I’ve never told anyone in person I have an eating disorder, hell, I can’t even say the words out loud when I am alone in a room and only I would hear.
When I research getting help for my little food issue (that is how I like to refer to it in my head) I find roadblocks which generally make me feel a combination of (1) lost and alone and (2) like the universe says I don’t need help, it just isn’t meant to be.
When I think about getting help, and I don’t mean in the abstract but am seriously thinking about it I feel terrified. Terrified of what getting help means, what is involved, what would happen. I have watched countless videos on YouTube by people with eating disorders and some of them are about what to expect when getting treatment and oh wow it sounds freakin horrible! I read blog posts by people getting various types of treatments and it seems like the only common thing between all those people is how they are finding ways to get around the rules of the treatment they are receiving.
I know that would be me…so what would be the point?
Sometimes though, when I am thinking a bit deeper than normal I wonder if the fear I have of getting treatment, of asking for treatment, of admitting I need treatment is not really me but my weird little inner voice talking. That same voice that tells me how fat I am, how I can’t eat anything, how I have to exercise all the time, how any little slip up is proof I am weak and pathetic and don’t really want to be skinny…if that voice is also telling me treatment is scary. Is it that voice that is telling me my doctor would be no help, that I can’t talk to her, that I can’t ask her to refer me for help to that program I found that is free?
Is it possible that voice is scared of being quieted or ignored and so it convinces me to not ask for help in order to save itself?
Thing is I don’t know my doctor super well, I got her as my general physician (some people call them family physician) hmm, a year and a bit ago maybe, no, probably closer to 2 years. In that time I have seen her 3 times or so. I am not a big go-to-the-doctor-for-every-little-thing person. In fact I am the opposite, I am the person that doesn’t go even when she probably should cause I don’t particularly care for doctors, shrug.
My impression of my doctor, from those whopping 3 visits is that she is very practical, no nonsense, likes to send me for freakin blood work and other types of tests and I don’t think she would believe I need help.
Why don’t I think she would believe I need help?
(1) I am too fat, I don’t look like I have an eating disorder
(2) I don’t know how to put in to words why I think I may need help, or what behaviours I am indulging in so I’d start talking and end up sounding like an idiot
(3) I feel like she would just tell me to eat normally, or stop eating so much (if I tell her about my binge eating) or tell me it is ok if I restrict because I have weight to lose anyways (if I tell her about my restricting)
(4) When I feel super low and desperate and really want help I can’t get to her, I can’t make myself call her office and demand an appointment and when I am capable of calling cause I have a bit better handle on things I feel like I wouldn’t be taken seriously because I am obviously functioning juuuust fine
I just don’t feel like she would take me seriously, I expect her to do the equivalent of a “it’s ok, just rub some dirt in it and you’ll be fine” diagnosis.
I don’t know the stats on how many people go to doctors for help and get turned away, so maybe this is an irrational fear I am having, but maybe it isn’t and I really don’t feel like screwing up the courage to tell someone I don’t really know all that well that I am struggling only to be turned away, it’s mortifying just to think about let alone have to live through. Can you imagine the binge fest that would result if that happened?!
So what I am wondering is if anyone has stories to share about how they initially got help, how did you ask? What did you say? How was the response?
I just need some sort of idea of what happens so that if I ever do decide to ask my doctor for a referral to that program I have a bit of a road map in my head of what to expect, I think I’d do better if I had a vague idea of what would be coming at me, ya know?