Topic Tuesday: Identity

Finding My Identity Outside of My ED(By: Sabrina Nguyen)

For as long as I can remember, East Asian women are supposed to be “small.” We are generally short in stature and “small” in size, but I never felt like I fit the ideals of an East Asian female. Throughout most of my childhood, I worked so hard to fit into these idealistic standards, as well as trying to balance the standards of my American home (I talk more about double beauty standards in my previous blog post). Because I worked so hard to fit this standard of “smallness,” I became known as the “fit friend” or the “healthy friend” or the “exercise friend,” which I feel that most people who struggle with an ED can relate with.

I became completely focused on that identity of being the “fit friend” and “the friend who doesn’t eat much.” These became synonymous with the name “Sabrina” in my friend group. When I started to recover, one of the hardest things for me was to find my own identity. I thought that if I was not the “fit friend” anymore, I didn’t have a role in my friend groups anymore. It took a long time for me to find my hobbies, my personality, and just my basic self again.

Now I know exactly what I want to do in my life. I want to enjoy it. Enjoying life is the most important thing to me now. Now going out with my friends, hanging out with my family, and going on new adventures is at the top of my priority list. I am in college studying so that one day I can become a therapist and help people who were in the same situations as I was in. I spend my free time building on my hobbies of music, dance, calligraphy, and more because I have the mental space for it now. “Sabrina” is no longer synonymous with a single role anymore. Sabrina is just Sabrina and that is enough.

About the Author

Sabrina is currently a freshman social work major at Lipscomb University. She wants to become a licensed social worker and work in the mental health field. Sabrina really enjoys music: singing and dancing. Sabrina has dealt with and eating disorder for 6 years and has been in recovery for 1 year.