I met with a therapist in Bloomington Thursday morning and for the first time I was comfortable talking candidly about my eating disorder. This new therapist only works with eating disordered clients; she actually began our conversation by explaining that she herself has recovered from an ED. Many people frown upon former disordered eaters treating those with eating disorders, but I think it makes sense (and it’s exactly what I want to do eventually). Here’s why it works – over the span of 50 minutes she didn’t once react with that tone of utter shock when I was honest about how much I exercise or the number of calories that still sticks in my mind as some magic daily cut off point. This is the first therapy experience in which I haven’t felt judged as a freak or a failure. I didn’t have to explain the mindset, she just got it. Someone who has had these thoughts and dealt with similar behaviors can meet me halfway, so to speak. It’s already understood that eating disorders strike otherwise successful, bright and generally “with it” people. I don’t need to prove to that I’m a normal person, anorexia aside.
Not only did the session itself go well, I’m proud to say that I actually sought out help on my own. It’s an uncomfortable phone call to make: “Hi, I just moved to the area and having been recovering from anorexia for about a year and a half now, could I set up a time to talk to you?” Seriously, who wants to call a total stranger and admit to having an eating disorder? The point here is: I went into this therapy experience with a slightly different mindset – it began on my terms, I made the phone call without being asked to. I realize how far I’ve come and I know that this is essential to continued recovery – I didn’t need to be told.