Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Re-re-inaugural Post: A cynic explains his long-time absence.

I had originally intended this to be a Facebook note, but it seemed more appropriate to make this a blog post.  This is an explanation of the personal struggles that I have been facing over the past few years.  It is my hope that, in publishing this, I may be able to do my part to help bring some light to those who may be similarly struggling.  Furthermore, it is also my hope that I may, in some small way, raise awareness of how these issues affect both myself and other members of the larger community.

I have an eating disorder.

On December 16, 2010 I was admitted to the eating disorder center at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  By that time, I had struggled with my eating disorder, in some form or other, for seven years.  As the eating issues consumed me, they came to affect every aspect of my life.  From the way I dealt with people and the relationships I formed, to my ability to progress academically and professionally.  All the while, I lied, pretended to be okay, and avoided admitting that I needed help.

I avoided seeking help for a variety of reasons.  Early on, I was paralyzed by the myth that “men don’t get eating disorders”—I felt that admitting to having an eating disorder would somehow compromise my masculinity.  Later, I clung to it, for the fear of the physical changes that good health might bring.  In my head, the eating disorder was empowering; in truth, it was robbing me of my life.  Seeking help and truly committing to recovery required facing all of my deepest insecurities and surrendering my delusion of self-control.  It also took a support network willing and able to provide the help that I desperately needed.

Since getting back in mid-February, I have primarily focused on rebuilding my life.  Having such a second chance is a very rare privilege--one that I do not intend to waste.  But it is a second chance I would rather not have needed in the first place.

Clearly, there is much more to this story than I am capable of (or comfortable with) publishing on here.  It would be counter to the premise of this blog for me to make an entirely autobiographical post going into the details of my own challenges.  Needless to say, I have been very lucky to have received the help and support I needed (and still need).  There are countless others who are not so fortunate.  The purpose of this cynic "coming out" as having an eating disorder is to, at least among those few who deign to read my blog, increase awareness and encourage discussion of those people who are not as fortunate in getting the help that they need, with whatever challenges they face, as I have been.

1 comment:

  1. That's extraordinarily brave of you to come out and say. What helped enable you to be able to overcome the ED voice telling you that good health was bad and, well, generally causing your ED?