Do we have to pretend?

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shining's picture
Do we have to pretend?

I'm thinking about coming out to a somewhat wider circle of people and would very much appreciate any advice or experience shared. My parents know, my boyfriend and some close friends as well, but some other 'close' friends don't. I feel bad that I call them friends, while I am just lying shamelessly to them. But I am not sure if they would understand - or if I am able to tell them in a way that they understand - they are very intelligent but so rational, and have a very different way of thinking. While I spend a lot of time looking in, they are not as interested in their inner world and they don't know addiction.. Sometimes I feel I am a stowaway among them.
So I wanted to ask you how you handle this thing, what are your experiences, if you did tell, how did it go and how did it change your relationship with those people..?
Thank you in advance!

Jaded Lime
Jaded Lime's picture
I know that it is usually

I know that it is usually advised by therapists and others to tell people, friends, loved ones, and family. But I feel like telling people like friends who do not understand bulimia has done nothing positive for me or my recovery so far so I've stopped. I have told my husband, my mom, and one of my brothers. That was good. I think everyone's personal experience with levels of friendship or family relationships is different so maybe yours could really support and help you. My friends just don't get it at all hahahaha, and really innocently they shouldn't anyways because they aren't bulimic. I usually only tell people who it is necessary to tell. For instance, I know Im going to have to tell my dentist soon my teeth are a mess. One way I decide who to tell is by asking myself how I will feel about that person knowing everything after I am totally recovered. When I am totally recovered some day and the past is behind me, do I want (blank) to always know that I had this struggle and overcame it? Sometimes I think it wouldn't be pleasant for the rest of my life having people label me as an ex-bulimic so I just leave certain people in the dark. Another factor for deciding who or who not to tell would be if this person knowing will help your recovery or hurt your recovery.
Thats my two cents... :-)

Love alone is worth the fight. - Jon Foreman

samoshka's picture
I'm puzzled why you think you

I'm puzzled why you think you are shamelessly lying to them.
You don't have to tell all the truth to be not lying. If you do lie, why not stop it? you don't have to reveal all the truth to stop it. "I have some food issues" is more than enough for most people, I think.
I posted my struggle on facebook! (that was only one sentence that I'm trying to recover from an ED, but that was huge). It was.. liberating. A guy I really like asked me what was that, and ooh, i had to explain.. Not the definition of bulimia - this one I redirected to wikipedia, but the inner dark side. I am pretty sure he didn't understand it completely, but understood that there is some struggle.
Another guy I told (oh, guy again:)) - confessed to me that he sometimes could eat like 1 kilo of peanuts in one sitting and then not being able to even sit. (he is a fitness freak, exercises a lot, I warned him about how addictive it can be..).
I haven't told my father. I have told my friends. But I chose only those that would understand - the very first one (girl) was the one with weight issues in the past.. At that time we talked from 10pm until 6 am and I decided to go to therapy and to tell my mom.
All my boyfriends knew - even though it was hard to tell, they all wanted to help - and none of them actually could. Well, maybe my husband a little bit - but only when I ask him specifically what to do ("please keep lunch card (which I can buy cookies with ) from me until lunchtime").

So far all responses I got were either very supportive, or people just couldn't understand me.
Getting out in clear is really really liberating - no need to hide. I am able to tell my friends now without tears.. But I don't really feel the need to. Very very rarely...

Thats my two cents...:)

darthdawn's picture
Telling people is scary,

Telling people is scary, because there's no taking it back. Aside from one parent and my husband, I've told 2 girlfriends. One I'm glad I told, and the other I wish I hadn't. She doesn't mean to be insensitive, but often is due to not understanding....
For those friends who I want to share a bit with but not divulge the whole bulimia details, I say I'm in recovery from diets lol! No more dieting allowed for me. This helps explain away some of their confusion when they see me eating certain things that I used to always turn down at restaurants or parties. I tell them I have no banned foods now, everything in moderation, and that it helps me be saner around food. This is my way of opening up to the friends who used to comment on how "good" I was and how much control I had - how little they knew about my hidden reality!! I felt like such an impostor when they said those things. Now they are aware that I binged and restricted, and have my own struggles, but without knowing that I'm a bulimic. It's worked for me, and I don't feel like a sham with them. If anything, it had them open up with their own food issues. The danger is some will want to talk about their latest eating plan aka DIET, and I have to try and not get triggered by that into wanting to restrict. good luck with whatever approach you decide to take!

``It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good`` - Nina Simone

shining's picture
Thank you!! Jaded Lime, I

Thank you!!
Jaded Lime, I also thought about what would be after I recover, do I need everyone to know about this dark patch in my story..
Samoshka, not telling everything at once may be useful too, only sometimes I feel I will just confuse them, but anyway they already noticed I had strange eating habits.. and I already told one girl that I had issues with food. Also she must have noticed I get extremely emotional when it comes to criticizing someone for their eating or shape..
Darthdawn, I like the idea of "recovering from diets" haha :)
In the end, I think it is a lot more obvious on the outside than we realize. Only sometimes I have a feeling I am surrounded by blind people.

shining's picture
I mean thank you very much

I mean thank you very much for your responses they mean and help a lot. I really love the forum and blogs on this site, so much wisdom to discover

shining's picture
I figured that I want to tell

I figured that I want to tell most people, to justify or explain my weight gain.. I guess it's not the best idea then.

JoBlogs's picture
I've told everyone except my

I've told everyone except my mum. We have a very odd relationship. Its working out ok. People who are still in my life care. Ivenot regretted it once. Do what you feel comfortable with. Think about it but also trust your instincts xxx


sunny1985's picture
Hi- I don't think anyone can

Hi- I don't think anyone can properly advise as it depends on your friends. Nobody can tell how they will react. I told a friend and she never really spoke to me much after. They expressed their concern at the time and said "they were here for me" if I needed anything. In reality I think it's scary for them as well. They don't know what to do or say! To be honest when people give me food advice like "moderation" I want to explode!!!! It's difficult as it is a sensitive topic and nobody really understands the problem unless you have it.

I think you should start with someone you really trust, but don't predict how they will react, and don't be upset if it is not the way expected. I was resentful for a little while- but it showsu who are your real friends!

On the other hand I have told another friend and she is very supportive checking up on me etc. if you find it hard to get the words out write a letter x

As said above, I always wanted to tell people to explain my weight and a cry for help- but u have to get the strength from inside yourself.
I hope this is not too negative- just be prepared- we are all human after all!


Getting better bite by bite x x

ChangingSpiritBW's picture
I tell people who I think can

I tell people who I think can help me recover.
That has been a lot of people.
I don't tell others.
That has been a lot of people.
It has nothing to do with how much I love or care about people.
Or in fact,
Even if they care about me.
I need to care about me.

Bryan Wagner

JoBlogs's picture
At the time I had virtually

At the time I had virtually no choice because I was very obviously ill. We are all different & every relationship is different.
If some one says something about my weight I will tell them if it feels safe.
Remember, once a person knows you lose control of the information.
I also feel strongly about reducing the stigma of mental illness and reaching out to others & increasing education & awareness. These are huge motivators for me. Im not trying too preach, we all live our lives the best we can.
I don't tell my mum because she will use it to manipulate me & my choldre & I don't trust her.
Bryans attitude rocks
Good luck


LessThanZero's picture
I came out in a slightly

I came out in a slightly different way and wound up writing a massive article for a magazine that happens to be one of the biggest in my country.
So basically everyone that I knew personally knew and a whole lot of people that I didn't!
As frightening as it was it was incredibly liberating and felt good being able to explain things from my perspective and also realise just how many people suffer from mental illness/body issues/addictions etc.
The second I realised that was the day I decided to attach my real name to the article.
No regrets yet and it was over a year ago.
I say if you trust the people you want to tell then go for it. Just be sure that you feel strong enugh in yourself to brush off any ignorant comments or even say goodbye to them if it doesn't g well.
Know you have nothing to be ashamed of and then nothing can hurt you. xx

shining's picture
I haven't really had time to

I haven't really had time to post these days, just have been lurking around the site for inspiration, so now, thank you so much for your replies!! You are wonderful people.

I have been avoiding these friends (most of my friends) in my most fragile times, and as I am slightly more relaxed about recovery at the moment, I think I will wait a little more and just see how I'll feel about it. Also, before, with some people I told, I felt really awkward and acted really helpless, like a victim.. - maybe those were people I shouldn't really have told, or I should have done in a different way, anyway - I don't want that to happen again, so I guess I will wait till I'm stronger. I already have the support I need from the few people I've told.

On the other hand, as Jo mentioned, reducing the stigma and raising awareness of EDs is a strong reason I want to come out. I don't want to be hiding or have to be ashamed of it, and I don't want other people to do that either - but I am not so sure how to do this intelligently, so I think I will wait with this as well and the right time and place will come, I guess.

Thank you once again and have a wonderful May!

freakyblonde88's picture
While I was recovering I

While I was recovering I didn't tell anyone but my boyfriend and parents.. I didn't feel secure enough to talk about it with anyone else.
Nowadays, my closest friends do know, But it's also not something that is so hard for me to talk about anymore, it's a whole different chapter of my life. And well it's a battle that once won believe it or not gives a bunch of strength and understanding to us, it enables us(or has me at least) to help others in struggling situations. It's not that I share it with anyone/everyone. But It's not something I fight tooth a nail to hide either.

Towards the end of my recovery a few times the topic "came up among friends" and I would say "I USED to struggle with ED", as if it were over when it definitely wasn't. I wouldn't say that it's a huge benefit to tell everyone, it might add more pressure to yourself. WHy not share it once it's a victory and they can see how strong you are?

It is insanely hard for "normal ppl" to understand ED. My little sister has a friend who has an ED and She's desperately trying to grasp what it is we think when we're in the middle of it all, as it makes no sense to her.. So it all depends on the people.

But you're not lying, and don't feel forced. ;-)

Life is too short to not be happy

snowflake's picture
I've been considering coming

I've been considering coming out over Facebook. I've told quite a few people, and frankly, I'm sick of hiding it. For me, the E.D. is kept alive and given life in secret, so the more people who know, it's like I'm held accountable and it sort of gives me a push to recover. I would love a day and age where no one around me knows that I have struggled with it, but that's not reality right now.

Anyone else "come out" over Facebook? What has your experience been? I haven't decided whether or not to do it for sure.

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