My urges have been sky-high for the last week, both in terms of eating disorder behaviours and self-harm. I’m trying my golly-gee-darndest, but I still wind up giving into one or both of these urges 50% of the time. I have a new therapist and she’s lovely, but I worry that CBT-E is going to backfire and I’ll be one of the 30% who don’t get better with it.
I’m tracking every bite of food I take, every sip of diet coke, every time I swallow a laxative, diet pill, diuretic. Chew and spit? There’s a code for that. Where did I eat? When? Did it feel excessive? Why? The part that I do like about CBT-E thus far is the fact that my eating disorder now has a “formulation” — a visual representation of the maintaining factors that are making it so difficult for me to give it up. It shows how the eating disorder is perpetuating itself and how one behaviour turns into another turns into another. My homework before Thursday is to re-evaluate the formulation she and I made yesterday and to add or change anything that I think needs it. As soon as I get that done, I’ll post a picture — it’s really quite interesting.
In the meantime, here’s a poem I found in my e-mail drafts from quite a few months ago. It’s unedited and unchanged since the time I wrote it, but I’m just not in the right headspace today (too few calories/too many pills/not enough serotonin) to give it a solid edit. It’s written for my grandmother.
The day that you died was the same day
That I sat in a coffee shop, answering questions
My first interview to go to the missions field.
And I wish I had told you about my call
And could have seen the look on your face
And I think you would have been proud
And I wish I could have known then
And seen how your death affected me
And how the steady downward spiral of the last two years began that
And I don’t think you’d be proud of me now
But at least you’d be honest.
And I know you’d speak up, speak your mind
And say the things everyone else is thinking
And when everyone else sits silent
I could count on you to sound the alarm
And you would remind me
That I am worthy of care