4 things therapy taught me

Tonight was my last therapy session. My therapist wished me well, gave me a hug and I walked away from his office. A few minutes later I started crying as I walked towards where Lou was going to pick me up from. I cried because I am damn proud of myself for going to therapy and forever changing my life for the better.

My therapist and I both feel that I’m at a place where I no longer need to attend sessions. I felt it two weeks ago at my last appointment, that I was nearing the end of needing therapy, our session was shorter and I felt like I probably had one last session, so I booked two weeks out instead of the regular once/week. Today was even shorter, it was more of a check in to see how I was doing and how I felt my food issues were going, and also how the stressful family member issue was going.

The family member issue resolved itself last week when they moved out, so all is back to normal in my home and I am obviously so happy the stress is gone.

I let him know I felt 100% in control around food, and I hadn’t binged since our first session. I naturally have eaten more intuitively and pay so much more attention to how I am feeling while I am eating. I stop when my body tells me to, or if I just don’t really think that what I’m eating is tasty. I can honestly say I know my relationship with food is changed for the better, it will be something I deal with for the rest of my life, but after learning so much about myself and how I deal with my feelings around food I know I’ve got this.

Anyways, I wanted to share something I have been thinking about for last 6+ weeks, and that’s what therapy has taught me.

1. It’s okay not to have all the answers.

I’ve known I had major issues with my relationship with food for the last couple of years but I never thought I needed help to address it. I thought I would figure it out all on my own, boy was I mistaken! Seeking help was the best thing I have ever done for myself. It allowed me to talk about things I never felt comfortable saying to anyone.

2. I don’t need to be the parent.

Before therapy, I spent a lot of time telling other people what to do and it’s fucking exhausting.

Whether it was asking my partner to clean up after himself or clean something the way I wanted it to be cleaned, or telling a family member all the shit they were doing wrong in our house.

I remember when I touched on this stuff with Brian, he said something I will never forget: “Imagine all the free time you will have when you stop parenting other people”. It blew my mind. I was stressing out about other people and what they were doing, when I should/could have just focused on myself. It’s not my business the way my partner chooses to clean, because as long as it gets done then who cares if it’s different from how I would choose to do it. Who cares if someone asked me for help or advice and then chooses to ignore it, it’s their life not mine so why should I stress myself out over something not in my control.

In the last few weeks I have really thought more about when I feel like I may react to something in a negative way and instead of nagging or parenting someone, I’m starting to pause first and usually the want to parent goes away.

3. I’m the director of my life.

I was letting the unhealthy thoughts I sometimes have control my actions around food. Before therapy, I never once fought back or thought I could do things differently. Therapy led me to discover new skills, ideas and ways of thinking about my relationship with food. My life has improved a lot in the last 6+ weeks since I have been digging deep and working on myself.

4. Be authentic.

I have been on a journey since last year, a journey to being my most authentic self. Going to therapy was a huge part of my journey to fixing my relationship with food. When I look back on the way I was interacting with food I can see that I had been feeling lost, like I wasn’t myself. I was constantly thinking that I was not living my truth. I found myself thinking “who wants to go through their whole lives hating themselves because of their poor relationship with food?”. I don’t remember what exactly happened the day I called my employer’s EAP (employee assistance program) line, but I knew I was sick of living the way I was and I knew I had to do something about it.

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