The first ten weeks of recovery were so hard, and I couldn’t see any improvement. Each day of treatment I fumbled my way down a dark tunnel, no known destination beyond the word “recovery,” and little motivation to get there.
What I lacked was insight. Insight into why I relapsed in the first place – what was incomplete, what will save me now, how to achieve lifelong recovery and leave this mess in my twenties.
Going through it all again – the meals, the sessions, the weigh-ins and early mornings – I thought, what’s the point? I’ve done it all before. It didn’t work.
I hate banging on the same nail with the same hammer, expecting something different to happen. (Einstein’s insanity, right?)
Last week, in a one-on-one session with a clinic psychologist, we acknowledged the detrimental role sexual assault played in my relapse. My psychologist believes I have to talk about it. The actual event. I have been putting this off for three years so you can imagine my anxiety and aversion towards this prospect. She suggests writing first.
So, I’ve been mulling over terrible memories all week, preparing myself, cowering in my mind. For years I’ve been telling myself, some things are just too terrible to be said, and I’ve been eating to numb out bad feelings.
This morning I had a huge flashback, and finally made sense of it all. There are two memories – one from an abusive relationship in 2007, and then being raped in 2010 – and then the outcome of trying to press charges in 2011, that all culminate in one big knot that I believe is at the base of my eating disorder.
I have kept this horrible series of events to myself for a very long time.
During days I keep myself exhaustingly busy, always distracted. At night, feelings of loneliness, disgust and defeat overwhelm me, and I so I escape in self-abuse. I don’t want to be alone with such disgusting memories. I am often repulsed by my own existence. I feel trapped by my decisions, terribly alone and profoundly ashamed. Stupid. Dirty. Damaged. Tarnished. Stained. I feel heavy, physically heavy, and big. This part of me wants to shrink into something so small no one can see me. My desire to deny these memories and feelings transforms into an obsessive desire to eliminate all of my body fat.
I spent an hour tonight writing out a graphic account of what I believe are the worst, most secret, harrowing memories. Tuesday I plan on reading it to my psychologist at clinic. I’ll have to book off work so that I have the rest of the day to mentally recover.
I am not ready to put these memories on the internet and may never be. It could be retraumatizing or something.
Anyways, things are moving forward. Meals are getting easier, and I believe I will get better.
Wish me luck.