- August 20th, 2014
- Write comment
It’s not like I don’t have anything to talk about. I have plenty I can talk about, so many productive sessions with my psychologist and learning about myself. But at some point I lost the desire to record what I’m going through.
Today is my second day of trying to do the shakes again. I have had one hell of a rollercoaster ride over the last three months with regards to my weight and how I’ve been eating. In June I had my surgery which required me to fast for a whole day. I also found myself deeply immersed in designing and starting to create my Health Management System, so with those two factors combined, I found myself without appetite, sticking to the shakes very well. I lost about five kilos that month.
At the end of June, I just crumbled and found myself eating ice cream again. Over July and now August, I regained those five kilos, plus a little more. I couldn’t force myself to diet anymore. I had no motivation and I felt so trapped and out of control. At one point, I had locked myself away at home and given my cards and cash to my husband to take away from me. We even transferred our accounts out of my PayPal account and into my husband’s, so I had literally no way to sneak off and get ice cream. When I told my psychologist what I was doing, he responded that he was shocked at the amount of nastiness towards myself.
During that session, I discussed with him my addiction to sugar and hence the reason for the extreme measures, at which point he corrected me. If it were truly an addiction to sugar, any form of sugar would do to feed my addiction, instead of my need to find specific sources of this. He said that given this addiction, my final addiction, was my last vice, what was really happening was a rebellion. Essentially, some part of me would just say, “Fuck everyone, I’m going to do what I want!” and then get the ice cream. He said I had two modes of operation: either I would refuse to obey, or I would obey but only under extreme duress, which only lasted so long.
The last time I saw him, I actually cried. He came into the room as per usual, took his seat and asked me, “Why are you angry today?” Then, “Why are you angry at me?” I tried to think. I didn’t know that I was angry, and I certainly didn’t know why I was angry with my psychologist. It seemed mean to be mad at him, he hadn’t done anything wrong. I came up empty and he told me that he thought it was because he wasn’t helping me with my sugar addiction. He couldn’t instantly fix me of this problem, so I was mad at him for not helping. He apologised, not only as a psychologist, but as a human being, because he could see how much this was hurting me.
I don’t remember exactly at what point I started to cry, but I remember saying, “It is ridiculous that I am so close to tears over this, because I swear that I don’t care this much.” He told me that I did care. Obviously. He told me that I was sick of being told to wait. Of adults always telling me to wait. It was likely that my parents always told me to wait for things, and I still need to fight them.
He asked me about the things in my life I was trying to fix. I told him that I had only two issues at present, the sugar addiction and another thing, and then I would be done. Everything would “look” perfect. I acknowledged though that I knew nothing would be perfect in reality. I would still be broken, even if I did fix those two things.
It was at this point that my psychologist really made his job known to me. Not only was it his responsibility to connect me with feelings that I had dissociated from myself, but he also had his own goals, his own items to fix when it came to me. I would often come in with something superficial to fix, like my sugar addiction, and he would eventually turn that into something deeper, something that resonated with me.
I confessed that, as a scientifically minded person, I found talk therapy really difficult for the first few years. I wanted to fix myself, but all therapy was about was talking and learning. It felt so meaningless and stupid. How was this supposed to help me, exactly? But somehow, after years of work, I was getting better. My old psychologist really saw me through my depression. She saw me through to a point that I would call “stable.” But we plateaued there.
This new psychologist can see the remnants of my depression and my complex PTSD. He knows that there is a lot more to fix, and he knows how to go about it.
I told him that I focussed myself on these superficial problems, like the sugar addiction, because I can see those problems, I can understand them and I can devise plans to fix them, whether they work or not. The idea that I don’t understand my own thoughts and feelings, that I need to become more aware of myself and accepting of what I’m going through, feels far too abstract. I have no idea at all how I would go about connecting with those thoughts and feelings.
My psychologist reminded me that I still hate myself. I had come so far in terms of this, but it must still be there, because the problem I have with food is that I don’t feel like I deserve to be nourished. All I can do is punish myself relentlessly. He asked me about it, about my feelings towards myself, so I recalled all those horrible things I thought about me. I remembered how I used to feel evil and contaminated, that I would infect everyone around me.
It’s weird, but at this moment I can see two opposing versions of myself. One is the person I thought that I was on my way to becoming: someone who is worth something and has personality quirks and is just like every other human being out there. But then there is this version that I thought I had gotten over: this depraved soul who would destroy everyone who came into contact with me.
My psychologist told me that everyone has a shadow. “Good” people are aware of that shadow and make the right decisions and choose the right actions. “Bad” people are either unaware of the shadow, or don’t know how to deal with it.
So I guess that contaminated version of me is like my shadow. I do have the power to destroy people, if I choose to go down that path. But by being aware of my shadow and aware of what I could do, I can behave like a normal human being.
My psychologist asked me if I was worried that I would infect him. If I thought I could infect him. I told him that I probably could if I wanted to, but I honestly just wasn’t interested in it.
On Monday I came to a decision about my diet. I am going to suffer, no matter what I do, because I am addicted. Psychological problems aside, I am addicted to sugar and I will suffer that addiction, whether I choose to indulge it or not. Over the last two months I have tried everything I could think of. I chose to stick to my shakes, and merely gave in and ate ice cream. I chose to eat healthy for a week, but couldn’t separate the eating of food to not getting candy. I even chose to just let myself eat candy all day, and it just made me miserable in an entirely different way. So I figured that failure or not, I would just go with the option that caused the least damage to my health and my weight, which is the shakes.
Yesterday I took my decision a step further in my mind. For however long I have been doing this dance with the part of me that wants to lose weight, I have always identified two selves: the one who wants to succeed, and the one who just wants candy. I would identify them as the adult and the child. I can be an adult 90% of the time, but that child will sneak on in and screw everything up. She will rebel, because she thinks that by behaving like an adult that we have lost that ongoing battle with my parents and anyone else who tried to enforce their rules on me. Rebelling was the only way I could stay in control.
Something that I have read in a few books and articles about dieting is that we all need to be the adult. We need to take responsibility for our actions, no matter what they are, and accept that we are in control. As much as I might want to blame this child inside of me, I am the person who is choosing what does or does not go into my mouth. I need to learn that this is control. I need to step up and be an adult 100% of the time.
I think my ideas here are still half formed. I don’t want to be hard on myself, because I don’t want that kid inside of me to think that she has to rebel again. I want to be kind to myself and be in control of my own actions. And I need the security of knowing that I can control my actions. I’m tired of living in fear of this rebellious child. I don’t need her anymore.
I’m still scared. I don’t want to be, but I am. I don’t know how to fix this. I guess it’s good that I have someone on my team who does (my psychologist), but it’s a long battle ahead. At least I’m learning, I guess.