Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Following Through

I've been working with this patient at clinic. She is in her fifties and has a number of health problems along with pretty severe anxiety and depression. I also suspect her husband is beating her, but I have no proof - just a gut feeling. She calls my office about twice a week to vent and cry. I am trying to get her set up with some temporary medical coverage and HOPEFULLY (fingers and toes crossed) disability benefits. Unfortunately College State is ultra-conservative and thus pretty stingy with anything that might, like, benefit the populace, but that is a post for a different day. Anyway, I spoke to this particular patient last Thursday about a few questions she had regarding Medicaid and SSI and such but didn't have the answers readily available, so I promised to do some digging and follow up with her the following day. Fast-forward to Friday evening, nearly 6pm, I'm tired and cranky and ready to head home...when I remember that I had forgotten to call her back. I waffle for a few minutes on whether or not she would care or notice, decide that she probably would, and call her back.

After we talked a bit about some specific next steps, she thanked me and said something along the lines of: "It means a lot that you called. Whenever you say you're going to do something, you do it." 

And with other people, I generally do. I do not flake out. I never ask for extensions. I always show up. I am Reliable.

But with myself? It's different. I procrastinate like crazy. I drop the ball. I toss out plans all the time. This is why I never make time for the dentist. This is why I never do PT like I'm supposed to. This is why I still bite my nails, after probably 15 consecutive New Year's Resolutions to quit.

This is why it has taken me so many years to start finally getting over my eating disorder - because all those times I promised to put my health first, I flaked out. Or I didn't even try.

I make commitments to others all the time, and I always follow through. But I probably break more promises to myself than I keep.

I am trying so hard to make this time different. And so far, I'm doing well. I haven't run in over a week, and I haven't cut my intake at all. So, in essence, I have an extra XXX calories to work with each day that I am no longer burning off before breakfast. Yes it's hard and I'm going a little nuts, but it's also kind of liberating. Things are more okay than I expected. I feel kind of icky, but I'll survive. And most importantly, I feel like I'm finally making a commitment and sticking to it because it is the right thing for me and the best thing for  my health. Obviously running X miles a day and limiting my calories doesn't work in any sense of the word, so I'm willing to trust my body for a while, to believe that the amount I'm eating won't make anyone fat, and that my body hasn't had a chance to fully recover in all these years of halfhearted attempts. Time to stand up and follow through.


  1. I'm really proud of you for doing with exercise and intake! I have no doubt in my mind that if you use that same determination and committment to your recovery as you have toward school, people, work, etc., recovery will be so much easier! Keep up the awesome work!

  2. This is really interesting and I think fairly common in helping professions. It helps me to value integrity and, by that I mean "walking the walk that I talk." How would you feel if you found out your therapist or doctor or something were not able to do the exact things they encouraged you to do. For me it'd ruin the whole effectivness of therapy. For that reason, I always try to "walk the walk." Sometimes just knowing that I have to "walk the walk" for the sake of clients/patients is what keeps me walking the walk. If I don't then I feel yucky about my own level of integrity. Idk if that resonates with you or not, but thought I'd share...