I’m a societal success but the confusion between the voice of anorexia with the voice of self-love shadowed much of my adult life. On the external stakes, I tick most boxes. I’m:
- attractive (for my age)
- socially connected
- on my first marriage
- and contributing in a professional capacity
But ego, the master of deception keeps coming in through the side door trying to convince me otherwise.
Chronicling my adolescent experience with anorexia, I created a character based on my coercive inner voice. It reeked the manipulation of anorexia guiding me. My initial drafts of bombed, confusing my readers. There was a lack of distinction between the voices: ego and my true inner voice.
So what is ego?
It is the ‘I,’ the need we have to quantify who we are. Built on differences it encourages separateness and values uniqueness. Our accumulated identity develops and strengthens by the consideration of peer values and society’s opinions. This ‘I,’ is largely influenced by the external .
My anorexic inner voice needed my active participation to survive. Initially, it offered helpful ideas, gaining my trust. Almost imperceptibly it slipped into my life, taking charge of my actions. It both fed on and fed my insecurities, keeping me constantly anxious, fearful and busy.
I was so busy running I couldn’t think straight.
The voice changed at the end of year nine when I began to question its motives. I’d become desolate and socially isolated despite my academic success. It spurred me on, urgent and pushy. It fed the damaging core belief, ‘I am not enough,’ keeping me engaged at the price of self-love.
I’d unknowingly given away my power to something that hooked into the story line of my adolescence. As the conflict between me and my anorexic voice grew, so did the false belief that I couldn’t trust anyone. Lonely independence became the new grail. The shit that bound us kept us together: rituals that caused shame and shame that led to withdrawal. I was the serpent that had begun eating its own tail.
I thought I’d beaten it down to size when I gained weight but it proved to be only one level of healing. My life progresses normally, even successfully but triggers kept unearthing the same conundrum, ‘I’m not enough.’
That’s enough for now.
Please reach out if you find it overwhelming.