How to tell people?

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LaraElise
LaraElise's picture
How to tell people?

I read the tips on talking to people about bulimia, but I still feel very lost.

For one, I have had serious (and obvious) EDs for years. My parents decided that my ridiculously frail period was a "phase" and pretty much ignored it. After years of hearing either, "have you been eating? You look skinny," or, "have you been working out? You look like you've gained weight," I seriously became a ED superhero - hiding my identity from everyone around me, and doing it incredibly successfully.

As far as my parents go, I will not be telling them anytime soon. They have never been very supportive, and the last thing I need is someone thinking they are helping me by commenting on my weight gain/loss and asking me about what I'm eating every day.

What I am wondering about is telling my new boyfriend.

He and I have been dating for a few months, and he is awesome, but from comments he has made to me, I don't think he really understands EDs (for example, when I say things like, "oh I'm really self-conscious about my body" he replies with, "WHAT? Why? You are hot. You should feel good." Very nice and all, but I feel like he's missing the point).

Like a lot of bulimics, I have prided myself for years on being "perfect", seeing to everyone else's needs over my own, and never ever ever being a burden on anyone. For the first time in my life, this guy has said to me, "what do you want to do today?" and when I say, "oh whatever you want" he says, "NO. What do YOU want to do?" It's amazing, and part of me feels like this may be the time to tell him about my issues (particularly since I am starting the scheduled eating, and it is going to be pretty hard to hide what I'm doing since we spend a lot of meal times together).

So, does anyone have any advice for 1) how to get over the fear of telling someone (I honestly dread that he will say, "UGH! You're a crazy person and I don't want to have anything to do with you!" and then I will spiral out of control again... unlikely, but my brain loves to force these thoughts on me)? and 2) HOW, verbally, to tell someone?

We haven't been together that long, and I'm very worried of scaring him away, but I also feel like a step towards recovery is owning up to this to someone who is special to me (NOT my parents).

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated, since I start my structured eating this week, and I doubt I can make excuses for it for too long... he is a pretty smart guy!

Lara

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
Hi Lara! Yes, in fact a few

Hi Lara!

Yes, in fact a few months ago I wrote two guides to help people to do this. After having my own struggles when talking about bulimia with loved ones, getting frustrated by their responses and reactions and hearing a whole lot of different stories from people who had both good and bad experiences, I thought it would be great if we could collate the main points and put them into two downloadable guides.

You can download them from this page: http://www.bulimiahelp.org/articles/telling-someone-bulimia

I really hope you will find them helpful!
Catherine x

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