Honesty is the best policy, right? So many times we feel like we should be honest about everything, but being honest is often the hardest thing to do! I’ve decided that being honest is the only thing I can do to make everything work for myself. So, this is it! This is my honesty! This is how it will work out. My name is Rachel and I have an eating disorder! (Yikes)
There, I said it. It’s out and I can’t take it back. The world knows and there is no turning back! Truthfully, this has been my fear for the longest time. I didn’t want anybody to know or find out, and it has been the source of my frustration and anxiety. What will happen if they know? How will they judge me? What will they say? They will think I’m crazy. People don’t understand eating disorders. They will all think I’m vain. All of those things… I believed them. The eating disorder made me believe them. I was sure that nobody would understand and they would all think I was weird. I spent hours thinking about how to hide the disorder and eating from people because I did not want anybody to find out that I have a messed up relationship with food. I was 100% sure nobody would get it and they would all judge me. I found out this wasn’t true. I always admired those who could tell others about their disorder because I wanted to be free of the shame of hiding it (when I say “tell others” I’m not talking about posting my facebook status as “How do you like this breakfast, Ed”… I’m talking about not coming up with a million lies to cover everything, and to hide the weight loss and medical appointments).
The day finally came (this week actually)…. I ran into a very old friend and we were catching up at a bookstore (where I was searching for “Life Without Ed” an eating disorder book). The last time I saw her was when I was very sick and headed into treatment. The conversation naturally led itself directly to what book we were looking for, and I had a choice to make….. keep hiding…. or just say it…. and it just fit. I took the plunge thinking I would sink, and I didn’t. It felt stressful and awkward and I waited for every moment to blow up in my face, but it didn’t. The conversation led to my health and the treatment that I had been receiving and it ended with a hug and a “good luck, you can do it” from her… everything I wasn’t expecting! So, I realize now, all this time the eating disorder had been yelling that I have to hide this from everyone because they won’t understand and they will all think I’m awful, when in turn, they think something very different.
I am aware that this disorder is built around secrets and confronting it out in the open is the only way to move forward for full recovery. I see that there really isn’t anything to be ashamed of and until I fully accept that I have an eating disorder, I can’t fully recover. So, let’s raise our glass ….. here’s to no more hiding! 🙂
I know I can’t be the only one out there afraid of people finding something out. I’m sure I’m making this bigger than it really is! Yeah, it’s true, people don’t really understand eating disorders, but I don’t think they are going to look at me like I have two heads, or like I kicked their dog (which I would never do)!!!
So, this isn’t just about me…. feel free to comment….
Is there anything you have held onto that you felt like you were hiding? Maybe you were afraid of people finding out. Did it just weigh on your mind all the time like it did to me? Did you ever finally get it out there and was it a relief?