Today, my anxiety was sky rocketing over lunch. I entered the kitchen–tears. Sat back on the couch. Ok, this sucks. I’ll just watch something and then maybe try again. 15 minutes in, I am so hungry I can’t focus on the show at all and decide to try again but this time I am frozen on the couch and just start crying without even getting up. Call your therapist. Leave a voicemail. Say all of this out loud. I call, leave a voicemail, and remain frozen on the couch. An hour passes. I am so hungry I can’t see straight but I cannot move. I text my disheartening distress.
I receive a response: “walk in with me.”
All the blood in my body rushes to my face. What??
“Call me, …”
No way. There is no way I’m calling. I can’t do that. Fuck, fuck, fuck, just call her.
At some minutes in, I am able to walk into the kitchen, and start to make toast despite feeling on the verge of fainting, having a panic attack, or bursting into an unstoppable sea of tears.
She says; “It’s hard because you’re challenging the eating disorder.”
I have heard this 6 dozen times. But this time, it clicks.
It’s hard because before I would have just skipped lunch. I would have ignored all my hunger signals. I wasn’t challenging the ED voice at all. I wouldn’t have texted, or left a voicemail, and I certainly wouldn’t have been willing to call to figure this out in real-time. I was letting it rule and ruin my life. Reaching out was not an option. Now, I am constantly challenging it. The past 7 days I have challenged it every single day, all day, with varying degrees of success and a lot of tears.
And that is overwhelming. Very overwhelming. I am so afraid of weight gain. On a scale of 1-10, I am 11-afraid-of-weight-gain. But today I found peace in realizing that it’s hard and scary AND THAT’S OK. I can be here, where things are very hard. And I can do them anyway. I can ask for help to get through it. I can figuratively allow for some hand-holding to make it through, and make it through.
All of this is progress, maybe even a tiny bit of surrender.