Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why Am I Doing This, Exactly?

So I had counseling last night. I really, really didn't want to be there. We talked about my addiction issues and the steps I've taken since our last meeting. I told Susan that I'd made an appointment with an acupuncturist and then cancelled it. She asked me what I was hoping acupuncture would do for me. I immediately clammed up and started to cry. Why? Because I perceived her question as some sort of accusation that I had no idea what I was doing. And of course, I know she didn't at all mean it that way. But I felt like an idiot that I had charged full on into wanting to do acupuncture without having first really asked if it will accomplish what I want it to do for me. Susan said that she asked not to make me feel foolish but because she "cares about me and loves me" (she actually said she loves me!) and that I'm in an extremely vulnerable spot right now. (shudder) How I detest that word. She doesn't want to see me try something and then have it not work the way I thought it would. She's afraid that would be too discouraging or painful right now. So, okay, I was able to verbalize that I'm hoping the acupuncture will help me with stress relief by means of getting my body energy moving again. I'm hoping that by getting my energy flowing, I will be able to experience more emotions instead of just piling them on top of the emotional gridlock that's already inside my body. In addition, I have chronic pain in my left shoulder because I hold all my tension there. I'm hoping for some relief of that pain as well. Susan suggested another type of Dr for the actual muscular pain but did say she felt I had a realistic view and hope of what acupuncture should be able to do for me. So I'm going to go ahead & make another appointment with the acupuncturist.
We talked about my intention to go to OA meetings. Turns out there is one near me at work and it's at lunch time on Mondays & Fridays. My goal right now is simply to get to at least one meeting before I see Susan again in two weeks. I feel quite scared at the prospect. You know each of these steps I'm taking pushes all my insecurities, "flaws", shame, dysfunction and my tightly held personal coping mechanism out into the world. Makes it public. Makes it REAL. Puts it out there for scrutiny. Makes it impossible for me to pretend it's not there and retreat into my binge-induced numbness. As I said in a prior post, I'm terrified to fail and I'm terrified to succeed. Susan asks why I need to judge as failure or success? She praises me for having taken the steps I have so far. Of course, I'm much more interested in my failures. She says the slow and somewhat methodical nature of how I'm approaching this is actually quite healthy. ("One Day At A Time" sound familiar???) She said I'm doing what they actually talk about in AA which is referred to as "the next good thing". I've taken a step and now I just need to do the next good thing. Keep making one small good choice after another. Why does it have to be failure or success? I tell her that I don't feel I'm being judgmental by calling it success or failure. I mean, in terms of what I'm working on here, those two words are pretty finite. Either I get the eating disorder under control or I don't. Succeed or Fail.
I was feeling pretty drained and was out of things to talk about. We still had about 10 minutes left. I looked around, did some breathing to see if a topic came to me. Shrugged my shoulders at Susan and said "I got nuthin'."
"Okay. How does that make you feel?" she asks.
"Uncomfortable," I answer "anxious and uncomfortable."
She said that was okay, why don't I try just "being" and experiencing my feelings in the moment. She suggested that it's actually very healthy progress that I can sit there feeling uncomfortable because as recent as a few months ago, I would have grabbed onto any fluff topic to avoid just this. Great....healthy progress!! So I sit there trying to breathe and just "be" and my mind keeps running off "talk about this, talk about that, cripes you have issues galore...can't you pull one outta your hat to discuss so you're not looking like a fool, wasting time and being unproductive??" I feel like an idiot not utilizing my time with her and I say out loud "I feel stupid." Susan smirks and says "'Stupid' is not a feeling,'s a judgment!!" Oh, LOL. Well it's still what I'm feeling!!!!! As I sit here struggling with this seemingly simple task, I wonder to myself....Why, exactly, am I working so hard to be able to "be" in the moment and feel my feelings?? Because this kinda sucks.

1 comment:

VICKI IN AZ said...

Yeah it does... kinda suck!
Do you think we react so defensively to our therapists questions of concern about us because no one ever asked us as little girls what we thought?
That is what came to me when I read about your reaction to her question and felt myself in that very same position.
I know how much that meant to you when she told you that she loved you, I love that you could share that here, you are so brave.
I admire you very much, keep taking those steps girl.