Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Reassurance and grounding

As I think I blogged earlier, in January, John (my therapist) and I agreed that I was healthy. We parted ways with the understanding that if I needed him, I just had to call.

Last night, I saw John for the first time. With all the emotions budding about my trip to Buffalo in a few weeks, I knew that I needed help. In the past, I would "tough" it out and see how far I could get on my own. Inevitably, ED was there to help me get through. I would starve and binge until I was miserable, and then I would ask for help from a real live person.

This time, I vowed it would be different. The moment I felt my anger and anxiety rise, I decided to call John and schedule an appointment. I needed to talk about what I was feeling, and not just with my husband (who is priceless for listening,) but from someone not intimately involved. An impartial third-party, so to speak.

John is the best person I have for that.

So, last night, we talked about my trip to Buffalo in a few weeks and how this is the first time I will see Tom in person since I confronted him, about how I had been able to compartmentalize when I talked with him on the phone on holidays, but that this felt different, and about how I was thinking of sending Tom an email of ground rules for my visit.

From John, I received reassurance that my gut was right. That I have every right to feel everything that I'm feeling. He said that there is no time limit on my anger. In fact, I probably will always feel angry towards Tom and that it's okay and natural. It's natural for this visit to trigger all these emotions and more. And, he said, this won't be the last trigger in my life.

John liked my idea of emailing Tom with ground rules for my visit (to include no touching, no hugging, limited communication, and no alone time with my son.) He reminded me that I need not think of Tom's feelings about any of this - they are irrelevant. What matters is making this visit as comfortable for me as possible, because I didn't do anything wrong.

I left my appointment feeling confident and purposeful; recharged and ready; grounded.

I'm incredibly proud of myself - for my recognition of my feelings, for my proactive response, and most importantly, for not letting ED in this time.

John simply confirmed (validated for me) what I already knew in my depths - that I am strong and healthy now.

And it feels wonderful.


Sarah said...

This is GREAT! I'm proud of you, too. This post is a wonderful illustration of how we can change our lives, one day at a time. Well done! I hope the trip goes well.

Jeanne said...

Thank you, sarah - for your encouragement, your hope for a good trip, and for your thoughts!

Definitely we can change. Actually, I like to think that each new minute gives us an opportunity to choose - do we stay the same, or is there something we can do to make it better?

The important thing to remember is that we are in charge of those choices.