Peace is better than chocolate

The thing that is killing me quickest

In the past 17 years since I got my sugar addiction and eating disorders under control I realized that a lot of people come to recovery wanting to change everything about their lives now. Right now! And I heard people with a lot of time in recovery say “for now, just quit the one thing that is killing you quickest.”

And that was amazing advice. I smoked for the first 6 or 7 years of having my eating under control. Because eating compulsively was definitely killing me quickest. (Physically? Who knows. But personally, emotionally, mentally and spiritually? Absolutely.)

I could only quit cigarettes because I had already gotten my eating taken care of to the point that I wasn’t afraid of the food anymore.

Well, this week I went to a doc-in-a-box because I was running out of the rescue inhaler I have been using for the last three months. And the very nice doctor (or nurse practitioner? Whatever) said that using a rescue inhaler every day is an issue. So she prescribed me a maintenance inhaler. And she told me that I need to get a primary doctor. That whatever I have is not something that she can diagnose. And that it is a big deal.

So apparently the thing that is killing me quickest currently is my fear of doctors.

I have trauma around doctors and medical professionals. You know that thing that Maya Angelou said? “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The culture of doctors and healthcare providers has always made me feel shamed, unworthy, and unwelcome. And while I was stressing over whether or not a doctor would refill my rescue inhaler prescription, I realized that I am afraid that I have to “deserve” healthcare. By being a good girl. By taking care of myself perfectly. By being worthy of a doctor’s time and attention.

Because when I was fat, I was always made to feel that I *didn’t* deserve to be taken care of. Because if I really cared about myself I would not have been fat. And if I didn’t care enough to stop eating, I didn’t deserve care from others. This is the way it is for a lot of fat people. And many of them have not had the privilege I have of being relatively healthy. I have not needed a doctor in the past 25 years. But I am 45 now. And apparently have some sort of lung issues. And I have to take some actions to find a doctor to be *my* doctor.

Just the thought makes me very emotional. And very afraid. But I am not a fool. And I do know that this is the thing that is killing me quickest. So just like any other thing I know is not serving my needs, I will change it. Slowly I don’t doubt. And imperfectly I am sure. But I will change it. One day at a time. One step at a time.


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One thought on “The thing that is killing me quickest

  1. Leslie on said:

    Unfortunately, doctors are never direct. So it is up to us to read between the lines, and yes, there is something serious going on with your lungs. Reach out to a primary care physician and request a CT of your lungs immediately. If you are put on a waiting list to get in, move on to the next doctor who can get you in right away.

    This is who I see you to be. The most courageous person who has taken control of of her life because she cares for it. Has taken control of her health because she cares about it and cares for the health of others. No, this doesn’t have to be “your” doctor. Our doctors change as we change. But finding one immediately and catching something while in the early stages can be more important than “clicking” with a doctor. You have spent so much time and energy, and now nearly decades, striving for better health and a better way of life. Just as with smoking, you will need to be proactive with your lung health now that we are approaching the age where disease is sneakier than we think. Learning and acting on your previous additions may have only been stepping stones to what life has in store for you. Those may have merely just been lessons. We can not be lackadaisical with our liver, heart, or lungs. We must be proactive and seek out better health for our vital organs. I see you as someone who seeks out a better life and has in many ways achieved it. Don’t stop, keep moving forward.

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