The Middle Ground Named Top Eating Disorder Blog of 2015

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015

Well, THIS was quite surprising.

This Sunday released its annual list of the Top Eating Disorder Blogs — and ranked The Middle Ground as No. 5 on the list!

Needless to say, I’m pretty thrilled. Not because of the accolade per se — though, of course it always gratifying to be recognized for one’s hard work.

I’m thrilled because it forces me to acknowledge something that I might not have done unsolicited: That I’ve succeeded in forging a new identity.

The Middle Ground named top eating disorder blog of 2015For those of us who have suffered from an eating disorder for many years, one of the hardest parts of recovery is relinquishing the identity that our eating disorder bestowed on us. That unique, “special” status that our disordered brains convinced us we’d attained by contravening nature’s rules about how much nourishment we need to survive.

This gets even harder if when we come of age with our eating disorders. I, for example, developed anorexia at age 14 and entered treatment at age 25. In treatment, I worked to find and restore every piece of me that had been contaminated by the illness — only to find that, after undertaking that project, there weren’t many recognizable pieces of me left. After so many years of being sick, there was no old self for me to “get back to.” I had to start anew.

Recreating yourself is no easy task. It’s one reason (one of many, that is) that it is so extraordinarily difficult to let go of the eating disorder. What if I get rid of it and there is nothing left? Who am I without this thing that has defined me all these years?

That’s partly why having this blog has been such a powerful recovery tool for me. I couldn’t simply (ha… “simply”) eradicate the eating disorder and then move on with life, because I had no idea what to move on to. I knew I would need some other identity to cling to until the winds died down a bit. With that, I became a fierce and vocal recovery advocate.

The Middle GroundTo my surprise, that advocacy piece of me has stuck. I’ve fully incorporated it into who I am in these early stages of recovery. Having that advocacy validated in the way of the PsychCentral list made me pause and reflect on this surprising turn of events for me.

Anyway… all that to say — first, thank you to PsychCentral. And second, I hope maybe these thoughts could help anyone struggling to relinquish the “sick” identity. It won’t be of any use to try to fight that identity off and keep it at arm’s length. There has to be something else to take its place.

As author Dan Millman says in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

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