Saturday, 8 June 2013

'But aren't you worried that people will KNOW?'

Many people have asked me similar questions: 'how can you openly speak about your ED?' or 'aren't you scared that people will know about you having ED and judge you'.' Others ask, 'what if people do not give you a job because of your history with ED?'. So, I will start answering them!

1) I can speak openly about ED because I am not ashamed of it. I no longer am sick and am working my way through a solid recovery. I speak about it because so many others are scared to do so. EDs, like other mental illnesses, have so much stigma attached to them. And this should not be the case. Any illness is not someone's fault. It bothers me when people are scared to speak about mental illnesses because this reflects all the sterotypical stigma associated with them. I am frustrated with the lack of understanding and empathy that people have towards illnesses. Moreover, many people do not know about ED. They know that anorexia is, for example, but they do not know how serious/harmful/painful it is. I want to help raise awareness. I want the world to know that ED is a real, serious illness. Along with this, I want to give people hope that recovery is possible. That ED is not the end of your life. By speaking about it openly, I hope to give people strength and courage to continue their fight, or to help others fight.

2) If people judge me because of my history with ED, then they have the problem, not me. Like I said, ED is a mental illness. I am recovering, and that is all that counts. Any person is vulnerable to becoming ill, just like I was. If someone were to judge me for my illness, they are not worth my time. It also means that they are simply too immature to understand that any disease is a serious matter, and the patient should never be blamed. My history with ED does not make me weak; it makes me stronger. It shows the world that I have endured my battles and have come out as a winner. People who judge me because of my history with ED do not understand that my journey has made me a stronger and wiser person. Moreover, people are never happy with us. They will never truly be pleased - some people will ALWAYS find something wrong with you, regardless of what it is. My place on earth is not to please others, but to glorify God in what I do. I believe that my journey with ED has helped me help others, raise awareness, and thank God for His mercy with me.

3) This relates to the first two, but I will elaborate anyways. Yes, I am a nursing student, soon to be a nurse. And YES, I had an eating disorder. So what? I became sick, just like anyone else could have. I am no longer symptomatic, and I am healthy. I am also a stronger person. My experiences with ED made me realize how much help people need, especially patients who are ill. This has taught me that patients need empathy, good care, and hope. That is what a good nurse does. I can now empathize with patients more, and I understand the value of good, compassioante nursing care. I am healthy and able to work, just like any other nurse. My history with ED actually gives me an advanatge because I now understand what kind of care patients need. I also have a beter understanding of how serious mental health issues are, and I can now help patients with this. I am a better nurse, person, and student because of my experiences with ED.

So, while people make look at my history with ED as a weakness, I view it as a strength. People who judge others because of their history, illnesses, or weaknesses do this wrongly and injustly. It is time we look past these supericial things and realize that we are stronger because of our experieces and illnesses.

'My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness' (2 Coritnhians 12:9).


  1. It is against the law to discriminate against any body based on ethinicty,etc and their mdeical condtions etc.


    1. It is indeed. Yet, sadly, people still do.

  2. I am impressed with you feeling very proud of your recovery that you choose and implement for your self and by yourself.
    You are saying to many of those who are ill with any disease ,hey wake up there is hope for recovery.


    Leah MacDogal

    1. Thank you, Leah! I am encouarged by all those supporters on this blog!

  3. I was ill and recovered and only few people in my family knew as well my few doctors.
    I am not as brave as you.
    Your bravey to confront this disease and to recover and speak about it openly deserve a big honour.

    S. K.

    1. At first, many people did not know. But when it got so bad that I was in the ICU, people knew then. At first, i was a bit ashamed and afraid to let people know. But then I realized that perhaps my experience could help others. This is not fo everyone though. You do ot need to share your personal story with everyone - recovering is a great job alone!

  4. There is no doubt that you are very strong,determind,resiliant and courageous.
    If you were able to stand all those difficult moments you spoke about in this blog,you must be very strong person.
    Talking about it publicly show your courage,strength and altruism and need to share your experience to benift others.
    if you were selfish ,you will not share or volunteer to talk and tell every body your real life experience .
    I am a wittness for you on this blog that I am aware of many many friends got motivated just by reading your story.They felt hope and so changed their attitude towards doctors and now they are in recovery.
    Keep up Marina

    Political science student.
    By the way ,next year my last year as undergrad

    1. Hi Jack, thank you for your amazing comments. You are so kind, and smart. I thank God for being with me and giving me the strength to do this, as it is no easy job. Congrats on being in your last year soon - wow!

  5. Just a question.
    Could be being a nurse and well aware of mental health and being skillful on how to normalize feelings and emotions and not to label ,judge the person and you only target the disease saying " ED is decptive but the victim is kind and suffering" or something like that.
    I thank you so much for your fight against mental illness and not to have people give up and to eliminate the stigma and help others not to judge the person and not the blame the victim but to target the disease.
    I was suffering years from post partum depression after my delivery when I was 16.
    Now I am fine


    1. Hi Jenn, I agree with your comment - perhaos being a nurse, as well as a patient, has made me to realize how much this topic needs attention. On this note, it is equally important for all of us (those who are not medical workers) to realize that patients and all those who suffer in any way deserve support and respect, as well as dignity.
      Thank you for your support. I am sorry your suffered with PDD, it is really difficult. But look at you now! Thank God you are well!

  6. Yes all your blog is excellent ,well written and sending clear message but this is the most that touched me bottom heart and shaked my bones to the core.
    If We all knew how serious was the disease and how much did you struggle and then We know how you taking on responsibility to recover and at same time continue nursing shcool and writing your blog,sharing experience and helping and motivating others
    Then We know how strong and committed you are .
    Of course this show strengh and what a strength!!
    I take my hat off for you.


    1. Hi Soliman, thank you! I am honoured that this post touched your heart- thank God. It truly is not me who speaks when i write, but God who gets His messages across through these words. Thank you for showing so much support, it helps me so much through my recovery and shows me that the world is full of wonderful people like yourself!

  7. I see more positives and nothing negative when you speak up about a disease that can hit any body at any time.


  8. I am 76 now and I was running very successful business for 40 years .I hired many and fired very few.
    The only thing that is matter is criminal record ,skills ,attitude and behaviours.
    No one ever ask about medical record or any personal questions what so ever.

    Sam Ibrahim

  9. Your enthuthism to help others is appreciated.
    I think talking about your experience and raisng the awareness is altruism and worth a great credit.
    Very few negative people may see it as something you better hide .
    I believe the something that you and all ED victim hid was the ED .
    Now it is time to say to every body outloud,I am here ,alive and well.
    I won the battle against a huge monster and all Ed victims are eligible and have the right to fight and win as I did


  10. Talking about one's life experience is bravery and altruism and nothing to be ashamed but rather proud off.

    You have done the best you can not only for your self but also for others.
    Your blog is your witness

    with my humble respect


  11. Your blog setting an example to all of us to share our life experience to help others learn and take care of themselves.
    This is a heroic action that needs to be rewarded


  12. You are honest and brave .
    The shame is to hide and cheat
    The pride and strength and honur are in honesty ,clarity ,maturity and altruism and you have all of them


  13. I give you thumb up for your altruism.
    Who dares to say any thing negative .
    Many of your readers I know have all the respect to you..


  14. You may recall I was alcoholic and depressed and lost my wife and job and all my assets but after my rehab and recovery ,I am employed and have wife and chidren and very happy again.When i applied for jobs ,never any one asked me any personal question or wanted to know any of my past.
    Marina your blog stands for you as a winner and successful person that could defeat the serious monster.
    Your story is an honour ,one should feel proud off.


  15. My dad has been a manager of franchise industry and has hired and fired many employi.
    Never ever he think about any personal reason or medical conditions or similar issues as this is protected by the law.
    All what the employers want to see is honesty and attitude


  16. As you know I am Mac med student.
    During our admission interview ,never any one of us asked any personal question even those who were obviously pregnant ,no one ever asked them due date or their future plans ,where to stay after baby born or any personal ,medical or social questions what so ever.
    Also we have a clinic that We seek medical advise through it and it is completely confidential
    Your blog is one of your strength Marina and a sign of your victory over a malicious illness.
    Be proud of it

    Medical student

  17. I am working for big auto industry and my job is assembler. Last year I has a very bitter separation and I was under severe stress and my boss noted and gave me number of EAP program (employee assistance program. This program is very very confidential and I find it very helpful and supportive and helped me to recover from my stress and none of my supervisors ,employee ,boss or managers will know any thing about my personal life.
    We all in life equal and any thing can happen to us but We are as human able to recover and move on.
    I am very proud of Marina and I see her as role model.
    This blog is a testimony for your strength and victory and shows other how to handle difficulties' in real life.



Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.