Eating Disorders

On Identity in Eating Disorders

Bad, Good; It's Hard to Tell--A Zen Story About Mindfulness | Libero Magazine 1

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I had planned a different topic for this blog; however, I changed my mind and decided to talk about identity instead because I felt this issue is more pressing.

My friends have brought to my attention that the next step for me is to fully divorce myself from ED.

Since starting this blog I have had several people present the same concern to me; they are concerned that I am losing myself and allowing ED to become my only identity.

Instead of being second year University student, stiletto-wearing, Collin Farrell-loving Lauren Bersaglio, they are afraid I have allowed myself to be simply Lauren Bersaglio–the girl who had the eating disorder and now writes about it a lot. They are afraid that even though I am in the process of recovering from my eating disorder, I am still allowing it to hold a place in my identity, and their fears are valid.

In her book “Goodbye Ed, Hello Me,” Jenni Schaefer talks about “divorcing ED.” To divorce means to “disassociate: part; cease or break association with” (http://wordnet.princeton.edu/). This differs from merely “breaking up” or “separating” because it truly is final. You are cutting the ties for good.

I assured my friends that I am not allowing ED to define me and that I am keeping myself and my identity separate from the work that I am doing to raise awareness about eating disorders; however, I did take note of their concern and did some self-reflecting…maybe I haven’t disassociated myself as much as I thought I had, maybe there really is a part of me that still feels somehow attached to ED.

Ignoring ED’s voice and not giving in to his temptation is a big step, but it is not the only step; it is imperative that I completely disassociate myself from him so that I can reach full recovery (and for the record I do believe that FULL recovery is possible).

In the past ED and I have had our ups and downs (ironically when we were “UP” it really meant I was down) and we have had many trial separations, but now it is time to break the cycle. It is time to divorce ED once and for all.

Someone once said to me that Bulimia is just a word, you can write it on a piece of paper and then, just as easily, take an eraser to it and it is gone.

But, unlike ‘Bulimia’, I cannot be erased. And no mere word – not Anorexia, Bulimia, or ED – can define me. It is time to file for a divorce and take my name back.

My name is Lauren Bersaglio I am a second year university student who prefers stilettos over sneakers and believes Collin Farrell is simply waiting for me to make the first move. I am a writer and I will show the world that true beauty is found only on the inside and that self-worth cannot be measured by any scale, tape measure, or cultural “ideal”. I like dogs and iced green tea and my favourite flower is the South African Protea.

This is who I am and nothing – neither word nor person – has the power to redefine me.

What will you do today to take that one step closer to freedom?

Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.


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