healthy |ˈhelθē|adjective ( healthier , healthiest )in good health: : feeling fit and healthy.• (of a part of the body) not diseased : healthy cells.• indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health : a healthy appetite | a healthy balanced diet.• (of a person's attitude) sensible and well balanced : a healthy contempt for authority.• figurative in a good condition• desirable; beneficial• A conscious choice; A life-long commitment.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Working Towards Acceptance

I set a pretty lofty goal for myself this year when I declared 2013 the Year of Acceptance.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am always up for a challenge, but this one seems especially daunting as I have to reshape my entire relationship with myself, with food, and with my past.

I don't get in to a lot of family stuff here, but there is a pretty big story behind me, one with lots of instability, upset, and repressed thoughts of rejection. Working towards Acceptance means finally dealing with all of that, not just shoving it deeper and deeper down inside me until I have a breakdown.

In November, I met a blood relative that I had not seen since I was 6. This relative and I had been talking for a few months prior to meeting. I was really uncertain about meeting them, because I didn't know what it would mean, and where our relationship would go. I guess to sum it up, the meeting went okay, it was the after that didn't go so well. I emailed this individual and tried to express my truest self to them, explain the situation as I had perceived it, get everything out there. I got no response. Nothing. No words to say "Hey I got your message, but I don't have a response". I was left hanging. So a few days passed and I sent another message explaining that it was fine if they had nothing to say, but I would like to contact some other relatives and thank them and apologize for what had happened in the past. Again, nothing.

November is when I really started noticing a decline with my overall feelings of well being. I think old wounds were re-opened and a lot of un-dealt with feelings resurfaced. I have really felt like I have been struggling ever since. I go through my day to day stuff, I exercise, I eat, I engage in hobbies, I work. But its this constant nagging of defeated self worth, something I thought I had dealt with over a year ago.

I feel the rejection fresh. I feel like I am 6 years old again. Waiting, waiting, waiting, for my biological father to come, but never showing up.

It hurts. It feels really unfair. It makes me wonder "Why me?" and "Am I that bad of person?" and "Why am I not good enough for him?"

To me, Disordered Eating habits are a way to find control in an uncontrollable situation. I attribute my disordered eating to my turbulent childhood. Whether it be eating too much, or eating too little, I am looking to grasp on to any control I can. To feel like no one but me can make the decisions of what I eat and what I don't eat.

I have been tossing around the idea of seeing a therapist for over a year now. As a professional in the mental health field, I am all about getting outside, expert opinions on what is going on in the brain. I just wasn't sure my case was "severe enough" or "worthy enough" of actually talking to another professional about it.

Well, I finally caved and did a walk in appointment at the Local Community Mental Health Clinic. Last week, I met my therapist for the first time.

I spent pretty well the entire hour crying. I do that when I get emotional, so it was no surprise to me. I expect I will cry at the next few sessions as well. We discussed some of my history, some of my support, and what coping skills I have. I found it very helpful to talk to someone who doesn't "know" the people I am dealing with, so I feel like I am finally sharing what is happening with unbiased ears.

She gave me some questions to think about and some homework to do regarding tracking how I am feeling when I eat, and where my thoughts are going.

The one question that really stood out to me was this:

What would it mean to me if I gained more weight? If the number on the scale increased, if my pant size went up?

I'm still not entirely certain of how to articulate an answer to these questions just quite yet. But I know that what immediately comes to mind is this:

  • I am a failure. Just like my mother. Failure is what is expected of me.

  • I am worthless. My father didn't love me, I don't love me, no one can love me.

  • I am valued by the number on the scale, the size of my pants, and the control I have over what I eat.

  • If I gain weight, I will face rejection again, not rejection from Matthias, my Step Dad, and my family, but rejection from myself.

So here I sit, journalling, blogging, trying to release my connection with size and value, and trying to accept that I can eat what I want, when I want, without it controlling my life.

I haven't found Acceptance yet, but I am taking baby steps towards it. I am not sure what weight or size acceptance will be found at, but I am hoping it will be one where I am happy and proud of my body, rather than continuously scrutinizing and belittling it.