Therapy Tuesday

11:18 AM Edit This 7 Comments »
I'm sitting at the coffee shop, drinking Ethiopian Harrar. I do believe I am the only English speaking person here and it's kind of fun. I love my coffee shop. So eclectic. And it's only five blocks from my house. How convenient is that?

Therapy Tuesday was a little shocking, actually. One of the players on this blog has, I believe, a terrible eating disorder. It's addiction taking on another form to control the pain and unmanageability of life. And it's hard to watch. Because I am helpless to do anything about it. As with any addiction, you can say anything you want, but it falls on deaf ears until someone is willing to hear you. So, I say what I have to say for me, knowing that it is unheard.

But Miss M drew a terrible connection for me on Saturday night that needed to be explored with Carolyn. She said, "Isn't loving her and watching her slowly killing herself a lot like loving and watching The Dead Guy kill himself?" And it gave me great pause. Because yes. It's almost exactly the same thing. I make excuses for her, I shield her from other's concern, I censor my own thoughts about what's going on so I can still stand to be around her. And I've given up saying anything because I know it will do no good. And I just wait. Wait for her to come back to me.

And she may or may not. Come back. She may die just like he did. And I have a choice here. To do the same thing - wait around for her to recognize what she's doing to herself, or to do something else. And I don't know what that something else is yet.

But I do know one thing. I am a different woman than the one I was five years ago. I no longer believe in giving refuge to addiction. And I get to make choices today. Better ones. Even if I don't know what those choices are quite yet.


kilax said...

It is amazing how conselors make those connections for us... we just don't see them until they point them out! I hope you do whatever is best for you :)

Anonymous said...

You are right that a person with an eating disorder is very much like an addict.

And you are right that, just like an addict, she will not hear anything you say until she's ready to hear it.

Which sucks, because even when you say all the right things, you still can't help her. And that's frustrating as hell when it's someone you love.

But here's the thing: when I was drinking, a lot of people said all the right things to me and I never heard them. Gradually they started giving up and falling away, and then there were fewer and fewer voices telling me what I needed to hear, until eventually there was only one voice left. That one voice kept saying the right things over and over and over until I finally heard her.

And I owe her my life for not giving up.

As for the others, the ones who gave up? I don't hold it against them. They did the best they could, and I'm okay with that. I understand now that it wasn't that they didn't love me enough, it's that they loved me so much that it hurt too much for them to stick around and watch.

So the bottom line? Even when it's hard and painful and frustrating, do you want to be the voice that never gave up? Or do you need to be one of the others? And which one can you live with?

Only you can decide.

Shelley said...

It's tough, because you cannot make a person change. Have you confronted her? At least said your piece? Because maybe you need to do that for you as well as for her. Ack. Tough spot to be in.

Anonymous said...

You will help her. I know you will.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

It's a really hard place to be ... to know someone is ill, but to not know how to help. And by not doing anything, in some ways, you allow the addiction to continue. Sigh. I'm sure you'll come up with a very thoughtful way to help ... and I look forward to hearing how you go about it. I think we all know someone who needs help, but don't know quite how to approach it.

Lemon Gloria said...

You are absolutely right - you are such a different person. I know you will figure out the right approach. It's true too that until she's ready to deal with it, it doesn't matter what you say or how many times you say it. It's all about control.

Jen said...

You're a strong one Kate, I'm confident you will figure out what to do for your friend, and in turn for yourself. Isn't it great to be able see oneself grow and change?