There is power in being authentic. Being true, real, and honest towards yourself. After all, if you’re completely, absolutely, 100% your(amazing)self, and secure in that, nothing can stand in your way.
In my eating disorder recovery, I’ve always had the lingering question in the back of my mind, “who really am I?”. In the depths of the illness, I didn’t even have the energy to think about it. But now that I have more power over my mind than my mind does over me, I can begin to delve deep into the practice of self-awareness. Learning what I really excel in, and what I really struggle with. Learning who I truly connect to, how I truly communicate. The quirks and flaws and strengths of who I am. My eating disorder can never take that away from me.
Once we begin to learn more about our authentic selves – the parts we love and don’t love so much – we can begin to, or continue to, separate ourselves from our eating disorders. We know we aren’t them, and they are not us. They are, or were, simply a disease. It’s not the eating disorders that are parts of us – it’s the strength, courage, and resiliency it takes to battle them that are parts of us. Everything in us we use towards our recoveries, these are the puzzle pieces of who we are! Our ability to be vulnerable, our bravery to accept help, our sacrifices we give towards our health all compile, along with countless other unique, special attributes, to put together this puzzle. Maybe it takes years to complete, decades even. That’s okay! All that matters is that we’re doing it.
We’re figuring out who we are – we’re growing true to who we are at our incredibly beautiful, authentic cores.
I try my hardest to practice authenticity, and I am so, so grateful for it. I’ve learned the way my brain works. The way I fall deeply in love with a subject, an idea, a person. The way I can get nitpicky and obsessive when I’m stressed. The way I sometimes feel emotions in “high definition” – strongly, intensely. The way I feel, so clear, after a meditation or mindfulness exercise. And I’ve learned the way my body works. The way my heart races and smile brightens when I’m excited. The way I feel in my stomach – a strong, fiery, feeling – when I’m anxious. The way I feel after exercising – so aware of my body. The way I can figure out I’m stressed even before realizing why because I’ve felt the physical sensations.
Authenticity is the enemy of self-doubt. If we get to know ourselves well enough, if we don’t fight the urge to “fix” or “repair” ourselves, if we surrender to our perceived flaws, if we practice self-love and appreciate who we really are, if we honor our bodies, minds, and souls – then, we can really start to break free from the grips of our disorders.
Confidence in who we are is a superpower we all have the ability to harness. It’s up to us to get there.
Be you. Be real. Be honest. Be truthful. Be authentic. So long as you practice this, your eating disorder’s power will crumble at your hands. And that’s amazing.