National Eating Disorders Association

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Triggering Nurse

Today I went into the doctor for inprder to get a referral to speak with a nutritionist. I'm hoping to get a better handle on my recovery by setting up a more solid plan so I don't feel like I'm constantly getting stuck in ruts. As usual, they checked my weight and blood pressure upon entry. I told the nurse I can't and don't want to know my weight and turned around on the scale. I just know that no matter what it is, it will cause me more anxiety and stress than I want to deal with and will definitely make me want to use behaviors. She was okay with that, but when I got off the scale, she asked,"Are you trying to gain or lose weight?" Seriously? What part of "I don't want to know" did she not understand? I know she didn't mention a specific number, but talking to me about it AT ALL after I had specifically told her that seemed very inappropriate to me. I just told her I didn't want to talk about it. Truth is, I don't want to even think about it. Hearing her ask that sent off a huge explosion of thoughts, stress, and anxiety that is still with me (my appointment was about 8 hours ago). I don't even know what I want anymore. Honestly, I just want to disappear. I hate myself and I hate my body. I just want it all to be over. I'm so sick of dealing with this and feeling so terrible all the time. The fact that she even asked that...made it really hard for me to stick with the general schedule I've been maintaining without restricting or self-harming. I feel like the fact that she had to ask...means I could lose...and even though I'm in recovery made me want to go back all over again...sorry for the long post. I just don't know what to do. I feel absolutely awful about myself, and now it's even harder than ever to stick with recovery. I just don't feel like it's worth it for me...
Hope you all are doing well. Sorry again for being so long-winded and down. Hope you are all better than me.
Stay strong recovery warriors <3

That sounds like really good stuff for therapy

I think there's much to be explored there and you could only benefit from exploring these thoughts to try and understand these things which "Trigger" you.

re: Triggering Nurse

I’m so sorry this happened to you!! I’ve had similar experiences at doctor’s offices—it always baffles me when medical professionals say such careless things. Of all people I usually expect them to have a little more insight and caution with their words. But please don’t let this have such a huge impact on your recovery! I totally understand that explosion of stress and anxiety and how difficult it must be to push it out of your mind, but your relationship with your mind and body is way more important than some offhanded comment from a stranger. You are so much bigger than this! Fight to stay in the driver’s seat of your recovery. You can do this!

(Also, it occurred to me that she might have asked you this based on you telling her you didn’t want to know about your weight—as in like trying to commiserate with you on a diet or weight goal, rather than suggesting you “could afford to lose a few pounds” or something like that. As women we’re socialized to relate to each other based on hating our bodies, so it’s totally possible that she meant it as an “I feel your pain” type of comment, or even because she was confused about why you wouldn't want to know your weight. Of course that's ridiculous and you shouldn't have to explain yourself to her--it definitely doesn’t make it OK at all because nobody should ever be commenting on other people’s bodies, but maybe looking at her stupid comment with a new perspective could give you at least a little relief about her intentions?)

I'm so sorry you went through

I'm so sorry you went through that. That nurse is not professional at all. It is good to explore your triggers. Just know that the things you describe are very normal triggers. You are beautiful no matter what your weight. You are not the problem. The professionals around you should be more aware of their role and common triggers. Keep moving forward.