remember back then, it hurt me very much.  I was mad at myself and embarrassed and felt stupid.

Anyway, the whole sick persona has just followed me around, all my life.  I've always been percieved as too fragile.  And then when the eating disorder bloomed and really intensified, that "I'm fragile and I'm sick" aura I gave off must have been totally eeking out of my pores like really bad and really strong cologne, because no one wanted much to do with me after that.  They were afraid, I suppose.  And I don't blame them.

As I have been on this long journey to recovery, figuring out who or what I am with out NOT JUST the eating disorder, but also without the identity of being the sick one has been really hard.  And while I'm not at the finish line yet, in terms of me being perfect! and well! and supah! with all of this, I am making progress in figuring out what else there is to me, Brie.

For instance, I like to sew.  I'm not very good at it, but at least I now know that I like it.  I can play the guitar.  That's actually a lie.  I can TENTATIVELY STRUM the first few stanzas of "Brick," and oh sweet child, you better believe it is amazing!  I have found my knack and passion for writing through this blog and through my recovery process.  I have found the true joy of motherhood.  I've found that I'm silly and goofy and though I can be reserved, I can at times really let myself feel free and genuine.  Have I collected perhaps every strewn piece of my identity, and am I putting those pieces together yet, like one of those damn complex 1000 piecers they had in treatment that I could NEVER do on my own?  Nah, I don't think I have.  I think there's still lots to learn and discover about myself.  But with recovery, I have time.  I'll get there.  And that makes me glad.

In the end, in a weird and twisted way, my anorexia has taught me so much!  Who woulda thought?

Things I wish my anorexia had taught me, but didn't:

how to clean
how to WANT to clean
how to kill spiders and other gross bugs
how to vaccuum when your asthma is really ridin' ya
how to cook
how to bake
how to garden
how to decorate a house
how to write the next Great American Novel

Crap.  Maybe I need to pick up a new addiction to work the rest of this crap out.  I've learned so many things from anorexia, maybe OCD could give me some gems to work with too! 

OR.... not.  :)

I'll settle with the things I can do now, and the identity I'm piecing together, and maybe those things listed above will somehow fit in there, but if not, that's okay too.  I can always scream until my blood curdles for Brandon to kill scary spiders, and hell, who needs to BAKE?  That's what a BAKERY is for! 


Cammy said...

Loved this post. I think part of being human is having things you're good at, things you're in progress towards being good at, and, unfortunately, things you want to be good at and may never really be, but it's good to aim high anyway! (that was meant in general and not to point out anything that you specifically will never be good at). I can definitely think of some characteristic things I *can't* do (like singing, driving stick shift, and bowling, lol), but I'm totally fine with that because that's just human. I think sometimes we shy away from recognizing our strengths for fear of seeming arrogant or somesuch, but in reality it's healthy to own what you can do. If you got it, flaunt it. ;)

Sorting out what defines you after structuring your life around an ED for so long is a huge task. It's awesome that you've gotten to this point. You are one awesome lady with so many talents and skills, and it's been so inspiring to watch you move more and more towards defining yourself as that Brie rather than with the ED.

Don't kill spiders! They help control insects!

Anonymous said...

This is great! I am still trying to figure out exactly who I am and it is both exhilarating and terrifying. I use my sewing/kids blog to try to explore that more but there are so many times I have to stop and ask "Is this really ME or part of the ED?" (If that makes sense? For example "liking exercise" is still a tough one I have not figured out).

Anyways, I know I don't comment much but I love these posts!

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

Love it! :-)

po said...

I wish something, anything could teach me how to clean and how to want to clean. Baking though, is totally achievable, it is so easy that even I can do it.