National Eating Disorders Association

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Trying to self advocate

I need to go to part-time at work, for next semester's Student Teaching. January 2 will be my first day. I'm really struggling with telling my manager this. He is very type A and workaholic and married to the job and etc. I know he expects everyone to be.
Also, I came here only in August as a full time assistant manager, and I didn't tell him about this though I know about it. Because I really needed to get out of my previous job due to sexual harassment.
I was planning on telling him Tuesday, but ended up in the ER with my husband instead of going to work.
On Thursday the words were almost out of my mouth, but then another employee came by and started a store wide argument based on Fox News that I felt strongly about.
I work in retail, so no chances on Friday and Saturday.
I got to work early on Sunday to tell him, but someone else got there early as well and they were fighting. Then I planned to tell him just before the end of the shift but he left without my noticing while I was with a customer.

I'm so nervous, and this waiting is causing me so much stress!
I'm also so scared of retaliation, I'm really bad at asking for things I need because I don't want to be a burden or cause someone else extra work. We are already understaffed as it is, he is going to freak, All of my coworkers are saying that.

This is really affecting my entire well-being. Life keeps getting in the way and I'm scared. I don't know a good way of doing this and I am quickly running out of time...

Elephant_Heart: Have you had

Elephant_Heart: Have you had a chance to inform your manager of your student teaching plans? There really is no perfect way to do it. Maybe it can help if you take a long view. You're working toward a career as a teacher and your type "A" manager is a bump in the road you must maneuver around in order to achieve your goal. Maybe that perspective can help you better manage the stress and do what needs to be done. Good luck.


Hey Elephant_heart! I'm sorry you're in such a tough spot - it's never easy to initiate conversations like these. I'm much the same way - I hate feeling like a "burden" to others or upsetting them. For me, and maybe for you too, I think it may even be tied to eating disorders and self-esteem...thinking that we're not deserving of sacrifice from others, or of inconveniencing them. But that is absolutely not true, you are important and so are your goals for the future!

Something that may help is to remind yourself that you're just as worthy as anyone else in this world. Think about the other employees - they seem like they don't have a problem arguing or fighting with your manager, or asking for things...and I don't mean to say that's a good thing, of course not. But you could use them as encouragement, steal a bit of that attitude to remind yourself that what you have to say is important too! Putting it off longer will only make it harder for your manager, and more importantly, will stress you out even more, which is never good in recovery. If all else fails, could you send your manager a detailed email about the situation so that you have time to explain better? You're strong and brave and I know you can do this :)

Thank you for reaffirming

Thank you for reaffirming that for me, I am just as valuable as anyone else there!

My coworker/friend actually has a similar situation coming in February, and she suggested we could tell him together. But I ended up doing it on Tuesday, right before I left, and yesterday was my day off. She kept encouraging me and giving me conversation starter leads into it. She didn't actually tell him, she's not as worried about the timing. She has worked their for longer and told me that my manager would take it "as good as /he/ does," which is not super comforting??

Anyway, he was arguing with another employee about dress code (who had barged into our small talk conversation) before he went home. I stayed and observed, then told my manager it's my turn! And he just said ok. He said he had a feeling, but didn't expect it so quickly.

Even if he had been upset, I think I would have been ok perhaps. I mean, it feels soooo much more freeing to have this off my chest now. And I wasn't at home stressing about it all day yesterday!
I like when I can achieve a goal like this! It makes me feel much stronger. Like maybe I AM deserving of space in this world, maybe I am deserving of others' time and attention just as much as they are of mine. I can be loved. I can care for myself and give myself proper nutrition, it's ok!


I'm so proud of you! I'm happy that it went so well, but I'm even happier that you feel like you'd have been able to handle it even if it didn't. It's always important to celebrate these little victories, because like you said, they show you how strong you really are :) Your positive attitude will get you far <3

Thank you for your kind words

Thank you for your kind words!
I feel it was really my friend's support that helped me feel like I was worthy of standing up for myself. Last week I felt so unsupported by everyone in my life, and I'm glad I have this new trusted friend!
Her and I have been sharing about our personal enrichment journeys and it's very refreshing.
Interesting too, we keep eating the same meals. Unintentionally. I came to work and told her about my meal last night and she had had the same thing. I ate breakfast this morning, a challenge for me, and was talking about it and the same thing. Kinda weird.

Well I am so glad she helped

Well I am so glad she helped you come to that realization, because you're absolutely right and I hope you continue to recognize that you're just as deserving as anyone else. That's awesome you two have built a new friendship, it's always great to have that support system! And I'm also proud of you for challenging yourself and eating breakfast even though it's tough - I know this was a week ago, have you been able to maintain that since? :)

Not really. I went too hard

Not really. I went too hard toward people. I guess to the extreme measure of "standing up for myself." I'm not letting anyone get away with anything to the point where I have walls again. Isolation. Behaviors have crept back after some amount of months. I'm staring at breakfast right now. I can't do it.
I posted a better update in "Working Toward Recovery: Behaviors are Back with a Vengeance" if you'd like to read and offer in help. I'm drowning.