Whew. I made it to today. I mentioned on Thursday of last week that AAC was so concerned about me that she nearly sent me to the hospital during our session. It was a tough session, and a lot of emotions came up. I promised her that I would be there on Monday and here I am. I really wanted to show her that I could keep that promise. Friday until today were tough days and I did feel a tiny bit of pride walking into her office knowing I achieved my goal of not acting on the urges my depression was giving me.
I met with BC before I met with AAC. She asked me how things had been going since our last session a week ago. I mentioned how I have still been restricting and also had used a few other eating disorder behaviors. I told her how scared I am of eating food. Last week we had set a goal of me eating two meals and two snacks. That definitely did not happen. I am so freaking terrified of that idea. Today she suggested eating three meals at least. I have not eaten lunch in at least a month. I cannot even describe how scared I am of eating lunch again especially after how long it has been. I was shaking just thinking about it. BC and I talked about how I can have Ensure for lunch if I am struggling. She told me that Ensure is not me failing but a way to support myself. I asked if I could only do it for a few days because the whole week felt much too overwhelming. Of course, she said she would suggest doing it all week because it is the healthiest choice. However, she agreed that she wants to happen at least a few days.
BC gave me a goal setting worksheet. It made me so annoyed to see it. I called BC annoying so many times today (usually, AAC is the one I constantly call annoying). We talked about my fear and resistance to making a goal. I am so scared of failure, so this goal setting definitely is making my extreme perfectionism come out. We worked out what I wanted my goal to be and what parts of the worksheet would help me most. I agreed to do it for homework and go over it with BC next week. I wanted to avoid doing it, so I pushed myself to do it today and not put it off. I knew if I ignored it then I would never do it. I am going to at least try to do better with listening to BC’s advice and help.
I walked into my session with AAC, and she could tell that I was annoyed by my facial expressions. She asked me how things have been going since I saw her last. I told her how I had still been following eating disorder thoughts and urges. I mentioned certain behaviors that I have used recently. She grabbed a marker and wrote on her whiteboard (I hate when she does that :P). She asked me to tell her how I had made it to today when I was struggling so much on Thursday. I mentioned a few things, and I did not feel like they were that significant. AAC had me look at the board so I could see the amount of things that I did. My perfectionism caused me to tell her negative things. She challenged my habit of immediately trying to convince her/tell her why I did “bad” vs. my accomplishments.
We talked about my trip to meet EH this coming weekend. I am really freaking excited about the weekend we have planned. However…I am also extremely scared for the weekend. I am going to visit her at her college. Going to college campuses is extremely challenging for me. My trauma happened on the campus of my former college. I have only been to one college campus since the rape happened. While I was there, I suddenly got hit with terror and started to have a panic attack. It felt awful. I told AAC about how I am worried I will ruin the weekend for EH. She reminded me that EH is one of my best friends and how she knows EH would not be mad about it.
I said through tears that I was scared I will not be able to handle things. AAC talked to me about how telling myself I cannot handle it all week will only make me more and more anxious. She spoke to me about how ruminating on the fearful thoughts will cause me to have a panic attack because the fear will only grow by the time I get to EH’s. She told me to spend the next four days telling myself that I can handle this and that I can be strong, safe, and survive the weekend. It is going to be a challenge, but she told me how strong I am. She said that if I do not believe I am strong that she will believe it for me for now. AAC told me that she thought about me a lot this weekend and that she was so glad to see me safe and alive today. That made me feel really good. Sometimes, my negative voice in my head says that AAC is only working with me for my money and that she does not have to actually care. Today, she managed to actually get to me about how she does care.
I did not trust myself being able to handle leaving PHP for IOP. I had little faith in myself. However, I trusted AAC 100% and leaned on her faith in my recovery and how she believes in me. These next few days and when I meet EH, I will also do my best to trust AAC. I know that she would never put me in a bad or unsafe situation. She knows that EH’s college is a safe place where I will not get hurt. I am going to remember that AAC protects me. I am going to let her believe in me until I can believe in myself.