Today I had plans to go to a store to pick up some pastries (not giving specifics to protect privacy). I was lazy and didn’t want to go. But my kids love their stuff so I got in the car and went.
I stood at the counter and placed my order with a beautiful young woman. Friendly. Helpful and full of energy.
She leaned over the counter and whispered to me: I saw your video and it really spoke to me.
I was shocked. I was speechless. I was touched.
She asked if she could hug me.
She came around the counter and hugged me as if we had been friends forever. She was shaking and I could hear her sniffling.
As I stood there with this complete stranger holding on to me so tightly I was honoured and angry.
Honoured that she trusted me to open up and tell me her most private secrets. And angry that yet another person is struggling and the health care system is failing. Again. This is not right. This is not fair.
She wants help. She wants to get better but doesn’t know where to go and who to talk to.
My video resonated with her. She’s 20. I’m 44. We likely would’ve never crossed paths in our lives. But we have so much in common and a bond that is hard to explain.
We exchanged information. She said she was sent the video from a coworker that recognized me and this young woman was just waiting for me to come in so she could talk to me.
Incredible. Amazing. Terrific. Fantastic.
Having an Eating Disorder is lonely. Isolating. Embarrassing. Shameful and secretive. But today I was able to make my new friend feel less alone and to know that her thoughts and actions are not unrealistic. They are not pessimistic. They are not out of the ordinary. They are exactly what goes on when the beast of ED takes over.
She wants to get better. As so many people want to.
I said to her something I once heard that sums it up perfectly.
We want it gone. But we don’t want to let it go.
I’m not a doctor, therapist or medical professional. But what I can offer to her and others is my experience and the comfort in knowing they are not alone.
The more people talk about it, the more they feel less alone.
So to my very special new friend EB, fate certainly brought us together today. And although you were happy to meet me today, I was elated that I decided to come to your store today.
I still struggle with the demons every day. But today we both gave each other exactly what we needed.
Support and friendship.