January 10, 2013 by Doris Smeltzer
Filed under Eating Disorders, Featured, Healthy Communication, Healthy Coping, Livin in the Moment, Mindfulness, Moms & Sisters, Recovery, Sharing Feelings, Stress Management, What to Say, How to Say It
Updated and graciously re-posted from Gurze Publications: Occasionally I receive emails from a physician, whom I’ll call “Sue,” giving me an update on her life. She and I have never met—we live in different states—ours is an email relationship. She suffers with bulimia but no one in her life knows: not her family, friends or co-workers. She writes me about the contradiction that is her life. How can a doctor, who knows better than most the ravages of eating disorders, engage in these behaviors?
The emails I receive from people in every walk of life and every age group and ethnicity attest to the reality that eating disorders are “an equal opportunity” disease. Time and again I have encouraged Sue to get the help she needs. Her hesitancy has always come from her fear of being judged by those in the medical profession—how can she ask a colleague to help her heal when she is a healer?
Today Sue wrote a beautiful email. She entered treatment eight months ago and has been behavior-free for a few months. She knows her journey toward well has not ended but she also knows she can heal—she’s doing it…not without difficulties but she can see that there is a way out. The best thing she shared: the compassion and understanding that met her when she revealed her struggles to her colleagues. Not one professional judged or ridiculed as she had feared.
In my life I have found that what I fear the most either does not happen, or if it does, it turns out to be not near as bad as feared. The only exception to this was the death of our daughter, but otherwise this “rule” has held every time (and the fear did not prevent her death). Hence I have determined that time spent worrying is truly a waste. Each time my mind starts to worry about the past or the future I gently pull it back to right now. I did not have this ability when my daughter was here and suffering with bulimia. I share this with encouragement that you work to develop this ability as well.
Until next time,