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Magical World

Wouldn't it be lovely if, with just a twitch of the nose, life, or any aspect of it could be changed. Instead, positive changes always seem to involve tremendously hard work, determination, and endless setbacks. How lovely it would be to have the powers of Samantha Stephens.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Counseling Day


I woke at 6:30 and decided to scrap running today. I'm not sure why. I went through my morning routine, then sat at the computer and pondered doing my counseling homework. I don't want to do it. I'm supposed to free-write about my feelings about control-food-stress-coping. I sat for about 30 minutes, thinking (which you're not supposed to do in a free-write). Then I decided to do e-mail instead. I guess the thing is that I'm not ready to do this yet.

I've already written by feelings about control. And when I get under too much stress, I usually run to relieve it. But I have been under more stress in the last few months than I have experienced for years. And I'm being told that I need to:
1. Allow myself to feel my feelings, and to work through them in positive ways. A very good idea--but I don't know how to do it yet.
2. Experience spontenaeity--which I've been doing. And while it's certainly a positive thing, it also is a stressful thing because it increases the feeling that I'm out of control.
3. Allow myself to have meaningful friendships and relationships outside of my husband and children. Again, a positive thing, I'm sure, but also very risky. This involves NOT constructing defensive walls. This involves extending the relationship beyond a few months. This involves actual caring, sharing feelings and confidences, allowing the other person to have some say in the ownership of the relationship. This is very scary.

Honestly, I really don't feel that I have any say anymore in the feelings that come. I feel compelled to acknowledge them, analyze them, and try to resolve them, but I'm largely unsuccessful in that resolution department. Which is why, I think, everything has become so extreme for me.
1. Wanting to have Darrin linked to me. This hasn't always been so, but has developed since I started counseling. I just feel really insecure sometimes. I need his reassurance that he still loves me in spite of all the changes I'm going through. And I hate feeling that need.
2. Vacillating between wanting to encourage and support David as he works through the feelings and struggles he's experiencing, and just wanting him to go away--I think this is happening because even though I love him dearly, I really hate the thought that I might have an emotional responsibility to him, that I can't just cut and run. This is the LONGEST (with the exception of my husband) that I've stayed in a close friendship with anyone, and I'm finding it very stressful. Not to mention the fact that I understand too much of what he's going through, and while that may be comforting to him, it puts me in the position of reliving some pretty painful memories. Everything here is too complicated.
3. Okay, here's the real problem: not eating. Why don't I want to eat? Why am I repulsed by food? What am I getting out of this? The truth is that when I don't eat I feel very strong. My mind feels clear. My emotions feel weaker. And the longer I go without food, the better I feel. I feel incredibly powerful. This is something that I can do, that most people cannot (never mind the fact that it's incredibly weird and stupid, and no one in their right mind would even WANT to enter this competition). Also, there is a weird "high" that comes as the body sends those endorphins out to help deal with the pain of intense hunger. I can't explain this very well, but it's like a very addictive, powerful drug. I find it nearly irresistible. There is an additional side-effect of all this: as I become obsessed with this, it's easier to push everything else into the background. I can stop worrying about whether or not Darrin still loves me, because I'm concentrating on the physical feelings inside of me. I can avoid the things my counselor tells me to do, because I'm consumed with the not eating thing, and I don't have time or room for anything else. I'm realizing that I've allowed this obsession to really slow my healing process.

Everything I've written thus far, has been pretty random, so maybe, in a way, I'm doing that homework here.

I left for my counseling appointment at 10:00. I have a family party that I'm supposed to be back for at 1:00, but I have a feeling I'll be late. Part of me doesn't want to go. I spent about 1.5 hours talking with my counselor. She keeps saying that there's more...that I'm not telling her everything. So today I said, "You're right, I'm not telling you everything. You don't need to know everything. In September, I'll have lived 40 years, and a lot can happen in that time. I don't feel a need to lay my life out to you. Some things are mine, and mine alone." She said she just felt that I kept dropping bombshells out of the blue on her--she says I never told her I had a past eating disorder, but that's not true. I even put it on my initial paperwork, and I have mentioned repeatedly that I was feeling some helplessness when it came to eating. I started mentioning it at our first meeting. I can't help it if she chooses not to listen. She wants to keep meeting. I don't. She said it was my decision, I can discontinue counseling at any time, but she would feel more comfortable if I would continue to come until the eating was a little bit more stable. I said I'd come back in a month. She tried to talk me into weekly visits again. I repeated that I'd come back in a month. She suggested a two-week visit. I was firm--back in a month. So I have an appointment a month from now. She didn't assign any homework, just told me to make sure I ate every day.

I left her, knowing I was already late for the family party thing. I went to Sam's club and got some fruit for a salad, and some other stuff we need, then headed for home. I arrived around 2:15, threw the fruit salad together, and got to the party at 2:30. We stayed for about 45 mintues, then left.

We went home, and relaxed for a couple of hours. Darrin and I had a church meeting at 7:00, so we left the kids and went to that. It was a great meeting. I accompanied a musical number, and that went much better than our rehearsal yesterday. We got home around 9:30, and put everyone to bed. Darrin and I stayed up talking till around 11:00, then slept.


  • At Tuesday, May 02, 2006 5:19:00 AM, Blogger Ward Cleaver said…

    And you say I think too much!!!!!

    What do I see when I read this?
    I see you internalizing the eating disorder as a control issue. something that you can control. You feel powerful when you do control it. It's a power trip.
    So, why do you feel powerless (in other aspects of your life)?

    The hunger pains are a "high" that I do understand. It's part of the control/power issue.

    I am addicted to the post workout soreness of my aching muscles. I love the aching feeling of my muscles a day or two after a workout.

    Keep digging. Keep thinking.

    You're on the right track.

  • At Tuesday, May 02, 2006 5:59:00 PM, Blogger Samantha said…

    Can I just say that I feel like a FREAK!!

    All these things that are so normal to everyone else seem horrifying/terrifying to me.

    And what is comfortable to me, I know is bizarre and weird. Will I ever adjust? Is it possible for me to have a life like the people around me?

    This digging, this thinking...I'm really afraid of what I'm going to find.


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