Questioning My Anonymity

There are very few people in my life who know that I am a compulsive over(eater). I have shared it with my husband, some close friends, people who I trust and/or that I know are fellow sufferers, but that is it. I am still ‘closeted’ to the rest of the world, including my family and most friends. Starting to write this blog a few months ago was huge for me, but as I’m sure you can see, I write this blog anonymously as well.

I’d like to think it’s a big step just to blog about my eating disorder to the whole world, but I’m still shielded by not giving my name. I’m not sure why I feel like I have to do this. I could probably just use my first name in the blog, but at this point I still feel like it’s revealing too much. It’s funny how I can pour out every honest, crazy thought I have had, and still do have, about my obsession with food, yet I can’t come clean as to my identity.

I’m not sure what I’m afraid of. I don’t know if I still hold on to an element of shame that I suffer with this eating disorder. Maybe I feel there is a stigma attached, that people will think less of me. I don’t want people to look and/or think of me differently if they knew. Maybe I don’t want them to see me as being weak. I want them to think of me as the person that I am, not as an walking eating disorder. Please note, I do not mean to imply in any way, shape or form, that people with this eating disorder should feel any kind of shame, etc, it is just me trying to muddle through my own feelings.

There is, however, one or two enticing elements about coming clean. One is that I could be at an outing/party and be able to say why I need to walk away or stay away from certain food areas. It would also explain why I like to weigh and measure everything, why I count calories. (However, I don’t want to draw attention to myself and have people watching to see what I eat.) Second, maybe, if I open up, it would help someone who is living with this disorder and I could be an ear for them. Perhaps if I open up, I can aid someone in their recovery. Those are definitely compelling reasons to out myself, but it still makes me uneasy.

I’m not overweight anymore, so I don’t necessarily look like what people stereotypically think of when they envision a compulsive eater, but I’m still obsessed with eating food and the numbers – the number of calories I eat, the number on the scale, my body fat percentage. (That is a control issue that I have, which is part of being a compulsive eater, but that is a whole other post. :)) But yes, I know, I sound pretty paranoid and obsessive.

One thing I’ve learned, when I discovered that I have this eating disorder, is that everyone has their own “shtick” so to speak. We all have issues, crutches, things that we turn to to help us cope with life. Some folks turn to alcohol, some to drugs, and some, like me, turn to food. We are all walking around with our dirty little secrets, our vices. So I’m really no different than most everyone else. Due to childhood issues, I chose food as my vice. Still, I’m not ready to shout from the rooftops that I have an eating disorder. Maybe 2010 will be the year that I out myself. But then again, maybe it won’t.

Have you revealed your eating disorder to everyone in your life? If so, how did you do it? If you have not revealed yourself yet, why haven’t you?

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Comments

6 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Jess
    06 January 2010, 10:46 am

    Have you revealed your eating disorder to everyone in your life? If so, how did you do it? If you have not revealed yourself yet, why haven’t you?

    I haven’t revealed it to everyone, but I am not ashamed of it. I usually drop it in as a reason I’m not hiding from the world any more and why I have a can-do attitude. I also use OA terms and sayings in regular life, but OA’s language is the language all 12-Steppers use (and many therapeutic eating disorder solutions use, too).

    What I don’t do, however, is expose the identities of people from my face-to-face groups. I have not yet met someone outside of group, but if I did, I would introduce them as a friend.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    and believe me, i certainly didn’t mean to offend and say any of us should feel ashamed of our eating disorder, it is me just trying to dig through my own emotions. i like how you are have shed such a positive light on it when you reveal.

    [Reply]

  2. Jess
    07 January 2010, 8:21 pm

    I think I said it wrong. . . sorry.

    See, when I first started, I was ashamed that I didn’t have the self-control to be a normal eater. I don’t think anyone should feel ashamed of a disease they can’t control, either, but I know we tend to (as binge eaters).

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i understand what you are saying. i think what normal eaters don’t realize though, is that it is a disease we can’t control. they think WE are just out of control. sadly, i know that i thought of alcoholics that way until i realized i had a similar disease.

    [Reply]

  3. michaela@pilgrimageofhealth
    22 March 2012, 3:53 pm

    I have revealed my eating disorder to many people, and it’s HARD but getting easier every time. There is great fear in vulnerability, but also great encouragement and healing. For me, I was always ashamed of my binge eating–I viewed it as different from other eating disorders, as something that was embarrassing because I couldn’t control it. Now, I have a better understanding of the chemical processes that prompt them–and it’s nothing to be ashamed of (nor be complacent with either)
    michaela@pilgrimageofhealth´s last blog post ..Vegan Fudge Pops!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    good for you, michaela! it is hard. so many feelings of shame, and as you said, vulnerability. but it is definitely healing. you are only as sick as your secrets, keeping them inside is what keeps us sick and keeps us from recovering. i too have learned that everyone has their own issues and mechanisms to deal with life. we just happen(ed) to use food. best of luck to your continued growth!

    [Reply]

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