“I missed you!”
But why? She has almost exclusively witnessed and listened to and talked about my worst. There are very few things I’ve left out, mostly because I don’t find them relevant, that could make me look any worse. Literal recounts of intentional puking and constant written and verbal vomit reeking with guilt and shame and embarrassment and death. She could probably count the number of times a smile has come across my face and has probably lost track of the number of times I’ve left in tears.
I missed you is somehow exactly what I needed to hear but
I’m my eating disorder isn’t sold on believing the statement.
I missed you means a host of things; I’m accepted, cherished, thought about, respected. I’m wondering how these things could be true, or maybe I didn’t hear it right, or maybe she didn’t mean it like that. (My eating disorder would have me believe.)
I am fighting to accept those things as true, in this moment, but I can’t say it out loud. I don’t even think I could if I wanted to because I haven’t processed anything other than that the words both settle my roaring insecurities about being a burden and cause anxiety because it’s a huge hit to my eating disorder and all I can do is cry.
And then it sort of hits me: I’ve never experienced receiving all of the things I need in moments of vulnerability. And this is what is happening consistently now. I want this kind of support that I wasn’t aware existed a dozen months ago. I want it, need it, and am willing to allow for it, and that is what will hold my hand, literally and figuratively through this journey.
I am infinitely thankful for this relationship. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for the safety, empathy, and kindness I receive in therapy and simultaneously feel guilty and undeserving of that type of love. Guilty that I’m taking up space. Guilt is my eating disorder. Love and acceptance and willingness to receive all the things I can’t always give myself–grace, compassion–that’s me.
I missed you, too! Is what I wanted to say. But I didn’t because if I fully admit to needing that kind of support, my eating disorder will be so loud and it’s already a hundred decibels too high.
But my eating disorder hasn’t taken away honesty in my writing. So here is my fuck off, ED: I missed you too, and it’s more than ok. In fact, it’s progress to be able to lean in to support.