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Airing My Dirty Laundry or Making a Difference?

Posted Jul 24 2009 10:09pm

CLX0305IDEA07DG-de I’ve been blogging for over a year now, so you’ve seen me through many ups and downs and everything in between.

One could argue blogging is a bit like airing your dirty laundry for the world to see. And in a way, it is.

But I like to think that by being open, honest and real — while raising awareness that disordered eating issues are real (and not something that just “poof” come and/or go) — that I might make a difference in some small way.

And your e-mails and comments (good or bad) reinforce what I’m doing each day has meaning. Plus, blogotherapy is working in the sense that I’m now four months chew/spit free?!

While at the beginning I was hesitant about spilling too much about myself, I’ve definitely become more open as my blog has grown and I’ve become more intricately involved in the blogging community.

Today, my Twitter and Facebook accounts both show my blog’s URL and my photo is up there — you might even notice I did some “house cleaning” on the right sidebar. (You can follow me on Twitter if you’d like … I came out of an 8-month Twitter hibernation just yesterday).

I realize these moves set me up for people I might not necessarily want knowing about my issues to know about them … but as an advocate, and in the name of transparency … I feel it’s my responsibility to be as honest as I can. And that means putting myself out there, however uncomfortable it might be.

(For example, people here in Michigan didn’t know me heavy (i.e., most of my life) so my “issues” likely would make no sense to them, save for a handful of close friends who know my situation and have been super-supportive.)

Putting myself out there means signing my real name when I write a guest column. It means realizing that when I Google my name or Lissa10279, my Brazen Careerist and Twitter accounts — both of which mention my blog — appear right away … or realizing that if I Google “disordered eater,” I rank #1 …

I don’t necessarily want to be known as a “recovering disordered eater” forever, but I have branded myself this way online, for better or for worse, and it’s something to which I might always be susceptible … but that hopefully I have the tools now to not engage in those behaviors, even when anxiety strikes.

I’m certainly not perfect, and I still struggle with over-exercising and emotional eating on and off … but I am proud of the progress I’ve made thus far, and owe a lot of it to you.

I didn’t like having to come clean in a post, to admit I’d stumbled upon a pebble or two … but I’m too damn honest to not share slip-ups and they make me real. That would be disingenuous to me; it would serve no purpose … We all know recovery from any addiction or ailment is not a straight and narrow path. So I’ve tried to be as “real” as possible.

While I still don’t use names of my friends or family out of respect to them (though I will say “friend,” “sister,” “husband”), I’m out there. And once you start blogging, there’s really no going back.

Fortunately, I’ve had nothing but support from my loved ones, but I know many people who have had to keep anonymity on their blog because they feared anyone discovering them.

Now that I’ll be contributing to WeAreTheRealDeal.com, I realize this opens me up for more criticism … but more importantly, offers more opportunities to get my message out there and get a dialogue going.

I’m really excited about it … and think it will be another positive step for me. Reading others’ opinions and broadening our reach as a collective group to incite and inspire change  excites me. With varying opinions and various backgrounds, it’s going to be an interesting experiment … but one that could be life-changing.

And it’s something to which I’m thrilled to sign my name.

To quote MizFit, I’ll be “unapologetically myself.”  We all will.

How about you? Do you blog anonymously? Are you comfortable with social media platforms or are you concerned about the risks being involved in them entails?

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