National Eating Disorders Association

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Tired_of_Losing
Telling Your Boss

Hi everyone! Briefly here is where I am at: I am strongly considering inpatient treatment and have been at my current job less than a year. I am a day camp director and live on site. We are about to enter our slowest season which would make it ideal in terms of taking time off. However, I'm terrified. I'm terrified of talking to my boss and telling her about my darkest and longest kept secret. (Currently I'm not underweight but severely bulimic). I wouldn't be able to afford treatment unless I will be able to keep my health insurance through my job. I don't want to quit, I don't want to have to move all of my things out of my housing, I want their support but also don't want them to know. Here's my question, what experience do any of you have with telling an employer/ having to take time off work for recovery? How was it received, did you have your job when you returned, how long were you gone? Thanks in advance for any responses.

iwanttolive
Tired_of_Losing

Good morning. I am glad you posted here. I am proud of you for making a decision to get help for your bulimia. I understand the fear about letting your boss know. I had to leave my job several times for inpatient and outpatient treatment. My job is a home health aide. So they had to find people to take my clients. I had then to take six weeks off recently because my blood pressure was extremely low. I say all this to say that my company, my "boss" were very kind and never threatened me with losing my job. I was always worried each time that they wouldn't take me back, but they have. They know about my medical issues and I think they know of my eating disorder. They are happy to see the progress and continue to employ me, giving me jobs that my body can handle and caring a lot.

So, if that helps, I hope it does. I don't receive medical insurance through them. If and when you talk with your boss you don't necessarily have to tell him of your bulimia, but for medical reasons you need to take a leave of absence. I don't know about the fact that you have not been there a year yet.

I feel for you as your struggle has been long and difficult and painful. Do you have a therapist, a close friend or family that you can get support from. You said this is your secret. It is very difficult to recover on your own. I am glad you are here asking for direction. If you aren't getting any help I would recommend it. I think that since it is a slow time your boss very well may allow sick leave. I am blessed to have a company and head that cares a lot for me. So I hope to hear back and see how things go for you.

I again am sorry for your pain and darkness. iwanttolive

iwanttolive
Tired_of_Losing

Hi. Just checking in to see how you are doing. Hope you are having a nice day. iwanttolive

klanza
Tired_of_Losing

Hi Tired_of_Losing, I'm not 100% sure, but I know there's something called the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 that allows people to take protected, unpaid time off from their jobs for medical treatments, but I'm not sure if it would cover eating disorders. I think the best thing to do would be to ask the NEDA Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-Th 9a-9p ET, F 9a-5p ET) or use the Click-to-Chat option at https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline. They have a lot of information and resources that would be able to help you find the answers you're looking for.