I tried to help myself in these ways (SCOPE) in the last couple weeks. It’s helpful for me to continually be reminded how much my nervous system runs the show. It makes it easier to come to terms with really feeling like I need a hug, stat, and not judging it too much. It is simply a tool that truly helps my nervous system regulate, feel safe in my own body, and feel connected, when I can’t quite get there myself.
Over 6 hours in therapy this week, and almost 2 with my dietitian makes roughly 8 hours of showing up. And you know what, I am proud of that. In the beginning of the week I felt a bit untrusting. A bit hurt. A bit angry. And a lot certain I felt these things because I wasn’t worthy of love. I definitely was not proud of myself. I felt like an extremely angsty teenager–in fact, I felt like myself exactly as I felt when I was a teenager.
We worked through that Monday, and again Tuesday, and I left therapy Tuesday feeling like I could trust her even more than I could before the subtle rupture that took place days prior.
I never thought it wouldn’t be repaired, as soon as possible (and it was), but I thought it was completely my emotional-teenager fault and I did not think the outcome would be for me to feel like the relationship is stronger than before. I’m now grateful all of that happened. I can confidently say as a teenager I never experienced a positive outcome from letting anger or hurt be known. It was sort of like a re-do: coming out the other side of anger, with a stronger relationship. I like that my therapist said, “I am learning as much as you are.” It gave me the opportunity to appreciate how much she invests in working with me and meeting me wherever I am at–even if it means more work for her.
It’s been extra hard to consume adequate meals this week. My initial way of dealing with all the hurt I was feeling was to restrict my food intake. The teenager in me felt so angry and I couldn’t deal with it and maintain my everyday responsibilities so I let my eating disorder take control.
It’s still very much in control. It’s taking up the majority of my thoughts. And at first, I wanted it to. I was surviving.
But now that I feel so supported and loved, I want it to go away…only…I can’t just let it go so easily. It’s beyond frustrating to be in this position. Why can’t it be as easy as “hey, eating disorder, I need you just for a minute, but once I feel ok again, you can leave.”
It’s been so hard to eat anything at some meals —which I previously conquered and had even become comfortable with—that I needed to go back to “surviving” with my one no-fail safe food: Orgain protein shakes. The problem was that it wasn’t easy to obtain them and I (or, the eating disorder) soon stopped caring all together whether or not I had them and thus had a solid way to survive.
Orgain magically appeared last night via a member of my support team. I have said thank you a handful of times since but it still doesn’t express how grateful I am. There was so much support packed into that act of kindness that I had a hard time accepting someone (outside of my family) would care that much. What a blow to my eating disorder: I couldn’t tell myself I had no way to easily care for myself. And I couldn’t tell myself no one cared anyway. Being on the recipient end of that made me feel so loved. Between that and the little bundle of dried creosote I received, I feel more loved from so many different directions and more understood than I have in a long time. Funny how a gift or act can stir up so much love, and gift-giving isn’t even my primary love language.
This week, showing up for myself allowed for so much genuine healing. Even greater healing: the ways my therapist and dietitian have showed up for me. My heart feels tenderly and authentically held. Little-me feels genuinely secure. And for the first time I can ever recall, all of me feels heard, and that it’s ok for all parts of me to exist and have space.
That is remarkable.
I am staggeringly grateful.