I love my support group. I'm so glad I started going back because it makes me feel so much less alone in the world. Tonight it was just two other women and me. I was about to say two other girls but they seem like women actually. I'm a woman too, you know. Anyways, tonight I met Lauren. She hasn't been to a group since July, and she talked a lot about how she was anxious about coming back because she'd gained so much weight and she was worried what people would think. She said, "I can't help it but whenever I see someone, even one of my parents, I can't help but constantly imagine how fat they must think I am." Awww. It felt so good to know I'm not the only one who does that. Sometimes, when people are talking to me, I don't even hear what they're saying because in my own head I have this ongoing chatter of what they must be really thinking of me. Isn't that scary? It's horrifying but now I know I'm not crazy... or at least, not the only one who is crazy.
I also came to a startling realization tonight and I was glad I was with other people when I found it out, because I almost had a panic attack. We were talking about what it would be like to live a life without an eating disorder and I realized that even if I stop using behaviors, I will never be a truly well adjusted person because I have so many other maladaptive coping strategies that are just as bad if not WORSE than bingeing and restricting. Here's one- isolation. I have lost such a big chunk of my young adult life to isolation. Not going to my junior semi, refusing prom invitations from guys in High School, not going to Michigan last summer, not calling people back when they want to get in touch or hang out with me, not auditioning for plays or choirs, and SO MUCH MORE. Another one is the baggy clothing. For those of you who don't know me personally or see me everyday you can't really know this but I don't wear nice clothes. I would love to though! I have 27 pairs of beautiful shoes in my closet that I bought years ago but have never worn because I can't find the right outfit to go with them because I'm just so fat. I have drawers full of cardigans and skinny jeans but they won't be coming out any time soon. Wearing my brother's shirts and my dad's old jeans cover the chubbiness enough so that I feel safe but at the same time, I look like someone who lives under a bridge.
I said to everyone, "There is just no way I can even begin to start letting go of all this shit when I didn't even know it was a problem until right now." And then one of the group leaders was like, "Well being mindful of what you're doing and how you're doing it is the first place to start... and it seems like you just did that."