The therapist I met with suggested that I consider an eating disorder intensive outpatient treatment program. A wave of fear came over me full of thoughts from my previous attempts to get help:
I’m never going to have any muscles because I’m lazy.
I’m too fat and gross
I’m too ugly to be a model because I’m not one!
It won’t really help, it’s a scam to bilk as much money as possible from me by requiring countless therapy sessions forever.
Besides, it would be far too difficult to make the time to attend all of these sessions and still work.
Despite all of the excuses that filled my mind it came down to I can’t afford to get treatment. and I’m not that bad off. I reasoned that I just haven’t tried hard enough to stop purging. I needed to try harder. It’s my lot in life to suffer. The most I can hope for is a miracle.
When I walked into her office, my nervous thoughts began fighting me not to bother.
A whisper in my mind said, “Let’s listen to what she has to say.“
“The way the program works is for about three months, we meet three times per week in a small group setting where we discussed triggers and learn coping skills, you and I will meet every week for an individual therapy session and you’ll check-in with the nurse and a dietitian. Let’s have you start by filling out some food logs every day, we will discuss nutrition and eat lunch together. If you decide you are ready to start let me know and we can set your start date” she handed me a folder full of information including some food log worksheets with an example. It all seems excessive I thought to myself,
Am I really that bad off?
I’m sure there are other people in need of treatment more than myself!
I don’t need therapy.
It’s completely unnecessary!
It’s all a big scheme just to make money.
My depression at its worst, yet there is a whisper “it’s been 20 years and I’m still struggling and miserable. I don’t have anything else going on right now and I have medical insurance.”
I was out of excuses. I made the commitment to myself to find an eating disorder treatment program.
I reluctantly completed the “stupid” food log worksheets. The white copy paper has a grid layout, starting with a column for meals (Breakfast, snacks, lunch, snack, dinner, snack), and a place to note the time of day, next the column for food consumed, location where consumed, the hunger level before, and a place to note thoughts and feelings, level of satiated after, and finally a column for noting “behavior” resulting from eating and “level of anxiety.”
I played along, filling out the food logs as requested. I hated admitting when I binged and purged or was restricting, but I did it anyway, I frequently had the thought, “no one else needs to know.” which eventually would be countered by “I’m not doing myself any favors by not being honest.”
My anxiety was often intensified as the memories of previous confrontations would replay in my mind.
“Why do you even bother eating if you’re just going to throw it up?”
“I can’t believe someone would do that. They must be sick. “