Thursday, November 5, 2015

Binge Eating Disorder Recovery: Eighteen Months Later


I met with my therapist earlier this week, and she told me that I seemed really grounded.


Is that true? Am I really more grounded now, or am I just good at faking it?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that it really is true.

We talked about my weight loss break, and how I haven't weighed myself in over two weeks and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with it because I know who I am now, and who I am is no longer wrapped up in how much I weigh or what other people think of me. I'm finally living my computer monitor mantra - "My self-esteem does not depend on the opinion of others."

I told her that the break was good for me, but I was ready to get back to it. She asked what that looked like for me.

Huh. I hadn't really thought about that. I'm focused again, in tune with my body and what my body needs. Weight loss has moved back to its place at the back of my mind, rather than the forefront. Over time, I'd allowed "Weight Loss" to sloooowly creep forward, and with that my obsessive habits were slowly coming back.

And THAT is why I took the break. I have worked too hard over the last 18 months to allow it all to be undone so easily!

Wow. Eighteen months. Eighteen. That's a year and half since I stepped into Mary's office, asking for help. Eighteen months since I said "ENOUGH!" and took control of my life.

We talked about how much I just want to give back, to help others who are struggling like me. How I'm doing that in my Weight Watchers meetings by speaking up, and by volunteering with Girls on the Run. I'm doing it through the blog as well.

I want people to know they are not alone. You are not alone. When I shared my story at a meeting back in September, I realized just how much people need to hear that. Now, I share not only because others are longing to hear it, but also because I am no longer ashamed.

I am not ashamed of who I am or where I've come from. It's life, and life is messy... and it's my story, my life. I have struggled and clawed my way up from the darkest depths to get where I am today, right now, at this very moment. Nobody did it for me... they couldn't do it for me. Sure, I had help--from my therapist, nutritionist, and WW meetings--but I did all the the work.

They were there to help me, to guide me; and they are still there when I need them, because even though I've come a looooong way, I am not perfect. I don't have all the answers and I still struggle. (Spend any length of time reading this blog and you'll see that, for sure!)

What I want to say is this: You've got what it takes. Maybe you don't know it yet, but it's there, and it's okay to ask for help. Please hear me when I say this: There is no shame in asking for help. It's so hard to admit you have a problem, but just acknowledging your feelings and what you are going through goes a long way to getting the help you need.

Eating disorder recovery is not an individual sport--it is very much a team event, and you have got to be the one to take the first step. No one can do that for you; you have to be ready to change. Check out my guest post "I Don't have an Eating Disorder... or Do I?" for more on my decision to seek help from a therapist.

So how do you go about finding a therapist? 

I found my therapist by googling "binge eating therapist new orleans"... she was the first actual therapist on the page (as opposed to a general treatment center or hospital) with her own website. I didn't have to do a lot of research... I just called and made an appointment.

If you're already in therapy but you don't particularly like your therapist--find a new one. I adore my therapist; when I talk to her, it's like talking to an old friend, and I look forward to our appointments. I have never left her office feeling worse about myself than when I went in.

If you're worried about cost, ask if there's anything they can do to help. My therapist offers discounted rates for self-pay clients, and if they still have trouble with the fee, she does what she can to make it affordable for them (I know because I went through this with her when I started!)

When I started this post, I wasn't sure where I was going with it; I mostly just wanted to reflect on what my therapist and I talked about during our meeting on Monday. Anyway, I love hearing from y'all, so please don't hesitate to email me with any questions or comments, or if you ever need someone to just listen.

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