So, I am not going to try to catch up the past 8 months in one blog post. But here is a brief synopsis:
- Started relapsing in April after some super hard therapy work
- Started new eating disorder behavior: bingeing, which accompanied my restriction and exercise
- Got sicker
- Went back into residential treatment July 3
- Stepped down to Partial Hospitalization in late July
- Was discharged 9-29
- Drove home and got home on 10-1
This time, treatment went to a deeper level and I made a lot more progress. I am still working on my eating disorder and trauma and everything with Team Heidi, but I feel a lot stronger than I did in the winter and spring.
That said, yesterday I really struggled during a particularly intense therapy session. The AT started out the session by saying, “Want to do some art?” Yup, I was totally game. He had me grab a piece of watercolor paper and he slid the watercolors and a jar of water and told me to paint, “what needs to come out” or something to that effect. And so I painted a representation of feeling alone. And the pain of of feeling lonely. When I was done, I passed it to the AT, who took a look at it and interpreted it exactly as I had painted it. Loneliness. As he talked to me about it, he hit on every nuance of how I feel.
I wasn’t prepared for that. I felt totally stripped naked and exposed. It was a painful juxtaposition of me wanting to have some control over what he sees and how he sees it and the fact that I need to be be vulnerable and seen and validated for the feelings that I have. Who knew that being validated could be so painful? Let’s just say that I cried a lot.
But it was after the appointment where I really struggled. The eating disorder came in whispering that it could make the feelings to away. I did not binge, but I definitely ate food for comfort. And this is where my struggle lies….to make it through hard things (therapy, life, etc.) without falling back on eating disordered behavior. I am not say that comfort/emotional eating is the worst thing in the world, but for me, it is a very, very slippery slope. Bingeing=shame and self-loathing. Bingeing=restriction to compensate for the binge. Bingeing=too much exercise to purged the calories of the binge. Bingeing is what is at the bottom of the slippery slope.
Last week, I did great, but I think the honeymoon is over and the day to day struggles are real. But I am not discouraged. Truthfully, I know I can handle this but it is not going to be easy.