I pride myself on being fiercely independent, and most of the time, that’s a good thing. Every book and every therapist out there will insist that recovery cannot take place without a support system–a network of caring friends and family to hold your hand. I don’t entirely buy that. I’ve battled this personal demon for so long; this is my demon alone, and I need to be the one to banish it. Bulimia is a lonely disorder. There’s a lot of lying, sneaking, and shame involved.
My husband is my best friend and true soulmate. Friends marvel at the relationship we have–it is easy and it is blissful, going on 13 years. But, my bulimia was something that was only mine, and I hid it and didn’t tell him about it for over a decade. Well, kind of. I mentioned it once in our earliest dating days, after a few too many cocktails, and then when it never came up again, I assumed he didn’t remember the conversation.
My new therapist was taken aback when I told her that my husband didn’t know of my struggles with bulimia. She silently judged me with her perfectly arched left eyebrow. I’d never felt badly about keeping this secret, until that day. Then I realized that it wasn’t something I just hadn’t mentioned, like not mentioning getting your bangs trimmed or something. It was something I actively was keeping from him.
And so, I told him. Or, rather, I wrote him an email. I work better with words when they’re neatly reigned in on the page. And he texted me immediately and just said, “I love you very, very much. And, I’m glad you told me.” (Also, he remembered that conversation from our dating days.) And, I cried happy tears about how perfect we are together.
And then, I started feeling dissatisfied with that response. You have NO questions???, I kept thinking. Do you not care at all about this??? It’s a big deal!
I realized that he DOES care, and it IS a big deal. But, it’s MY big deal. And, he is perfectly supportive anytime I need him, but he doesn’t, cannot, understand it. He won’t continually check up on me, and I certainly won’t reach out to him in the midst of a bingeing crisis. He’s my best friend, but that’s not his function in this relationship. This is my responsibility, and I’m owning that. Day 8, going strong.