This past week, as recommended by my therapist, I went to an FA (food addicts) meeting. For weeks my new outpatient therapist has been trying to convince me, but I have been hesitant for obvious reasons. But after a few weeks I began to run out of reasons not to go. An eating disorder is an eating disorder, so I was hopeful that I might be able to relate to this group of people.
Nope. Not one bit.
The entire 90 minutes I was bombarded with weight loss stories, restrictive meal plans, and a core belief that flour and sugar were poison. Just writing about this makes me so anxious that I'm losing my train of thought. For the past six months my world has revolved around facing fear foods and retraining those restrictive thoughts. Worst of all, I had to stand up and introduce myself with "Hi, my name is Kelsi & I'm a food addict." To put it bluntly, it was a shit show. Complete and utter madness.
Needless to say, I was furious. Humiliated. Fed up. I had not been that triggered in months. As I (literally) ran out the door and to my car, I actually allowed myself to feel anger. Somewhere during my childhood I created the belief that angry people were mean and unapproachable; far from the "perfect" Kelsi I was trying to be. I didn't know what to do with myself or my anger.
What was my therapist thinking?! Was she trying to trick me? In the moment it felt like she was actually trying to send be backwards into relapse. I was done with this crazy lady. Earlier this week I called around and scheduled an appointment to meet with a new therapist. I didn't plan on going to my session today at all, but shockingly, I'm so glad I did.
I went into my session today with that same angry attitude. On my way into town, I had my "pump up" music going; there was no way this incident was going to be left unsettled. Forced to use my assertive voice, I somehow found the courage to tell her how ANGRY I was. Before the session was over, I even told her that I had already found a new therapist and wasn't even planning on coming in. This is huge for me. Never, ever do I say what I'm really feeling in fear of being a disappointment.
And my assertiveness actually paid off. First (and most importantly) she apologized for sending me there. As we talked through some things, I was able to shift my thinking dramatically. Yes, it was not a good situation for me to be in at all, but I didn't allow it to ruin my progress. All of those triggering thoughts would have easily sent the old Kelsi back into unhealthy patterns, but I actually noticed something unhealthy and stood up against it. It also gave me the opportunity to feel anger, sit through it, and deal with in a healthy manner. Crazy.
Most importantly, like I mentioned before, it allowed me to use my assertive voice. For the first time ever, I stood up for myself and my recovery. Not only did I push my therapist today, but more importantly, I pushed myself. I got more out of my session today than I ever dreamed. I was real and honest with my feelings & it paid off. It's hard for me to even believe I am typing these things...