Friday, October 25, 2013

Mental Health/ED Ramblings

Hi there,

Sorry for the inconsistent posting lately. I am totally swamped as per usual and sometimes feel like there isn't a whole lot to say beyond 1) school 2) work. I've also had a lot of unexpected outings/social things over the past couple of weeks, plus traveling last week, so I am pretty much going all the time. As mentioned, I skipped therapy this week...I still don't have a good reason for why, other than that I just didn't really feel like going. I am doing pretty well mentally/emotionally lately, and part of me feels like therapy forces me to dredge up problems that aren't really there. Anyway. I should talk about this with Dr. P.

I've been thinking a lot about my "mental health" lately - specifically, is anything even wrong with me anymore? What should I be "fixing" in therapy? I eat pretty well (not perfectly, but pretty well); my body image is fine (not great, but fine), and I am no longer depressed/angry/frustrated/miserable. I'm not sunshine and rainbows all the time, but I'm fine. I go to work and school and hang out with my friends and eat in restaurants and all that. It doesn't really feel like the eating disorder, anxiety, or depression interfere with my overall health or daily lifestyle in any significant way. Eating out still makes me anxious and I probably still worry about food and exercise more than the average person, but overall I think I'm going well. So. I don't know - do I continue to identify myself as a sick person and go to therapy indefinitely? Or do I take a break and go back when I need it? Is therapy something that confers cumulative benefits over time, or something that I should only use on an as-needed basis?

I've got a good-enough handle on my everyday life that hashing out the same old hard parts week after week in therapy just seems to bring me down. Can anyone relate? I still adore my therapist and would like to maintain a relationship with her, but I'm not sure how to proceed.

In related news, I've been doing way better with spontaneous eating lately. I've been out to eat with a friend of mine twice in the past two weeks. Last night, he found this crazy Brazilian restaurant (I did NOT know where we were going ahead of time) that served samples of about 10 different cuts of meat: lamb, pork, filet mignon, sirloin, chicken, turkey, etc. Impossible to know how many calories I ate (of course I still tried to estimate) but I was absolutely fine with tasting everything. Then again, I had cut way down on my snack earlier in the day, soo... Yeah. I guess I'm still in a weird limbo-place regarding food. I am going out with another friend tonight, and the plan is to NOT restrict my snack beforehand. Will see how that goes.

Okay, this was all over the place. More coherence coming soon.


  1. I wonder the same thing about therapy. Right now I should probably be going a lot, but there were times when I was doing well when I felt like the right answer was to still go, maintain the relationship, work on things as they came up, but just less frequently because every week was too often. Idk - I think the methods we use in recovery should be open to change just like us.

  2. Yay for you for being more spontaneous re: food! I second E's comment-- keeping up the relationship is good, but also, it's good to have someone who can call you on your BS if you start slipping. I've found it's far better to have a sorta "wasted" appt where I'm like yeah so this is good..... vs. having to debate whether I'm "bad enough" off to make an appt after a break. Early recovery (which is way longer than I wish it was) is really tricky-- even after behaviours have been stabilized for a while, it's still hard. The whole an ounce of prevention thing, you know?

  3. Awesome that you've been spontaneous and adventurous! Good for you! As far as the therapy bit, I agree with Erin and JS, that it would be good to keep up with therapy at least every few weeks. Things might seem really calm psychologically right now, but things could crop up, or it might just be nice to get an objective view. Also, just because you see a therapist, doesn't make you a "sick person." It simply means that you're getting an objective view and some support. I don't want you to feel down on yourself about seeing a pro; they're there to help you to be the best you possible!

  4. To add to what the others have said (with whom I agree), do you want to just be pseudo-recovered? You have made tremendous progress, but even you admit that you have some areas that still need work. I'd suggest taking a min-break by reducing the frequency of your therapy sessions and then when you're feeling motivated again, try to tackle some of your remaining symptoms. A full recovery will reduce your chances of relapse ...and more importantly, make your life easier. I was amazed by how much simpler (and less anxiety ridden) my life became when I made the final leap from pseudo to full recovery. Even at the stage you are now, I bet you're still devoting a hell of a lot of brain power to eating disorder related things.