My eating patterns are not normal.

They haven’t been for years – dating back to early high school.

Although I’ve never been formally diagnosed with an eating disorder, I definitely suffer from disordered eating to this day.

It’s negatively affected my personal life and professional life.

It’s wrecked friendships, relationships, and probably my career.

Over the years I’ve avoided social events, gatherings, lunches, and dinners.

Our social lives revolve around food and drinks. In the business world we go to lunch and happy hour.

People who haven’t suffered don’t know what it’s like.

People who have suffered know how painful it is to choose between going and politely declining.

I’ve declined many invitations over the years – not because I didn’t want to go, but because I chose not to be around food. I chose to stay home where I didn’t have to be around food.

I didn’t have the strength and courage to voice my struggles back then.

I do now.

If you’re struggling like I did, I hope you find the strength to open up and communicate what you’re going through.

If you don’t know what it’s like, please don’t judge people for not attending the next event.

They very well could be experiencing something you know nothing about.

As for me, I’d much rather grab a coffee together. Coffee is safe for me because I don’t have to be pressured to eat.