This has been pretty much my process since high school — except the therapist part has only been the last couple years.
Graduate school has made it so things are due weekly and I haven’t experienced an academic or professional work load since 2014. I have constant anxiety because even for little, easy things, if there is a due date, I am irritatingly going through this process.
It really makes me question my intelligence and my ability to overcome anxiety. (And depression and the eating disorder and trauma).
When I was little I loved school because it was easy and I was good at it. All of it. And then around my freshman year of high school with honors and AP classes it became not so easy and I didn’t have help navigating my really intense anxiety. I was so embarrassed by it I couldn’t tell anyone anyway and I very clearly remember relief from anxiety from stepping on the scale and having a goal that felt achievable and in my control.
I feel like this now.
It’s fairly easy, now, for me to recognize and acknowledge the small child part of me. I don’t even mind admitting that’s how I’m feeling in therapy. In fact, it feels comforting to bring that forward. It’s much harder to recognize the teenage part of me. I shut her out and wish she’d go away. I don’t know how to deal with her emotions. It’s hard for that part of me to speak. I think the school-induced anxiety triggers the teen in me to want to be heard, though.
The last two days in therapy have had some lighter parts. I’ve smiled and laughed and cried all in one session and sometimes it feels like teen-me shows up because of that specific mix of emotions.
Teen-me fears the most, out of any other part, that she cannot be loved if she is fat. And she truly believes if you come in contact with her, you will feel her fat, and immediately be so disgusted you will stop loving her.
It’s interesting how very real this fear is, despite knowing rationally I am not overweight. Not even close. It’s quite the fight to shutdown the eating disorder and act opposite when we’re purposely triggering this response in therapy. I end each day wishing my wolf pack was in my presence, wrapping me up in their arms, saying you freaking did it, you are a rockstar, and you will get through this!
Because I am doing it. I am doing all the hard things. I just… need my mom constantly to do all the mom things in the process, alongside me. Teen-me needs a straight up high school emotional support redo.
I have to let teen-me talk and get her needs met. She has to learn she’s loved and accepted regardless of her emotions and certainly regardless of the number on the scale.
You are allowed to exist. All of you. Let it all out.