I am on week two without my therapist.
My beloved therapist has decided to quit her practice and move on to other things. On an interpersonal level, I am happy for her and proud of her. On a patient level I am a little pissed off and frightened.
I was fine last week, and the week before that. And even the week before that. About two months ago, she told me she thought I was ready to be done with therapy, that I didn’t even need a referral to someone else in her practice.
And I agreed with her. Mostly.
This is the third time in my life a therapist has told me that I was done. That I was “better.” That it was time to move on.
I am still fat.
I am still struggling knowing what to eat. I am still struggling to be happy with myself. I am still struggling forcing myself to exercise. I am still dissecting every day, every meal for what was good and bad about it.
Is this what better looks like?
To be fair, my current therapist made no bones about the fact that we are never “better” never “fixed” never done with our struggle. Just like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic, I will always be recovering from an eating disorder. There is no magic mile marker.
And that’s terrifying in and of itself.
Whatever else is going on, I’m definitely having a hard time today. I’m sitting here crying as I type this, but I’m uncertain exactly why.
I feel lost. I feel unmoored. I feel like I don’t have a plan. I don’t know what my next steps should be.
Almost every day, I think I should go on some sort of diet, some regimen, some eating plan. I think I should make a commitment to do something long term. For the entire summer, or for an entire year. Something. Anything.
I’m grasping. Gasping.
And the thing is, I think I know what my therapist would say. She would tell me that all those plans and protocols were an emotional crutch. That I want to do them to try to lose weight, to try to be different rather than coming to terms with the person I am.
I’m a big believer that you need to address the root causes of things. You can’t put a band-aid over a wound and call it OK — when something is still stabbing you. You can’t try to treat the symptoms while the disease still rages.
I feel alone, though. I feel confused, and tempted, and like the whole world is conspiring against me sometimes.
Several people have suggested I join OA, but the absolute horror of that has kept me from it. I can’t even express the waves of shame that come over me when I think of joining an OA meeting. I’m just not ready for that. I don’t know if I ever will be.
And the other half is that I know what they will say. Make different choices. One minute, one meal, one day at a time. It’s the same for an alcoholic or a drug addict. (Except that they don’t have to face their drug of choice every single day; they can remove it completely from their lives.)
I see frightening thoughts go through my head sometimes. I wonder if I could just stop eating altogether for a while. I wonder if I could focus on eating as little as humanly possible. Luckily, I recognize those little demons for what they are. Plus, if history has taught us anything, I would last about an hour on any kind of deprivation diet before diving head first into a bowl of ice cream.
I’ve got no answers today. I’m intensely considering calling my therapist. (This is her last week — maybe even her last day.) But I don’t want to. I don’t want to admit we were wrong.
I’m not better. I never will be.
And today, that’s not OK.