In therapy, the subject of my eating, or not eating, and other habits, has come up. Bea has brought them up in that sneaky round-about-shrinky way. I’ve avoided it, because it makes me uncomfortable. I know I might have a problem. I know my thoughts about eating aren’t what one could call healthy. I also know that if I want Kat to learn different, I need to start behaving differently. Yet, I still avoid this topic, because I’m not so sure I’m really ready for a change.
Last weekend, I came clean. Bea and I had an email conversation in which I told all about my adult years of disordered eating. I didn’t even go near my teen years. As usual, it started with something she had asked days ago. I finally decided I might be ready to talk, if it was safe enough.
I emailed a list of questions, first. I needed to know she wasn’t going to freak out, or insist on some meal plan or that hubby know this, too so he could watch me. It took a few emails, but her general feeling seems to be that any behavior that is not immediately life threatening is a coping merchanism, and taking away a persons coping mechanism without teaching new tools is not a good idea. Also, teaching new tools does not mean replace, it means add to, but we would hope that at some point the new coping skills would begin to be chosen over the old. And, I am an adult so hubby can’t be told unless I choose. And, she would never think to have someone “watch” me, I’m not a child.
I took a deep breath, and began to email. I wrote that while I would not say I have an eating disorder, I think I don’t know what normal eating is. I tried to explain what I meant. Bea wrote back asking me if I felt comfortable, if I would write out what I normally eat in a week. That was a scary thing. It made it real. I mean, really real. It meant letting her into my crazy just a little more. I wasn’t so sure that was a great idea. I figured I was either doing this, or I wasn’t. So I wrote it up, adding a little, in here and there (yeah, bad Alice, bad!) just so it would not seem so empty, and sent that off. After of course, explaining the whole how I gained weight thing (anyone ever go through IVF? I swear they create those hormone cocktails for the sole purpose of weight gain and to make women insane).
She emailed back. She understands. She thinks we need to watch this. It does make her concerned. She would like to hear about my teen years with ED. If, and when I’m comfortable, she would like a food journal, with foods but also emotions and if I don’t have the emotion then whatever is happening that moment in time.
So now I’m keeping a food journal. I’ve made rules for the journal. Yes, rules. As though I’m 12. I sent Bea an email letting her know I would keep a journal as asked, but also that I was really afraid to give it to her. I said I needed some rules for it becasue I was feeling very out of control. She said okay to all my rules, and that she was just happy I was wiling to keep a journal for her.