Preferred Selves

When the young women get some space from these problems, their actions begin to line up with how they wish to be living in the world. People are then in a better position to imagine different possibilities for their lives. People also begin to contradict the stories that disordered eating practices and substance misuse tell about them.

It sounds like there is a disconnect between what you want for your life and what disordered eating practices and drugs and alcohol want for your life and those things don’t fit together.

A: No. Like being skinny doesn’t make you successful.

C: So if you don’t want to see yourself as a partier and someone who is all about their looks. How would you prefer to see yourself?

A:  it.I’d rather be seen as someone who does what she says she’s gonna do— someone who follows through with her word. I see myself as a person who is strong, like a strong person. Like if I say I’m not going to do something, I’m not gonna turn around and do drugs and alcohol and disordered eating practices disconnect people from themselves, and rob them from knowing who they are. If they had lived differently in the very far off past, the problems try to convince them that is now unreachable and unattainable. ‘That’s the old you.’ When people gain some freedom from these problems, their preferred actions are often radically different than when they are weighed down by these influences. As we can see above, Megan wishes to be known as ‘someone who follows through with her word.’ By getting some space from the problems she was able to see that the problems were influencing her actions in ways that were not in line with her values.