“Oh wow. OK. That’s huge!”
“You’ve got to slow down.” My dietitian barely manages to say as tears start flowing.
I don’t know how to respond. “Nooooo don’t cry, I’m sorry I said anything” is what first comes to mind. But I say nothing and fight back my own tears. Actually, I swallow them, they never make it to the surface. That doesn’t feel good. For a second, I’m jealous she can let tears come like that. I probably come across as awkward and cold. I hate that. That’s not me at all.
She reassures me those are happy tears and reiterates the need to slow down.
I don’t get it. I am so confused. I can’t grasp the idea of going any slower.
I just want to get out of the woods and while I’m navigating that, all my behaviors are creeping in full force. Doesn’t it make sense to get out of the woods faster so it takes less time to say goodbye to restriction & purging?
Her tears have caught me totally off guard. Whenever this happens I feel undeserving that someone could have that much compassion for me. A part of me feels really loved, and another part is working really hard to reject it. I can physically feel the rejection as the stronger piece and I hate it but can’t do anything about it. It’s auto-pilot feelings of unworthiness.
She explains that I have to relearn some of the things I already learned in other phases of recovery because I’ve never been this version of myself before. As in, I’ve never experienced living my life with trauma awareness and since I’m working through it, things just need to slow down.
But it’s not that bad. It’s not that traumatic. I’m fine. Walls are coming up fast and my defense is to minimize everything.
How is it ok to slow down? How am I not getting reprimanded for losing weight? How have we reverted back to “just focus on trying to get in 3 eating events in a day.” And that all of that is a perfectly acceptable goal? How is this not moving backwards?
I start to tell myself this story: no one is that concerned about weight loss because you have so much fat to lose. It’s trivial. Lose more.
I know, deep down, that slowing down is the right counsel. Because if I had received a more harsh response (ie. I can’t work with you anymore unless you gain weight by the next meeting) I would have felt unheard, and either said fuck you I’m not coming back, or spiraled because of an overwhelming sense of failure. But it’s hard to register to slow down for my goal-oriented self and that everything I’m doing is ok for now.
I don’t know what “slow down” looks like or even how to start. Is it just acceptance of where I’m at? This is so frustrating.
My dietitian gives me a hug on my way out and she has no idea that is the most necessary piece to my whole day. It grounds me as I walk to my car and I don’t feel abruptly thrown to the wolves like I often do when I leave an appointment.
Things are going to be ok.