The other day I was speaking to a friend of mine who used to be an “eating disorder buddy”. We would overexercise, undereat and report all the facts back to each other on what the scale said. I have been recovered for many years now and work actively helping others seek relief in treatment. However, the other day when I was talking to my friend she was having a very hard time and I said (for the millionth time) how about treatment? She told me absolutely not, it’s not a good time. She has her full time job, which she excels at, her new husband, a condo that she needs to decorate, two boards she sits on, plus all of her extra social activities (because naturally she is the head of her social circle).
Unfortunately these protests are all too familiar and they are actually quite textbook when dealing with a person presenting with an addiction or eating disorder. To make matters worse people with eating disorders tend to be perfectionists and overachievers, so people in their life aren’t even so sure they have a problem because they are excelling in every other way. And the eating disordered person is constantly unsure if they really need help anyway. How many times did I tell myself that I would just binge once more and then never do it again?
Admitting you need treatment is a huge step. And real life can definitely stand in your way. However, if there is one thing I regret it is waiting so long to get help and doing it mostly on my own. I didn’t ask people for help, I hated therapy, I didn’t want medicine, and I certainly couldn’t go to a rehab! I was a manager in corporate America- a top producing sales person! Obviously I couldn’t disappear.
But I am telling you what I wish someone told me- get help NOW. Today. Reach out and start calling to seek treatment. And most importantly check your insurance benefits (I had full coverage and didn’t even think for a second I had coverage for an eating disorder so I paid $30,000.00 out of pocket- ouch!). And if you are in a corporate setting check with Human Resources to find out how you can take a leave of absence for a medical emergency (yes this is a medical emergency). Most places of business have Human Resources in place and will have a confidential conversation with you. You will need a doctor to support you, but it is so much easier when you ask for help.
You may think you don’t have that big of a problem (if any), but my advice is to reach out and call a treatment center, call your insurance, call HR, ask your parents for help. It is there and recovery is really not that far off- the sooner you start the sooner this will be over. I promise!