Yesterday in my therapy session, we talked about recovery as an in-patient vs. recovery as an out-patient. I talked to him about my deep frustrations with myself about not being able to maintain a healthy weight for very long or eat "like a normal person" before I slip when I am on my own (meaning not in the hospital or in-patient treatment). He told me that he thinks it's because I am too afraid too really do it on my own. He said, "think about when you were in-patient or in the hospital. You had people forcing you to eat (my servings alone were enough to feed a small family) and if you refused to eat - they made you drink Boost, and if you still refused - they put a feeding tube down your throat! Remember that Jenn??" I said "Of course, I remember that mr. therapist! That is not something a person forgets. Are you trying to make me feel worse than I already do that I have relapsed in a major way and am headed back in the direction of all of those things..."
He says that I rely on other people to make sure I am eating, and to TRULY recover from this I have to do it on my own. Or I am just going to be in this cycle of in and out of hospitals and constantly struggling with my eating disorder. I told him that it's SO scary because I don't trust myself and I feel guilty when I eat (what I perceive as) too much food! It's easier for me to have someone else forcing me and making sure I am eating the proper amounts each day. But that needs to change, and I understand and realize that. He said "Of course you won't be all on your own because you still have your treatment making sure you are eating enough - but you can't rely on and expect others to do it for you." And what he says is true. I need to find that strength inside and I need to do it for myself.
He says that I have been holding onto the rope with one hand (sometimes both hands) for too long, and I need to let go of it! I said "What if I fail? What if I "freak out?" What if I am not strong enough?" And he said - that's what him and the other people on my treatment team are for. To help me when I feel like that. He said that it won't be easy at all. He said it will be the hardest thing I have ever done. He said there WILL be slips and steps backwards but I need to focus on the positive things that I am doing and let the people around me help. And in our weekly sessions he said that I am allowed to freak out - and he will help me figure out ways to cope - since I am starting to truly let go of my coping skill (which is my eating disorder). I said "But what if I let go of it completely and then realize that I NEED it?" And he said that we will figure out other coping skills (healthier ones) for me to have and cling to and "need".
I also talked to him about the "voices" in my head (I realize that sounds like I am crazy - and sometimes, I feel like I am) and how the "voices" or my eating disorder thoughts seriously consume my mind! It's truly like a battle of good and evil going on in my head - and it's overwhelming and it's exhausting!!! He said that the more I fight those thoughts and feelings and the more I focus and work on recovery - the quieter those voices will become. But it's going to take a ton of hard work, persistence, and time. And he promised that he would be there every step of the way right beside me. And I am SO thankful for that!!!
It will be scary. It will be hard. But I am going to TRY to let go of the rope a little more! So wish me luck! Because it's time to practice letting go of the rope and I am terrified...