Yesterday I officially stopped my therapy appointments (with the approval of my therapist). I’ve been doing really, really well since mid to late June and she agreed that we could stop meeting weekly. The last few times I saw her, the appointments were spaced out by several weeks. The last time I saw her, I was in and out in 15 minutes – just enough time to give her a quick update and to schedule another appointment.
An appointment I canceled, with her blessing.
People tend to have an aversion to therapy. She’ll think I’m crazy. I’m not going to spill my secrets to a stranger! I can fix myself.
For me, I had to go so the doctor would give me the anti-depressants I knew I desperately needed. I wasn’t happy about it. In fact – I was terrified. I remember bursting into tears while trying to find a therapist that specialized in eating disorders and body image that was covered by my insurance. I nearly had a panic attack when I called to try and schedule an appointment.
It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done.
Now, I can say that I’m really glad I did it. Therapy wasn’t some quick fix for my broken brain. My therapist didn’t “fix” me. But she did give me the resources and tools to work through some things I’d never addressed. My weekly meetings with her were a place where I could give a voice to some things I’d kept inside for far too long. And simply the act of giving voice to things I’d ignored for my entire life was enough for me to let go of some of the resentment, hurt, and negative self-image that I had been clinging to like a life raft.
Therapy didn’t fix me.
Therapy did, however, help me understand myself better.
I was able to better see the link between my abandonment issues and binge eating (you know, the two things I swore weren’t related when I first went to see her). I figured out that I’ve never been responsible for the actions of others in my life. My 7 year old self wasn’t responsible for the anger and other problems that drove my parents to divorce. My 8 year old self wasn’t responsible for the fighting my parents did that resulted in me being pulled back and forth between them.
I am only responsible for my own actions. And my own thoughts. And my own emotions. And I can control them. I can now recognize when I’m beginning to feel angry or upset and then go through a mental checklist about why. I can ask myself why I want cake. Is it because I really want cake? Or is it because I think cake will make me feel better?
I learned that cake and other food isn’t inherently bad. There’s nothing wrong with eating pizza or cake. But there is something not quite right if the motivation for eating those foods is emotional.
I still get hung up on that sometimes. Habits are hard to break.
But thankfully, I’m finding that I have fewer of those emotional states where I want to drown myself in sugar and carbs. I can usually stop it before I get to that point. And truthfully, I’m just in an all around better place. I no longer hide in my house alone. I no longer say “I can’t do that.” I’m actively trying to be the person I want to be.
And life is good.