Written by: Ryan K
Originally posted: 6/17/2015
This post isn't so much about resi-specific surprises as it is about people-specific surprises. I'm really learning that in life, people are going to surprise us, both in positive and negative ways.
There was a time not long ago when the thought of anyone knowing my secret was terrifying and downright unacceptable. Few people knew, and even fewer people had the balls to say anything to my face. Of course when they did, I denied, denied, denied. I wasn't even ready to acknowledge the problem to myself, never mind to other people. I was confronted a few times, the first being several years ago when my cousin told her mom who then told all my aunts, after which my mom questioned me. I denied the allegation because like I said, I wasn't ready, but also because I was pissed off by the approach. If you have a question for me, why does my entire extended family need to know? Regardless, I would have denied it anyway, but I didn't appreciate the additional anxiety from my family discussing me behind my back.
The more recent incident happened when another cousin of mine was out to eat with her sister-in-law and friend, a guy I was hanging out with often. He shared with me that when he mentioned the amount I can eat and still remain thin is impressive, the sister-in-law made a gesture signaling vomiting, and they laughed. I guess my cousin didn't say anything, which I found to be hurtful. Once again I was upset knowing people were discussing me in a negative way but also panicked that my secret may be out. The disorder was nervous and told me we need to be more careful.
Almost exactly six months ago, I started PHP treatment and came clean to a select few loved ones. Throughout these months, I went on to form strong bonds with incredible women from treatment or support groups. These women understand me. They were just as happy as I was when I had pizza (normally) for the first time in a decade. They were able to relate when I spoke of my mother's frustration and despair, asking me, "Why do you have to be sick? If you want to eat, just eat. Please!" They get me, and have proven to be a solid support foundation.
Then there are a few friends whom I've known BED (before eating disorder) who have blown me away with their love, compassion and encouragement. These friends don't fully understand, but they care about me deeply and are right by my side cheering me on. Before this whole recovery thing started, I probably wouldn't have picked some of these people to be there for me the most, but they have been (more so than some people I actually would have picked) and I feel blessed.
And of course I have my family. I am beyond fortunate to have parents who would do anything for me. They give me strength. My extended family has rallied around me and want me to get better because they love me. You can't buy that type of motivation.
As Ed became stronger, I felt more and more alone and consequently isolated myself for a long time. Letting people in and asking for help doesn't make me weak; it makes the eating disorder weak. These people are my troops in the battle to recovery. My first case manager told me she's rarely seen anyone beat this on their own, and I'm lucky to say I don't have to.
Original post can be seen at www.ryandoesresi.com.