When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ―Barbara Bloom
Well, the Japanese menders may feel this way, but I sure had a hard time believing it at the ophthalmologist last week.
It was my first visit, so I was inundated with forms to fill out. It was all pretty standard stuff—name, address, insurance, sign here, don’t sue us—until I got to the end of the Health History section. I had breezed through the bulk of it, gratefully checking “no” for everything from asthma to warts. But there it was, at the bottom of the page “Please list any other illnesses or conditions (past or present) in your health history.”
Anorexia is an illness. It’s a very serious condition. And very much a part of my health history. But I froze. I could not bring myself to write it down in black and white. So I left it blank and justified it by telling myself that anorexia has nothing to do with needing a new contact prescription anyway.
Actually I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s really not the issue here. The real problem was that the perfectionist in me did not want to look like a broken object. And she spoke so loudly and so forcefully that I believed the lie. I believed that I would be valued less if people knew who I really was, what I had really done.
It’s not true. I know it’s not true. In fact, in my own life I find that the exact opposite is true—those I know best, I love most…warts and all!
So today, when my dentist asked if I had any concerns about my teeth, I took a deep breath and said, “Yes… I… uh… I was anorexic and I am concerned about how that has affected my teeth.”
It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t smooth. But it was a step in the right direction.
Baby steps…baby steps…