Today was just one of those days that I felt a little off my game. I hadn’t followed my meal plan to the best of my ability and was overwhelmed by nagging eating disorder thoughts. Despite all of that, I went into work. And boy am I regretting that decision now.
So I have this supervisor at work… For the sake of anonymity let’s call her “Karen.” So Karen has this habit of sharing a lot of very personal information with me. Her struggle with depression and anxiety. Her abusive father. And today she informed me that she had an eating disorder as well. Which is all well and good (obviously not good that she had one but good that she can be open about it) if it’s true. Normally, I’m not one to doubt anyone’s struggle or question them for being open about it. But some of the things that she said didn’t add up for me. Like when she casually said she had an eating disorder, she also mentioned that it was a choice and she just never ate. Which is such a cliche and untrue depiction of what it’s really like to struggle. Eating disorders are not choices and they are so much more than “just not eating.” All this was just nagging at me the whole six hours (yes that’s right SIX FUCKING HOURS) that she was talking about her eating disorder/depression/anxiety/abuse struggles. I didn’t know why it was bothering me so much but reflecting on it now made me realize something.
I’m not upset at her for sharing too much information. I’m jealous of her for being able to be so open with me even though we’ve only known each other for a short time. Whether her struggles are real or imagined doesn’t matter. The fact that she was able to speak her truth and own her story really irks me! I’ve been in therapy. I went to treatment for months. I made great friends there that I absolutely love and that love me for exactly who I am. So why can’t I own my story? Why isn’t okay for me to be open about my eating disorder struggles?
The answer is it is okay. It’s okay for me to talk about it with my co workers from time to time. I think I’m realizing that the reason I didn’t want them to know was because I was embarrassed more than it was for privacy. I am embarrassed of my weight restored body and the comments that could stem from being honest. The dreaded, “You aren’t skinny enough to have an eating disorder.” or the, “Oh but you look so healthy!” Oh and don’t forget the infamous, “Why don’t you just eat?” These comments come from ignorance more than anything but I know any of those words could send me into a spiral real quick.
Maybe it’s time to start seriously considering opening up to some of my co workers. Especially right now while I’m struggling so I don’t use work as an excuse to avoid my meal plan. Maybe telling them will help me hold myself accountable better.
Wish me luck!