Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Telling my gp - one year on

Part of why I write this blog is to make sure that no-one ever again feels like they are alone - no matter how old you are, and regardless of whether or not you are a responsible grown-up with a career and a family and everything going for you...
you are not alone

So in this spirit - and because this week marks one year since I first went to my gp for help I didn't think I needed - I'm going to share with you what that first gp visit looked like.

Firstly, just because I seem articulate here on my blog doesn't mean I always am in real life. Just because it seems like words come easily to me don't be fooled into thinking I just waltzed confidently into my gp's office and announced that I have an eating disorder and I need help.


Trust me. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I walked in, sat on one of the chairs opposite her. The one on the right to be precise. She is so lovely - she started with her usual opening words - usually spoken to me as the mother of sicky kiddies I parade at regular intervals through her office:

Dr C "What can I do for you today"

PJ "Um, my mothercraft nurse wanted me to come and talk to you about sensible eating and portion sizes"
(I can actually remember the exact words I said - I had spent so long deciding just what to say so it didn't sound too important)

Dr C "Have you had an eating disorder before?"

Holy heck - this woman doesn't mess around.
(I should add  here that she specialises in eating disorders -I'm sure a lot of gp's would take a lot more convincing than Dr C)

It was at this point I realised I was not only not making eye contact but I was actually looking completely over my right shoulder at the toy box behind me. And just to complete the scene my legs were tucked up on the chair and I was hugging them - I was as close to a ball as a human can get.

The rest of the appointment is a blur. Somewhere in there we discussed old habits and she somehow got me (too shocked to argue) to stand on the scales. Then she said she wanted to see me again the following week (it took me a month to go back again - and another six months to stop saying 'there's nothing wrong with me'). And just so you can see how truely naiive I was I honestly thought she would reach into her desk drawer and pull out a meal plan. She would hand me said meal plan. And I would go home and follow said meal plan. See, problem solved. Right?

That night I couldn't sleep.

My heart pounded so hard that I couldn't lie on my left side.

I heard myself say "I can't let her take it away from me" - this was the first time I became aware of the ED voice in my head.

So if you are worried about getting help and think that I have it all together and you don't - then please let me allay your fears. It is not easy. For anyone. No matter how articulate they may seem on their blog.

And if you, like me, need someone else to push you to go that first time, then contact me and I'll push you. But if you are brave enough to take yourself along and ask for help then you are amazing!!!

Who did you first tell? How did it go? I would love to hear your experiences. Feel free to share in the comments so we can all help support those just starting on their journey...


Snippet said...

I totally can imagine your first GP visit - it sounds a lot like mine (even though I'm a depressive & you have an ED). It is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life! But it is also one of the best things I have ever done in my entire life. All of you out there reading - I know it is so hard, but one thing I can assure you of - you will never regret it. *hugs*

Breteni said...

I did not bring myself to an appointment I got a referral to an eating disorder counselor for body dysmorphia after losing 194lbs. I thought my problem was easily fixed and turns out I am anorexic with purge type. Whatever that means. I still fight with myself to go to these appointments. It is hard for me to see an eating disorder when I see people thinner than me walking around or I actually see an immaceated anorexic. I then convince myself I do not have a problem, THEY do. That is where I am stuck.

PJ said...

@Breteni - I must say "there's nothing wrong with me" about 400 times a day! But it's not me saying that it's my ED trying to hang on to me. *I* know there is a problem, and there would be a problem even without weightloss.

Anonymous said...

I was sitting in the Drs office today (unrelated injury) with the perfect opportunity to spill all and I chickened out. I just couldn't say it out loud. So annoyed at myself.

Why didn't I read this post earlier? I will bookmark it for when I am feeling more confident.
xo Poppy

PJ said...

It's incredibly hard, I'll never tell you otherwise - but you know what a tough chicky you are. You can handle 'hard'!!!
And I'll go with you if you want me to.