one session down, lots of crazy to go

Yesterday I was all “OMG OMG THERAPY” and wigging out just the tiniest (enormous-est) bit, and you guys patted me on the head and told me I am pretty and it was normal and everything was going to be okay and really, I can’t thank you enough for that. I thought I was being a dope, for being so terrified; it is always a relief when I find out I am not a special, delicate snowflake. And it really wasn’t that bad.

I was terrified on the bus and terrified when I got off the bus and I turned the wrong way on the street, and I had a feeling I was going the wrong way, but I kept going, confirmed it, and turned around and walked back down the street and down the hill (Salt Lake City has hills! Huge ones!) and thought about how I really, really didn’t want to walk back up that hill, which distracted me momentarily, so that was nice. I made my way over to the office, and I knew it was the right building, but I fiddled with my notebook and confirmed the address, and then…I stood there. I was already a little late, but I stood there and double checked the time, and then I made myself go in and up the stairs.



The therapist was down the hall, sitting at a little writing table, and
looked up and said “Jen?” when I walked in and I said “Yes?” and she
came and shook my hand and led me into her office and settled me on the
couch and sat across from me and told me how glad she was I came, and
how glad she was to meet me and talk. I felt comfortable, with her,
like she was someone easy to talk to and kind and understanding. She
was small, and blonde, and visibly pregnant and sweet-faced and she
smiled at me and the terror receded, just enough for me to say well.
Well, I’m depressed. Hi. It’s nice to meet you.

I was late, but she kept me for the full hour, and we talked about
everything. My sadness and my anxiety, feeling like I want to tuck away
into a little ball, like I want to run away from home, like I mess up
too much and shouldn’t be forgiven, and my guilt–I have a lot of guilt.
Feeling lost and a little alone. Feeling hungry all the time,
and a little dumb. Feeling constantly judged and found wanting. Feeling
bad. We talked about the year I’ve had–a hell of a year. We talked
about feeling isolated, the steps I’ve taken to escape that, and what
else I can do to help. I confessed some things, and felt embarrassed,
and she told me it was okay. It is surprising, how much you need to
hear that sometimes. It is surprising, how much it helps.

She was kind and she understood me, I think–or where I’m coming from,
anyway. She told me a lot of what I’m going through is understandable.
She told me that a lot of what I’m going through can be–not fixed,
exactly. But it can be worked through and worked out, and that is what
a therapist is supposed to tell you, I know. But I believed her. That’s
the important part, how I believed her.

She is sending me an email with some resources for me to check out–a
doctor who is familiar with bariatric issues, so that I feel like I
have somewhere to go, when I’m worried about my health; a woman’s food
issues/eating disorders group so I have a place where I can talk to
other people who are dealing with some of the same issues; someone to
talk to about the crazy pills I’m taking and whether I need to adjust
my doses. And then, we’ll email about my next appointment. The idea of
making another appointment is still scary, but I think I am also
looking forward to it, looking forward to talking to her, looking
forward to not feeling like this any more. 

  6 comments for “one session down, lots of crazy to go

  1. Hutch
    August 27, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    You are very brave, and I’m glad she made you feel better.

  2. August 27, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I’m so glad you felt comfortable with her! It can make all the difference. It sounds like you are at the start of your journey back to health.

  3. beezus
    August 27, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    You sound just like me 8 months ago. This winter I started seeing a therapist for all sorts of self-esteem issues and eating and diet obsessions. One day, I just couldn’t take living in my head with all of it anymore. It was terrifying and weird. But I kept seeing my therapist. She got me to see a doctor who diagnosed a chronic illness, to have a consultation with a psychiatrist (who gave me soe crazy pills) and recently I began attending a eating-disorder/body image support group here in Chicago. It’s been strange and embarassing but I’ve taken a lot of tiny steps to feeling better.

    I’m in no way done. I still have a looooong way to go but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I hope you have great success!!

    I hate to get all cheezy therapist-y…but it’s all a journey so we better get started.

  4. Jen
    August 28, 2008 at 8:31 am

    But where’s the “this session is free because you are so pretty?” I think you were robbed. :)

    Glad it went well.

  5. August 28, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Congrats on taking the step to get help! Sometimes that unbiased, nonjudgmental voice is all we need to move along our healing paths.

    In fact, I just started therapy last month to help me through my disordered eating issues and have realized it’s anxiety underneath the food drama. I enjoy therapy (tonight I go) and it’s helping me learn a lot about myself.

    Picking up the phone to make the appt., walking through the door…those weren’t easy. But I know it’s worth it. I’M worth it; YOU’RE worth it.

  6. September 1, 2008 at 10:54 am

    You were very brave to go. Sometimes taking one step is harder than running a race. It sounds as though you found someone who is compassionate, perceptive, and who will listen to you without judging. I’m glad.

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