The day came when the darkness of my veil would begin to lighten, when the act of talking to a stranger would open my soul to a state of raw vulnerability and truth.
I was scared.
I knew this conversation would force me to reveal pieces of myself that I both knowingly and unknowingly kept hidden. I was scared of my truth.
My dear friend Dean asked his brother, Todd Ritchey, to speak with me as a means to me taking my first step towards healing. Todd is an addiction intervention specialist, and although we’d never met, at the request of his brother, Todd made time in his schedule to have an ’emergency’ phone meeting.
It was now or never
I remember pacing the hallway as the phone rang, each step matching fast paced rhythm of my fear driven heart beat. I felt my chest tighten. I was panicking. I knew how this would work. I knew he would ask me questions that I wouldn’t want to answer. I knew that this would make it real.
My face stained with tears, my heart raw like a fresh road rash, the stranger on the other end of the line altered the trajectory of my journey. Todd guided me through a conversation, leaving my soul exposed to the elements. I was forced to be real. To show emotion. To admit the truth.
I admitted that I felt embarrassed and shameful for my actions.
Shame because I knew that what I was doing was harmful. Shame that binging and purging made me feel good. Shame because I am an educator and therefore should be a role model. Shame because I was living a lie acting against the core of what I believe and value.
I admitted I was scared of what people would think, that I would disappoint.
3 hours later our conversation came to an end, I was raw, I felt broken, but I also felt free. For the first time in months I felt my lungs fill, unobstructed.
This same day I had a lunch with one my of my best friends, and I made the decision to tell her what I was going through. She reacted not with judgement, but with support and love. She may not realize how much this meant to me, knowing that a friend, whose opinion I hold so close, was so open and accepting. I wasn’t surprised.
This step, although didn’t result an immediate termination of my habit, was the first step toward my freedom.
The cycle had been broken as my secret had been revealed.