The Words I Can’t Say


Eating Disorder.

I think I have an eating disorder.

I’m scared I may have an eating disorder.

Please God help I think I have an eating disorder.

I can write eating disorder over and over again or say it in my head a thousand times but, honestly, I’ve never said that phrase out loud to anyone, not even to myself so I’m not sure how I can just walk into my doctor’s office and blurt it out. I’m not sure how I ask for help.

It doesn’t help that my mind keeps telling me nothing is wrong, that it is normal to eat 200 calories a day, that I am better off doing this, safer, prettier, healthier and that I am not sick enough for help. Plus, there are the stories. Stories of countless other girls and guys who have gone to their doctor and been told “you’re not sick enough” or “it’s all in your head” or worse, “just eat.” What if I figure out how to confess my fears, what I’ve been putting my body through and the side effects I’m having and I’m told I’m not sick enough, not skinny enough, and there’s no help they can offer? What if they don’t believe me? And worse, what if they think the stomach problems were just a manifestation of the ED rather than the ED resulting from what happened with my stomach?

The last one scares the heck out of me. I think partly because it involves questioning my integrity and also because I am scared that when I have to start eating again, that all the pain and sickness will come back. Actually, I am petrified of it which is how I ended up here.

But before I start worrying about all that I actually have to figure out how to start this conversation with my doctor. I chose my doctor for a couple for reasons rather than telling my family or friends first. The biggest one: I’m not sure I want them to know.

I mean, I’m not scared my family and friends will be mad or turn their backs on me or anything but the words ‘eating disorder’ kind of changes everything people perceive you as. Food is pretty much involved in every aspect of life and I know how much this affects me privately so I can only imagine the burden they will feel every time I am around them once they know. Plus, they don’t have the expertise to deal with it so I would have to end up telling the doctor anyway and I’m not sure I can do this twice. So, I am hoping the doctor can maybe help me break the news, or find me a therapist to help break the news to family and friends.

But again, that involves me saying those two words out loud and confiding in someone- something I have never done with a doctor, or really with anyone, which brings me back to square one: I have to figure out how to say those words so that I can get help. Much easier said than done.

Writing it out is what I’ve seen more than a couple times online. I guess writing it will help me lay out what I want to say and to remember the important things (which I tend to forget in doctor’s office situations) plus I guess if I can’t actually say it I could always just give them  the paper (?) but I’m not even sure where to start with that. Do I write sentences? bullet points? Do I list side effects? Title it? Write eating disorder on it as a header? A question? I’m just not sure at all. I guess there is no right or wrong way but it just feels so dumb that I am going to a doctor because I have problems eating. So writing  it out is an option as long as I figure out all the details.

Speaking it though is a whole other story. In theory speaking it is the way to go because, well, I’m going to end up in therapy from this so I might as well learn to start expressing my deep dark secrets now. But still, it’s terrifying. And I still have to figure out all the same questions as if I write it. I don’t even know where to begin that conversation plus I am scared when I call and make the doctor’s appointment the receptionist will need to know what it’s about when I ask for an appointment. I mean can I actually be like I just need an appointment and not tell them at that time? Is that even allowed? And what about when the nurse is in the room before the doctor, do I have to tell her first? What if I chicken out? (That’s a VERY REAL POSSIBILITY) What will the doctor say if I can get the words out? What will happen to me once I tell? What will they do to me?

(Any insight is more than appreciated)

I also read that you can practice saying what you want out loud in front of a mirror. I also heard that advice in one of my many speech classes through college and I always felt like a goof and it never worked for me so I’m not sure that’s a valid plan (fun fact: I am actually a really good public speaker despite that tactic never working for me in college though). Plus, when I try to formulate some semblance of a speech for when I actually go to the doctor I actually get so nervous to the point where I am in tears and shaking before I even start. I’m THAT anxious.  I guess if that’s how I respond at the doctor then they’ll hopefully be patient with me while I try and say the words but I’ll keep trying until the day I get help, try to eat, try to stay alive, try to say the words I can’t.

Eating disorder.

One thought on “The Words I Can’t Say

  1. I remember being little and the pull that food had over me. Every time I was sad or upset or frustrated I dug through the cupboards for cookies, or cake or whatever else I could find. I spent many years unaware. For a while it went away, and then I began a very restrictive diet which caused me to eat–in hiding– everything I could find to the point where I made myself sick. This went on for a while until finally I thought: is this binging? Understanding it, especially when you do not know anyone who has dealt with it, can be incredibly difficult. But this is your first step. Whoever you feel most comfortable telling, tell them. Have at least 1 person who you trust and you feel will help you work through it. Tell them what you need. Having a support system is incredibly helpful. If you need someone to talk to, please know I am here.


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