For two harrowing weeks, my team exhausted their appeals trying to convince my insurance company that I was too sick to remain in day treatment. Not only did they refuse residential, but they also decided that I no longer qualified for PHP treatment:
One reason why eating disorders are so difficult to treat is because, in addition to addressing symptoms, you must first convince the patient that he or she is actually sick.
She might deny that she has any problem whatsoever with her eating habits and other behaviors. Or, even if she admits to struggling, she might insist that she is nowhere near as sick (i.e., as thin) as other patients.
The person sitting next to you in class or in the cubicle across from you might be suffering from a severe eating disorder. How do I know? Because that person suffering was me.
The expression, “I had no idea,” was a consistent theme in the story of my eating disorder. “I had no idea, McCall,” the phrase I heard on repeat when I finally emerged from the eating disorder closet.
Dealing with an eating disorder is a daunting, disheartening and isolating experience for anyone. It is an especially difficult struggle for those who identify as transgender or claim a gender identity that falls under the larger trans umbrella of gender diversity.
Six years ago my sister stopped eating. It started after she began experimenting with dieting and seeing some results. First it was just cutting out all junk food, and then the portions of her food kept getting smaller and smaller until she was barely consuming anything in a day. And where was I? In the middle of the chaos that was going on in my home, feeling a mixture of a bunch of emotions that I wasn’t very proud of, and felt unable to express. You can almost think of it as getting a new member of the family.
When I was first approached by NEDIC with the opportunity to submit a blog post several emotions overcame me. The most overbearing emotion was guilt. Although I felt minimal feelings of honour, accomplishment, and a sense of pride, just because my recovery has not been picturesque, that same voice who fed my ED for years was still screaming at endless decibels that I was not good enough. I was a false example of life in recovery. My lost count of slips since leaving residential treatment were by no means something I should have any pride in.
It can happen to anyone. When you think of someone suffering from an eating disorder you picture a young female or a famous celebrity that you have seen in a magazine. You never think of a male. But I am here to say it does happen to men and I’m using my time now to write about it and explain what happens.
If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked what my 'background' is, I'd be rich.
Growing up as a racially ambiguous person with a white mother and a black father, I more
often than not got looks of confusion or even asked if they’re my real parents. During my
teenage years it was especially difficult figuring out my own self-identity as a mixed person
who ‘didn’t look mixed’ as well as accepting the changes happening to my body.
Whenever I felt sad, whether it was a bully at school, a fight with my sister or feeling unloved because I was a middle child – Mom would always make things better. My mother taught me patience and how to be the bigger person.