Yesterday I wrote a post about 5 ways to ensure you get the most out of your therapy appointments. I figured it would be only prudent to post about how that particular appointment went so here we go!
I walked in and we spent a little bit more time on the pleasantries than I had originally hoped we would. I haven’t seen her in a long time so there was a little bit to catch up on with my son but in all honesty I was stalling a bit because I didn’t quote know how to (or want to) address the issues I had brought with me to the meeting. I was acutely aware of the minutes ticking by while we discussed my home life, my husband’s work, my son’s sleeping patterns and, yes, even the weather. Had I not made a game plan before my appointment I may not have been so aware of the time we were “wasting” taking about silly things but because I had gone into that room with a purpose I was very aware that we weren’t talking about what I had planned to for longer than was necessary. Before I started making a game plan for my appointments I just let them run their course and I can’t tell you how many times I walked out of that room wondering what work we had done with that hour, we would still talk about things happening in my life effecting my mental health but really there could have been better uses of my (and my therapist’s) time if I had just directed the conversation a little bit, therapists are NOT mind readers, they can go where you lead them and from there can push you a bit but if they don’t know a problem exists and you don’t bring it to them they can not help you.
I like to do a recap the morning after an appointment because that was there has been ample time for the new thought patterns and realizations to process in my mind and it’s not so far away from the appointment that I have started to forget key things I wanted to remember. I honestly haven’t done it yet even thought it’s been just over 25 hours since I walked out of the office. That is a little disappointing to me but today was a very busy day with the munchkin and I meant to write it during his nap, “unfortunately” I ended up taking a nap too… oops! hahaha, oh well.
This appointment was a little bit different from the others and I didn’t really even realize it until I was in the car driving home. We did the pleasantries, talked about the issues I wanted to, exchanged money and receipt and I left exactly as I always do. This time we talked about a local specialist organization that I have been thinking of seeing (I’m not going to go into it because I am not ready for it to be on the internet yet but one day I hope I’ll be able to be more specific). I had a lot fo fears about going to this group for help and my therapist helped me to see why those fears were understandable but that I could work through them because it was likely a good idea to call these people and at least see what they offer. I segwayed into a great little anecdote about my son (it’s always best to end therapy appointments on a light not if possible) and we laughed a little at how adorable he is. As per usual she said to keep in touch and to call her if I needed anything. I said I would and opened the door. As I was leaving I waved back without even looking and said “Have a good night”. It was all so normal and usual.
When I started the hour long drive home I started to think about and process our conversations over the previous 60 minutes. Shortly after I hit the highway I realized that I think that might have been my last appointment with her. I think I’m done my therapy with her. I immediately started to cry. I have known this doctor since my first interview at the hospital way back in October 2009. I saw her in the program both my first and second times through. After my second round of intensive treatment I decided to see her as my private therapist because I had NO luck finding someone locally. Driving the hour to see her would be a pain and she had a hefty cost but if I was going to recover it would be worth it. That was in February of 2012. Holy crap, I just had to take a moment there… I saw her privately for 5 years, it really didn’t feel like that long. She is the first therapist who understood what I was going through and helped me to overcome it. She saw me through 2 rounds of treatment at the hospital and 3 major relapses. In the end it was her who helped turn around my thinking about my eating disorder and help me find the entrance to the winding path out of my prison. She saw me through my wedding planning, cold feet and marriage. She saw me through the death of my mother and other important people in my life. She saw me through my pregnancy and the birth of my son. She has literally seen me from my lowest to my highest points, from death’s door to the creation of new life. When I left her office yesterday everything felt so… usual and normal. I know she wasn’t handing me off to this new group of people and I know she wasn’t saying goodbye. There was no agreement that I might not need to go back and no voicing that our work together was finished but when I closed the door behind me and walked down the stairs to the car what I felt was closure. I know that I can call her anytime about anything, and that she will always be willing to see me. But I also know that if things work out with this other organization, there is no reason that I will need to see her again short of something truly horrible happening in my life. I feel like I am finished working with her and that breaks my heart a little bit. I knew that one day this would happen, that I wouldn’t need therapy anymore, that I would be healed but for some reason I thought I might see it coming or know it was happening. I thought we would both agree that I was ready to go out on my own and we would shake hands to travel once again in our own directions. I didn’t expect it to just happen and although I feel sad about it I also feel incredibly alive and encouraged. I feel powerful and exhilarated. I always thought I would have to forever say I was in recovery from an eating disorder but I can truly say that I have recovered. It happened sometime in the last couple of months, again I didn’t notice an exact date and time but just a gradual general shift. I am recovered. I have recovered. I have recovered my health, my life and my freedom. It is not only possible to escape the prison of an eating disorder, it is possible to escape the country and continent that prison sits on. It is possible to leave forever and know, to truly know in your heart of hearts that it will never darken your skies again. I have recovered.