I’ve realised lately that sometimes I’d rather not try, than fail. Making an excuse is easier than opening myself up to one of my big fears: failure, letting myself down, not being good enough.
An example of this is therapy. I’ve been told many times before that it’s important to try and negate what my eating disorder tells me, and to develop healthy responses. However, my feeling has always been
I can’t do the healthy thing, so I will be no good at this. What’s the point trying?
The point of trying (I learned today in my therapy session), is that it happens in steps. First of all, I need to create the brain space and give some time of day to those healthy, alternative thoughts. If I could act on them 24/7 then I wouldn’t have an eating disorder! (This was a light bulb moment 😂).
I need to get good at not being good at things. I need to be able to try, and feel ok when I can’t be perfect. Thinking about it, my eating disorder is what wants me to remain fearful of failing. That’s another way it can keep me stuck.
I hope the process of therapyI’ve just started with help me unstick ❤️
I can count my positive experiences with therapists on one hand (for anonymity I will use initials!): N, S, D and group therapy psychologists whose name escapes me… 🤔
The therapy I have received over the years hasn’t all been focused on my eating disorder. My OCD therapy was by far the most effective, though I also had a great course of group therapy for eating disorders, but sadly it only lasted 12 weeks. It simply wasn’t enough.
After a short wait I met a new therapist today. Strangely I feel a little emotional despite feeling I clicked with her! The word therapy can make me feel that I ought to feel good afterwards, but talking about difficult things is aimed at a long term solution, not short term happiness. Considering I am quite all or nothing in my thinking, this is probably another way for my eating disorder to make me feel like I’m inadequate: not good enough at being ill/ can’t even do therapy right.
We discussed that giving up an eating disorder isn’t an overnight situation, and that first of all we will need to build up my healthy self and get better at emotion regulation. I totally see the benefit of that, and I wish strength on myself to commit to it fully.
I am somebody who likes to feel prepared, always trying to get ahead of myself. The problem is, it can actually cause more harm than good if it becomes out of control.
How far ahead does one plan? And which things are important to prepare for?
Perfect example: yesterday I began to feel stressed about money, as I’ve had a shift taken off me for next week. I don’t know yet if I will get a different day in replacement when future rotas are done. I’m not working much, but doing some to have the money for my therapy, and so the spiral begins…
How much will I get? What if I only ever get 2 shifts not 3 a week? How can I pay for x,y,z? I should look for another job. But where? Blah blah blah.
I can’t plan finances based on unfixed circumstances, just like I couldn’t buy enough toothpaste to last me the rest of my life, or plan exactly how many bus trips I will take in the next year. It’s all just a guess, and the guesses won’t reflect reality so what’s the point in jumping to conclusions.
Ah, hello unhelpful thinking style #CBT 😂 but seriously, my energy needs to be put into planning things I can control, and use the remaining energy to handle the unexpected as they come. I’m not sure it’s possible to stop the thoughts coming to my mind, but the spiral of thoughts aren’t necessary.
I suppose we will see what happens next time something comes along that makes me want to get carried away in mind…