I have a friend who was diagnosed with HIV several years ago. During the early days after her diagnoses someone in her support group told her something very wise. "HIV is not who you are, it is a characteristic about you. It is like saying you have blue eyes, it doesn't define you, it is just something about you."
Remember a few years ago the commercial with the young girl living her life. She is an artist, a friend, a woman. At the end she says, "I have cancer, it doesn't have me."?
Today I realized something. I am not anorexic, I have anorexia. Anorexia does not define who I am, nor am I willing to let it any longer. I have blue eyes, I am a wife to a great man, I have 3 amazing kids, I love my friends, I am fiercely loyal, I believe in God, I know that God's ways are not our ways, I know that this world does bring sorrow but the hope of glory keeps us pressing forward to the goal, I love the color purple, I hate to clean, and I struggle with anorexia. All of those things describe me, none of them define me.
So if you hear me say I am anorexic, please feel free to remind me that anorexia does not define who I am, it is currently just something I struggle with. I'm not going to be labeled by this disease any more. I am not going to feel trapped into a destructive pattern by allowing it to define me instead of describe me.
I am not anorexic, I have anorexia.