This is the third in a series about getting help if you suffer from disordered eating. Click here for part one and part two. I am not a professional; everything I say is based on my own experience. Always consult with your own doctor. This post mentions specific food and ED behaviours – do not read if you are easily triggered.
During the long nights I spent sitting in my room in those first few weeks of college, I often wondered how I would bring the subject of my disturbed eating patterns to someone who could help. As I discussed in the last post, I was under the impression that I wasn’t sick enough to get help or else that I could kick this on my own. Even at my lowest weight, I was unsure how to admit to myself and everybody else that I was sick. So I did it in the most inappropriate place I could have.
My parents were on their third visit to me in two weeks. (As it happens, it is always a great asset to have parents who will frequently take a 2 hour road trip to dry your tears when you call them in floods.) We went to town just to get out of the college area and we lunched in Merchant’s Quay. All through lunch I wanted to say something but I couldn’t. The subject of leaving college for good had already been mentioned the week previously but I also wanted to conveniently forget about that. Screw it, I thought to myself, I’ll do this another day.
Before I went back, we went for a stroll around Marks and Sparks, as you do when your hometown is severly lacking in one. Somewhere out of the blue, between the skincare shelves and the lingerie section, I blurted out that I was obsessed with my weight (my dad was elsewhere in the shop, so my mom was the first to hear.) And like many others after her, she assured me that once college settled, this would too. No, I said, it wouldn’t. And thus was the beginning of revealing every habit I had aquired over the last year – the binging, the restricting, the calorie counting, weighing food, weighing myself (daily) and never-ending-dream of a lower weight. Although it would take a lot more time for everything to come out, that day in M&S was a turning point for me. I learned that there is no perfect way to come out about your ED – one day, you just have to have the balls and the courage to do it.
After this, I switched doctors and found my current beloved physician. It is so important to go through these first stages with someone understanding who you feel you can trust to take care of you. My doctor gave me all the time in the world that first day to reveal my soul. He didn’t treat me like a child. He didn’t treat me like a mental case. He just wanted to help me get better. And so began my journey into recovery.
To be continued…