I wanted to spend a bit of time talking about my experience of getting started with a therapist, as I had my introduction session last Thursday, and am about to go for my first proper session today. And at the moment, I think I actually am feeling worse and more unsure about the whole situation than I was when I first made the decision to get help!
The owner of the practice had spoken to me earlier last week to hear a bit about my background and to recommend a therapist for me to go and see, which was great. I was a bit fed up of describing my eating past after all the different referrals I'd been through, but it was nice that they'd taken the time out to get to know me and to try and make a suitable match.
Then Thursday evening I went for an introduction session to meet my therapist and to understand more how the practice works. Up until the walk to the practice I had felt really positive about going. I'd spent so many months trying to get help, and finally I'd got it - in my head it was one thing I could tick off the list of things to do. But then on the way I actually started thinking about what this meant.
It meant that I was going to spend a hell of a lot of my parents money.
It meant that I was going to lose my Thursday evenings for a long time.
It meant that I was going to be put out of my comfort zone and asked to do things I didn't want to.
It meant that I was going to have to be completely upfront honest with a complete stranger.
It meant that I was going to have relive every binge and have someone judge me for it.
It meant that I was going to have to give up once and for all on the dreams of getting back to that skinny girl I was a couple of years ago. Restricting was going to have to eventually stop.
It meant that I may change my outlook on things as basic as hunger and perfectionism.
It meant that I was going to therapy: something I never thought I would have to do growing up.
I wasn't sure I wanted that anymore. All those thoughts of not wanting to put on any more weight, wanting to be free to restrict and be tiny, to have my life defined by disordered eating - I suddenly didn't want to lose them.
I had gotten so far in the process, and literally metres from the door I was considering turning around and backing out.
But I knew that if I didn't go to the appointment I would regret it and my life wouldn't get any better. I would continue on the emotional and physical rollercoaster of restricting and binging, and I would never achieve any of those gifts of recovery.
It felt odd talking to a stranger face to face about my problems - but more so because I knew I'd see her again. Everyone else I've spoken to in much depth has been someone who was temporarily in my life e.g. a Dr, and who I would never have to talk to again.
Following on from the meeting I was sent a 17 page(!) lifestyle assessment to fill out asking me about everything from my eating habits to childhood traumas. Some of the questions were so hard to answer! I also got asked to complete a food diary. It asks you what you ate and when, who you were with, where you were, and how you felt before and after/any further thoughts.
I know I post what I eat on here but it's so much easier than writing it down and giving it to someone you know you're going to have to discuss it with face to face. I thought about lying, but realised that that wasn't going to help me in the long run. So this evening I sat down, filled it out, and sent it off.
I hate that her first impression of me is going to be one of overeating and lack of self-control. I hate that I'm going to have to relive my eating with her tomorrow, and analyse everything. I hate that she's going to use that information to make judgements on me. What if it turns out that I'm just someone who's really greedy with food?
But when I compare the pain of going to therapy with the other option of not going and continuing to live my life as I am, then it doesn't become an option. This was always going to be difficult, and there was never going to be a quick fix. I know I'm making the right decision.