Written by: Ryan K
Originally Posted: 8/26/2015
In my previous post, I talk about some fun ideas I had for fucking with coworkers when explaining why so MIA.
I didn't end up using any of these excuses.
Know what I did do with a few people, though? Told the truth. Yup! I came back thinking I was nowhere near ready for that, but actually feels OK. And after being in treatment twice in the last nine months, I'm simply tired of dancing around the subject. "I've been in treatment for ... Stuff ... Yeah. You know what I mean, right? No?" This topic is tricky because ultimately, I don't owe anybody here anything. When push comes to shove, these are my coworkers and we have a professional working relationship and that's it.
But that's now really how it works, is it? I have been here almost four years, and many people work here their entire careers. It's just that kind of homey place where (most) people are genuinely good and genuinely care about one another. This is all well and good, but makes it tough to keep stuff surface level, especially when someone disappears for three months. Concern arises.
I am slowly crawling out of the dark cave of denial. I mentioned before that my friendmate (friend and roommate) spoke publicly on facebook "coming out" with where she has been and what she has struggled with. To her great surprise, hundreds of people reached out in support and compassion. WHOA. I have so much admiration for her courage to be open about her illness.
One of the best parts of letting the secret out is taking the power back. No longer is this some big, bad, horribly frightening, terrifying truth that must be kept hidden under several layers of steel in an invisible vault in the Cayman Islands, but it's just ... out there. Look at it, just hanging out. Swinging around. Sorry, made it weird. Nobody chooses to struggle with an eating disorder, nor should anyone be made to feel ashamed.
I've had fantasies of being able to stand on a soap box and just be out with it, but I am not ready for that nor do I completely believe it's necessary. For now, I feel good about sharing with those I trust, and if other people speculate, wonder, assume, judge ... that's fine too. Everyone is entitled to their thoughts and opinions, whether good or bad. I can't control what people think. Fortunately, I do get to control whether or not I let their opinions affect me. And I choose ... No. Shit is empowering.
The kicker here is the ED fooled me into thinking I was hiding everything so well. Come to find out, many people had concerns but were unsure of what is appropriate to ask a coworker. Now that I'm out of the fog, I can recall many people subtly asking me, and how I would simply deny and forget. "Oh, not to worry, I just had the stomach flu." Sure, the stomach flu is why I'm like this** at 30 years old.
Moral of the story is, I am done denying and I am done caring. This illness has been with me for more than a third of my life. These are the cards I've been dealt, and I accept that. Just need to move forward the best way I know how, but that's my struggle and either you're in or you're out. Happy to report, the good ones are in.
Original post can be found at www.ryandoesresi.com.