Yesterday I screamed in therapy.
Like, actually yelled at the top of my lungs with all I could muster, multiple times. My therapist did it with me.
“FUCK!” We yelled together, several times, until my voice cracked and I was afraid I’d lose my voice if I kept going, even though I wanted to.
“I’m so proud of you,” she said.
It might sound like an odd thing to be proud of, but I was so glad she said it. Because I couldn’t do it months ago. It’s been suggested a handful of times, and one time my therapist even said, “I’m going to scream…” to try to allow me to as well, but I begged her not to (she didn’t) and felt sad that I couldn’t do what my body wanted to do. Earlier in the session, I’d felt like I was failing because I couldn’t move my body to try to release some anxiety, and just like my adolescent-self, became frustrated for not being able to do something. Tears came and I felt stuck. Stuck and trapped in my eating disorder that felt like it had suddenly taken over my mind and body, freezing up my authentic self and forcing me to shutdown, leaving my only option for any release in the form of purging.
I think I’ve wanted to scream like that since I was a little girl. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed in my entire life in the way we did yesterday. This past spring on my way to therapy, I stopped my car and screamed, trying to listen to my body and help myself, but I did it once and felt an overwhelming sense that I couldn’t do that again–as if I were in trouble–and abruptly stopped mid-scream, before any real relief came.
Being able to do things like that is such a huge sign of progress to me. The way that I freeze up and render my entire body useless when faced with working through anything hard is amazingly unfortunate. It reminds me I’m not always in control, that I need help, and that there is so much to work on and through. I couldn’t even imagine yelling early on in therapy, and once I could imagine it as a useful tool, I literally couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make myself.
My voice has been trapped for so long and yesterday it was heard in a terrific way. It’s exactly what I needed to turn this 4-day retreat into the safety of my eating disorder around and instead remember that I need to lean into the safety that exists within God, my wolf pack and myself.