This is a secret. One I have kept from my dad for some time.
My mom knows about it but she has promised me that she
wouldn’t share it with him. Look, I love my father but I just
don’t think he would understand.
He wouldn’t see what a struggle it has been for me. How I
have tried to overcome this…this feeling, this overwhelming
guilt and emotional pain that torments me daily.
My secret? I have an eating disorder.
I have tried desperately to hide it from friends. The excuses.
The lies. The devastating fear they might find out. I try to
keep it locked up inside me. Battle with it by myself.
But it’s so unbelievably difficult.
I feel so alone, so anxious. And then I look at the calendar
and see that Father’s Day is just around the corner. I haven’t
even gotten him a gift. And all of a sudden, it’s anxiety on
top of more anxiety.
If…if only I could find a way to get hold of myself. To rid
my mind and my body of this crippling psychological illness.
Oh, I would be free of all the pain. I could face a meal with
a sense of anticipation and enjoyment, instead of fear and
And then my cell phone lights up. It’s my mom. I answer.
She can hear the anxiety and distress in my voice. The first
thing she says is, “What can I do to help?” I tell her what
I’ve been thinking, the secret I’ve been hiding from dad for
so long. And the fact that I haven’t even gotten him a gift
for Father’s Day and…mom says, “I have an idea.”
“What’s that,” I ask. “What do you think would be the
greatest gift you could give dad?” “I…I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you get help, Laura? Get rid of this loathing,
this debilitating illness you’ve faced for so long.”
Then there was the longest moment of silence I’ve
ever experienced. And before I had a chance to think
about what I was going to say, I said, “Yes.”
I could hear my mom’s excitement on the other end
of the line. She was so happy, and honestly, so was I.
I knew I had a lot of explaining to do to my dad, but I
also knew that this was the first step to becoming the
person I was meant to be.