Labels.

I was going to entitle this post, “Addict? ADD? or both?” and then I thought, really Rachael?

I have a problem with labels.

Often times we will be labeled by other people, and their assumptions behind them. This is where stereotypes come into play. People like classification, and understanding. When we put labels on people, it makes us easier for us to understand them. It creates ideas about people, with out true understanding.

When we label things, even if you don’t think its’ true, people tend to live out those labels. It for some reason, puts limitations on our abilities to complete, or finish, or advance. It creates rules around how we should live, and it sometimes means we can’t be anything different, well at least in the eyes of the ones who have stereotyped us. It’s crappy. It’s crappy because people are not always what other people think they are, based off those stereotypes.

One of the labels that I take on is eating disorder not otherwise specified. I know it will always be with me, and also I know I break the mold from the usual eating disorder. I’m heavier-taller than most women. I have struggled with it since I was a kid, and also its’ not a “typical” eating disorder. I think it’s important to break stereotypes and stretch peoples minds. When I say I am a food addict, or I am emotional or a binge eater… People assume a lot of other things about me that may or may not be true. There is way more understanding though in eating disorder. Either way, it is treated similarly… Well at least I think it does.

When I wrote Addict? ADD? or both? I found some humor in that ADD are the first three letters of addict. Which is interesting because, when we are addicted to something, we get so far gone we don’t even know why we are doing it in the first place. I mean, there is so much more to it than just that. My thoughts on this are, we are so distracted from the original thing, it’s so hard to get back to the beginning. People who are ADD seem to have a hard time staying focused, and can run around in circles before they find there way. I know this, because I also have ADD.

The better I start to understand myself, and the more mature I get… The more I care about what I own, and how much I try not to care about what other people label me as. I once wrote about being an addict. Sure, I think addiction runs in my family. Sure, I have food addiction. At this point, I can realistically say that I drink sometimes more with some friends than other… Because I’m bored. Because my ADD cannot handle sitting, and talking about the same things over and over again. I need something that engages my body, my creativity. It’s a struggle.

I worked with a woman once who labeled me pretty quickly. I don’t really know what she labeled me as, and I could only assume she labeled me as a “goody goody” type person… Until she saw my tattoo on my arm, saw me take shots when we were out down town, and maybe even swear. She said, Wow, I didn’t expect that from you. Working in a social work field, I was a little surprised she was so surprised.

In the end, we are who we are, and we get to be who we want to be. Either way, I like to surprise people. It’s pretty fun being myself.

 

 

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