Well, I suppose it’s more like how I was forced to get help, and then ultimately ask for it from there.
I made myself sick, starving myself, for 4 months before someone finally said something to me. People said a few things to me, pointing out how I had changed in the past few months, but no one ever really asked what was going on.
Then one spring afternoon in February, after returning to college from winter break, my hall mate Jess asked me to join her for lunch in her room. As I sat on the floor with her, meddling with my no-condiments added veggie whole wheat no crust sandwich and apple, she looked me right in the eyes and said, “I’m worried about you and we need to do something about it. I can see what you’re doing, I know that you’re not eating and running to much; you’ve lost so much weight since I first met you during welcome week and I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t tell you that we need to get you some help.” And so we did.
That very same day she walked me over to the school counseling office. I was horrified and shaking in my boots. I didn’t know what to do. Jess walked up the counter, the guy behind it asked how he could help us and Jess said, “ We, she, needs to see a counselor.” He asked, “Would you like to see someone today or later?” She said “Now”, I said “Later.” Obviously I lost.
I met my counselor for the first time that day, and was terrified beyond belief. First off, it was a man. I was not feeling very comfortable with the fact that I was going to have to spill my life story to this stranger, this MAN. Not that I have anything against men, I just think women can be easier to talk to sometimes. Anyhow, I sat in his office, we introduced ourselves and when he asked me what I was here for, all I could do was CRY. I cried so hard I couldn’t breath. It was a miracle I made it out of there without my eyes coming out of my head (haha).
That was the first set of helping hands I had in my recovery. As hard as it was to talk to my counselor, I knew it was going to be even harder to have to tell my parents.
I had so many mixed feelings about telling them. Mostly I felt like a failure because I hadn’t been able to take care of myself. I felt like I hadn’t been a good daughter, that I was a weak older sister to my younger twin brothers who looked up to me. But of course that wasn’t the case.
I remember telling both of my parents about my ED. I had gone with my Dad on one of his weekend walks up to his favorite bagel shop, 5th Ave., just up the road. We were talking about a bunch of things, nothing I can remember specifically, and I don’t remember how it came up, but I told him I was seeing a counselor at school and getting help for a problem I was having with food. Of course him and my mother had noticed how much weight I had lost and believed me when I told them I was just stressed and working out more…but was grateful that I was telling him the truth.
I remember feeling relief, knowing that my father knew my terrible secret. I even remember making it to the bagel shop and having a bagel and regular snapple (not diet!!!) with him while we sat there and continued to talk. Then the was the next fear and dread about having to tell my mother.
We got home from our walk and with just a look, I know my mom knew something had happened while we were out. I sat her down at the dinner and told her I had to tell her something. The truth spilled out and I cried, and they were there with open arms and all the support I could ever ask for.
Since then I have told many friends, other family members, and even complete strangers. I am not ashamed of my ED like I used to be (I couldn’t even bring myself to say the word “eating disorder” or “anorexia”) and am comfortable talking about it, what it did to me, how I reacted and the steps I have taken in order to heal.
One big factor in my lack of asking for help came from feeling like a failure. But that wasn’t all. I was also afraid of being a burden. I was afraid of bothering people with what seemed like a petty and selfish problem, but what I know now is that is completely FALSE. Our family, friends and other loved ones are always there for us. They want to help us no matter what. They never think we are a burden upon them with out ED’s.
So for whatever reason it might be that you have yet to talk to your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your best friend, your roommate…the list could go on forever…put it aside and do it. Ask. Tell them what is bothering you and that you need help. I promise, they will always be there for you. And I am always here for you. If you feel like you can’t take that step, let me know and I will help you. You can talk to me and I will help as much as I can.
I want everyone to heal. I know you can’t do it alone. I know how hard it is.]]
Whew. That was hard as hell to write. Goodness, can we get a more uplifting part of the post going already?! How about some fabulous eats?
Breakfast could not have been better. I mean, seriously Gina, you need to have this recipe patented or something!?
- 1/3 C quick oats
- dried cranberries
- 1.5 T Naturally More PB
I actually heated it up for about 25 seconds in the microwave after I put the PB on…soooooooo good!
I spent the day out in the field, eating normal field eats…which by the way, I think I’ve skewed Deena Burtons Super Charge Me Cookies so much that they’re not her cookies anymore…I think I’m going to dub them My Field Cookies! I’ll post my altered recipe later!
But I was so excited for dinner tonight…it’s something that I’ve tried before but it tasted so bad I have been afraid to try it again. Any guesses?
First, I started off my meal with a fruit salad: leftover mango, strawberries, blueberries
And then a nice Vegetable and TEMPEH Bowl!!!
I have been terrified to use Tempeh in any form since I made it once a few years ago and maybe I didn’t cook it right or it was too old, but it was so bitter I couldn’t eat it! I think this time I did a better job.
I chopped up the tempeh into slices and marinated it in some low sodium soy sauce, garlic and onion bits in the fridge for a few hours. When it came to meal time, I steamed and sautéed:
- 1/3 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 sliced mushrooms
- some broccoli
- some asparagus
After the veggies were cooked to almost done I threw the tempeh in there and sautéed the pieces until they were brown.
DUDE…why did I avoid this for so long!!!??? I’m ashamed at my vegetarian avoidance! Hehe. TASTY!!!!
Ok, I’m off to get ready for some NCIS action…I love me some Jethro…;)