Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 7:22 pm | Fair 63º


Randi Rabin: How Do I Tell My Husband I Have an Eating Disorder?

Dear Feelings Doctor: I have had trouble with an eating disorder for three years, and my husband found out yesterday about my throwing up after I eat. We are uncomfortable around each other now, and I don’t know what to say. I can either lie to him or be truthful. I am not sure what to do.

— Help Me in Hollywood

Dear Help Me: Stop hiding! Take this opportunity to have a real conversation with your husband about what has been going on in your life. Discuss with him whatever emotional conflict you have been going through. This will help ease your burden. You do not have to go through this alone.

Be prepared to make small changes, and set goals that you can obtain. Enlist the help of a professional who you can put your trust in. Know that this does not have to continue being part of your life, and the more you share with others the less frightening it will seem.

The National Eating Disorders Association can guide you as well. The phone number is 800.931.2237.

I know you can do this. Good luck.

Dear Feelings Doctor: I know I shouldn’t have, but I read my sister’s diary. There are things written in there that my parents would be so upset about if they knew! What should I do? I am 17 and my little sister is almost 15.

— Big Sister in Santa Barbara

Dear Big Sis: Without knowing what was in your sister’s diary, I can only tell you that at 15 she could be going through so many different emotions: school, friends, grades, stress and pressure with any number of things. If it is something life-threatening, go to your parents right away. If your sister gets mad at you, at least she will be alive to argue her side of the story.

Take the time to talk to her no matter what it is that you have knowledge of. Having parents you can go to for guidance or a school counselor would be extremely helpful.

Write me again if you feel comfortable sharing more information. We can work on this together. Your little sister watches everything you do and say, so setting examples of right behavior and safe choices will help her in the biggest way. Blessings to you both.

Dear Feelings Doctor: So I’m at Whole Foods at the seafood counter, and an older gentleman walks up to the employee who is behind the counter and starts yelling at him for not being more helpful the last time he was in there asking about seafood.

I felt sorry for the guy, but I really wanted to say something to the man yelling at him in public. Instead, I sat idly by and that made me feel like a coward. Of course, I didn’t know both sides of the story, but come on! That’s no way to behave in public.

What is the best way to diffuse situations like this in public without causing a confrontation? Thanks.

— Empathy in Santa Barbara

Dear Empathy:

With everything in life, a lot of situations have to do with personal preference. This is one of them.

When someone acts out in anger, the underlying emotion is generally sadness. This “older gentleman” may have things in his life that aren’t working for him these days and would love someone to just notice him. As you mentioned, you felt like you wanted to make conversation with him; that would be a great idea. You could show him the special food that keeps bringing you back to Whole Foods, or something new that you have discovered while roaming the isles.

Haven’t we all felt angry at times when we seem to be invisible?

By the way, you are not a coward. Everyone we randomly bump into is really there for a reason — random or not.

Imagine this: We tire of those pleasures we take, but never of those we give.

Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.

— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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