My last shrink appointment was Thursday, so therapy has come to an end. It was a good ending. I told him why I thought I was done, that I wanted to come in person instead of just calling to cancel because I wanted him to know that I wasn’t quitting on me, just quitting therapy. My recovery continues.
On a good note, he told that he read something about “mindful” eating becoming an acceptable thing in the treatment of eating disorders, that he never heard of “mindful” or “intuitive” eating until he had me for a patient and now he is hearing more and more about it. Said something about it being good for people with “strong personalities”.
Like me? Oh my… what negative things that implies?
No, it all good. I do have a strong personality, but my strength is not in bad things. It may sound wacky, but my strength is one of the truths about myself that I had to come to terms with because it is part of the me I tried to hide, shove down, and deny.
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” pops into my head. (It is a Bible verse, Phil. 4:16.)
It does NOT say “I can’t do a damn thing. God has to carry me, tend to my every need, and tie my shoe laces.” To me, that verse is about empowerment. If you too weak or timid to deal with what comes your way, God will strengthen you.
So why deny or hide internal strength when strength is a blessing? I’m not talking about boastfulness or arrogance. You can be humble and strong at the same time.
Maybe that why I had such a problem with OA?
OA is a program that uses the AA twelve step program. They scratched out the word “alcohol” and replaced it with “food” and for some people, it does work. Unfortunately, I cannot lie to myself to prove that I am not lying to myself. I cannot pretend to be powerless over food, that I need devine intervention to rescue me from carrots, those evil and cunning tomatoes, or sneaky chocolates. Sure, I could assign power to particular foods, my choice of foods to binge on, and at times I felt powerless in the midst of a binge while silently screaming at myself to stop, but food is not the problem. Logic tells me that if I were as powerless over food as an alcoholic is to booze, where a bad chemical or whatever reaction to alcohol is going on, then it would be ALL food and not some. Have you ever met an alcoholic who only had a problem with SOME but not all? I haven’t… I’ve met alcoholics so lost in addiction they poured perfume in a tea cup, drank things obviously not intended for human consumption in their despiration. If food were equivalent to booze, if all food were the problem. I could buy into the OA program. Of course, they getcha with a Catch-22 by saying if you cannot admit that you are powerless over food, you are incapable of being honest with yourself. Maybe I am TOO honest with myself for OA?
Mindfulness and/or intuitive eating offers an alternative for people who, like me, cannot embrace OA. I found it to be empowering. I made peace with food (its just food) and more importantly, I made peace with myself. I am losing weight, slower than would suit most people, partly because I still have bad days (not the end of the world, recovery is a process) and slow partly because I refuse to diet. I can go out with friends and eat cheesecake in public without one drop of guilt, shame, or remorse.
This photo was snapped to share with a friend in Illinois who had dropped a five for cheesecake in a greeting card, part thank you and part teaser, as she knows that the Mocha House makes THE BEST cheesecake in NE Ohio.
The thing is… there is a big difference between enjoying a slice of cheesecake now and then and bingeing on cheesecake.
Binge behavior would be to buy or make a whole serves 12 or 24 size cheesecake (or two) pretending you are taking dessert to a party, then secretly eating it all yourself while hating yourself for doing so, feeling so much guilt and shame and out of control that you have to hide the evidence so no one else will know, followed by self punishment in the form of dieting or exercising to counteract the excess calories. It is a horrid thing. You may feel powerless, but that cheesecake (or whatever) has no power over your behavior unless you assign it imaginary power.
I guess what I am saying is… dealing with why I binge and using the principles of intuitive or mindful eating to break the cycle has proven to work for me. I can live a binge-free life now free of all the internal strife that goes along with binge eating disorder. Some people find help in OA, but I would rather feel empowered than powerless.
UPDATE FROM PREVIOUS POSTS:
I blew off the “nbarnbees” email addresss (temporarily set up when I forgot my “barnbees” email password) and created a NEW email address that is rather dull (n4barnes) but it is something I can live with. It may take me awhile to start get email and notifications at the new address as I have to figure out where all it needs updated, but in time, I will stop using the barnbees email, too.
Yes, I have been doing some serious thinking about ending my use of the word barnbees. I haven’t decided exactly how to do that, all I know is it just doesn’t feel like mine anymore.
I really hate the idea of blowing off this blog… barnbees is not just the name on top, it’s the wordpress URL.
I have “Barnes: Artsy Things” pretty much just hanging out in limbo as I haven’t done much posting on that blog. I launched it as a blog to show my art to friends & family who don’t need to read my rambles. I could add a poetry category, move poems and art posted here over there before blowing this barnbees blog away… it will take time.
I think I’m done rambling on about eating disorders anyway. It is becoming a non-issue, and that in itself is a very good thing.
I think I am done with therapy. The big debate question now is: should I go to my next appointment and tell this psychologist that I’m not coming back OR simply call to cancel the appointment?
The real question is: do I care what this intellectual type, with whom I have had serious communication problems, writes on my permanent electronic file?
If I call to cancel, he will assume that I quit my recovery, that I am too defiant to accept help, there’s no hope for me, and all sorts of nonsense. Good psychologist, bad client. Fact being as they are, therapy right now is a waste of time and money.
I signed up for five sessions of cognitive behavior therapy last fall, first appointment on Halloween. He told me on day one to look it up so I would know what to expect. I think HE needs to look it up, as this is “talk therapy” without any clear purpose or direction.
Okay, so my last visit was on the same day that my daughter opened a keg of worms. I walked in baffled and confused, so I wasted my visit talking about it. Walked out just as baffled and confused. Then I spent a couple weeks mulling it over in my head and on virtual paper, writing endlessly only to delete.
There was a lot of other stuff going on, July was a busy month. I had art on display in three places, events to attend, things that had to get done, a shoulder that bailed out for a couple weeks requiring doc visits and X-rays to see if an injury had caused losing ye 70% use of that arm (it is fine now, so it was either an unknown muscle sprain or wacko nerve games, who knows? Ten days of pain and loss of use, wha la all better? I keep telling these docs that there has got to be something else going on, the jab points and odd things that come and go. Oh, it could be arthritis? It is above the bad discs in my spine, which gets blamed for everything south.) Anyway… July was a busy month for me. By other people’s standards, maybe not… but my life goes in slo-mo because of the spinal crap. July ended with going out of town for a wedding, doing the old auntie thing by baking a zillion cookies, then coming home to leftover cookie ingredients and nearby convienience store, a momentary lapse on the “not an option” as that is the problem, so when I went back to the doc for follow-up on the arm thing, my weight was up. Down 75 on the day I went to the shrink, up 9 at docs on Monday, and today down 11 by my scales. So, yeah, I screwed up but its okay. Life goes on.
The only way to kick this binge eating disorder is to convince myself, and maintain that conviction, that bingeing is simply NOT an option. But it is… it always is, and that is the problem. Like any drug or addiction, it is there. It is my choice to make it an option. It is me who has to say to myself: not an option, don’t do it.
Therapy did NOT help me… yes, I talked to him about what went down with my child. I talked to everyone else, too. Sisters, friends, my dad… so baffled and confussed to discover that my adult child was embarrassed of me. Yes, the wild child who loved drama so much that she had huge comedy and tragedy masks tattooed on her arm has morphed into my mother, an all prim and proper lady caring about how things look as she nears the age of 30. She was embarrassed of me.
I’m not going to get into the details of my “behaving badly in public” as that would only serve to embarrass her more.
What baffles me is how easily she was embarrassed over something that did NOT embarrass me at all and then how mad she was, expressed later via text and phone calls over several days, and her coldness towards me on my birthday. Oh, she sent a “happy bday” text wee early in the morning and she did say “happy birthday” when I called her late that night asking where’s my cake, I don’t get a card or nothing? Oh yes, she was and maybe still is, really mad at me.
Maybe I should move, go live someplace else.
Odds are that I will, repeatedly and unintentionally, accidentally embarrass her again just by being my own damn self.
OH WELL… I am her mother and parents come “as is” so she best accept me “as is” and go on. I am NOT going to play pretend by slipping on a public persona every time I step out the door, taking precious care to guard everything I do or say or simply BE or AM in a misguided attempt to avoid embarrassing my adult child.
I ain’t got it in me to do it again.
Again? Oh yeah… that’s in my keg of worms, the why I can’t do it, not even for my own child.
I’m not ready to write about it yet, partly because I became intensely aware that not all people who read things on the internet are, in a word, SANE. Stir in anything about religion and the nutcases go off in an uproar.
Besides, I have rambled on long enough today.