Why Am I Still Embarrassed About My Eating Disorder?

March 29, 2023 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

I tend to be much more transparent and vulnerable online than I am in daily face-to-face interactions. When someone I know in real life inquires about my fitness or nutrition habits (because, to the surprise of no one, this is a body-conscious culture), I notice my cheeks start to flush, and I choose the vaguest answer possible. That reaction strikes me as curious, though. Why am I still embarrassed about my eating disorder after all these years? 

Unpacking the Embarrassment I Feel About My Eating Disorder

When I first embarked on this healing journey in 2010, the stigma of mental illness felt inescapable and suffocating. It wasn't trendy—or even normalized—to join social media conversations about anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. I was the only person I knew at the time who had been to a therapy session or was familiar with the inside of a psychiatric institution.

Some of my friends knew I suffered from anorexia, but we could never quite summon the words to talk it out with each other. I interpreted this silence as shame. I internalized the belief that disclosing my pain would make others uncomfortable. I felt so different from all of my peers, and I began to isolate myself as a result. Back then, I had no clue how common eating disorders actually are because I was too scared even to broach the subject. I was definitely embarrassed about my eating disorder.

Fortunately, mainstream culture has since taken many positive strides to combat the stigma. I feel secure unpacking the nuances of anorexia on this website and other virtual platforms. So, why am I still embarrassed about my eating disorder when I switch over from online communications to real-world connections? Why am I so reluctant to divulge this part of me with those I encounter in daily life? What is the residual fear? Can I be vulnerable without crossing my own boundaries, exposing too much, or cowering in shame? Why does that balance continue to elude me?

I No Longer Want to Feel Embarrassed About My Eating Disorder

Do you wrestle with feeling embarrassed about your own eating disorder or some other mental health issue? Is it a result of internalized stigma, fear, trauma, or shame that continues to linger unresolved? How are you learning to combat this embarrassment in your healing process? If you feel comfortable, please share in the comments below. 

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2023, March 29). Why Am I Still Embarrassed About My Eating Disorder?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Connect with Mary-Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram and her personal blog.

Leave a reply