Before I got sober at the age of 40 and overcame my 30+ year battle with anorexia at the age of 46, I literally dreaded the idea of going to the doctor.
I'd make the appointment and immediately begin the negative build-up in my head. I'd worry endlessly about what the nurse and/or doctor would think after I stepped on the scale. I'd lament about what their reaction would be after reviewing the paperwork spelling out my drinking habits. Or shall I say the fabricated version.
It would go something like this...
"Do you drink?" I'd answer "Yes" because I figure most people do.
"About how many drinks to you consume in a week?" Uh, no way was I answering that one honestly because honestly, I didn't know the answer.
"Do you drink every day?" Hmmm, well, I suppose I could answer this one honestly but I know what's coming next, and it's a trick.
"If yes, how many drinks do you consume a day?" See, here it is ... I know they'll do the math. I'm not dumb.
Bottom line is this; I'd lie through the whole thing. Never once did I consider the reasons why a doctor has a patient answer these questions. I only thought about how I would look on paper, how I'd be judged and whether I'd be assessed as "good" or "bad."
Recently I sat in a doctor's waiting room filling out paperwork as I was a new patient. I told the truth. I answered every question honestly and thoroughly. I truly WANTED this doctor to know everything, every single detail of my medical history.
Amazing what happens by taking my life to the brink of living. I developed a major league appreciation for what an incredible machine my body is and how hard it worked to keep me alive. I refuse to disrespect it any more.
As it turns out I have a herniated disk in my back. The doctor advised what I needed to do in order to heal properly and, believe it or not, I'm going to do as I'm told. I even went so far as to tell other people what the doctor recommended in order to keep myself accountable.
So now I'm home resting and actually feeling better. I feel better because I was honest. And in the end, its fact, not fiction, that will continue to keep me healthy and alive.
(For more of my insights about mid-life recovery, go to www.alisonsmela.wordpress.com)
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