“Step confidently forward in the precisely the direction that is the most challenging to you. Because in that same direction, you’ll also find what is most rewarding to you.”
- Ralph Marston
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Saw my therapist for the last time today. It was weird. Saying goodbye to someone you’ve shared your darkest secrets with. Someone who knows about your obsessions and fears. Your hopes and dreams.
To be honest, I feel naked. For someone who has up untill a year ago not been able to look someone in the eye, opening up about my past takes time and courage. But I did it – an acchievement in itself. As I wrote in the last post, our time together was a valuable learning experience. She pushed buttons no one has been allowed to even come near, and because of that I am a stronger person today than I was when we first met.
Since finding out about her return to the US I’ve tried to find other therapists without success. Our family can no longer afford paying for a therapist working in the private sector, and the ones in public sector have long waiting lists. 6 to 8 months. In other words, I need to stand on my own two feet for quite some time. I would be lying if I said ED has not been trying to take advantage of this, constantly informing me what a golden opportunity this is to skip the plan and return to hell. Without a therapist there will be no concequences. Or so ED believes. Sure, there will be no therapist weighing me. Or pushing me to eat. But no concequences? What a big and ugly lie that is. Returning to ED means risking my life. A life I have come to appreciate. There is no such thing as an innocent restriction. Nourishing yourself is at the end of the day a question of life and death. There is no life without food.
Does this mean that I fully accept the increased meal plan she gave me today? One that appearantly is intended for “tall males , high activity level”. Not at all. I am a woman, meant to rest for at least 6 hours per day and otherwise don’t do anything more intensive than going for a walk with my furball. I have no other choice but to accept this if I want to save my life. Which I do. What I’m slowly realizing is that I hold the key to recovery. Only I can choose life. What is needed to break free is all within me – in the heart beating for a more just world and in the soul eager to discover the world.
I believe we all know what to do in our hearts. The problem is that ED has created a barrier between our heart and our mind, convincing us to not trust what our hearts tries to encourage us to do. Even though I am far from free, three years of mental work have strenghtened the healthy parts of my brain. It has become easier to detect the disorded lies and to avoid acting on urges. Having an urge does not mean you have to act on. Urges can be extremely intense, but they will eventually pass. Each time you hold on to health and oppose the destructive voices within, you nourish yourself. Tears will stream, but we can survive tears and the pain of doing what feels wrong. What we can not survive is a future with the eating disorder. In reality that means no future.
The energy previously invested into maintaining disorded behaviour will now be invested into fighting for my health and freedom. My past does not define me, nor is it something to fear. I should not destroy my body and mind because other people abused me. So what if I have stumbled from time to time. Does that mean I’m a failure? No. I am not a failure nor a victim. What I am is a survivor with the key to my own liberation. I am stronger than the demons. Brave enough to face the challenges required to break free from the rules and destructive behaviour. And wise enough to not fall for the lies ED throws my way.
I choose to believe in myself.