“If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way – especially shame, fear, and vulnerability.” ~ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
That’s pretty much what I have been doing here, right? Yes, but not fully.
I’ve always believed that addressing my “issues” would help me get my eating “under control” in order for me to lose weight. Because of this, I have never been afraid of getting counseling. There was never anything that I was afraid to discuss. I relished “going there” even if it meant crying my eyes out.
I still think that. Any time I have taken the opportunity to become more self-aware – even if it was painful – it has paid off.
That whole paradigm has shifted significantly, however, and now I find myself scared and unsure, as if I am walking along the edge of a cliff on a dark, foggy night. I know plenty of people who have feared counseling for this very reason but I never understood it until now. As long as I was using food to numb my fear and anxiety, I could talk about my issues and cry cry cry. But now that I’m not numb, I feel truly vulnerable. I have to face something that, until now, I’ve been terrified to face and I’m not even sure exactly what “it” is!
You’d think I would have figured this out a long time ago – that I was using food to keep my anxiety at bay – before I actually stopped using food. But it appears to be the opposite. My “weight” – whether up or down – was both a symbol and a symptom of my anxiety.
I don’t mean to make this sound all dramatic doom and gloom because, as scared as I am, I am also excited. The stronger and healthier I become, the deeper I can dig – I know my feelings can’t destroy me. I’m okay with being uncomfortable…scared even.
I had my first appointment with my new therapist. Her name is Dee Dee and I think we’re going to work well together. As someone else suggested to me, she asked me to consider that I’ve probably been anxious my whole life.
The whole “other people throwing up” phobia is just where I place all of my anxiety. Sometimes objects or situations that trigger anxiety represent all the other things in our lives over which we have no control. And if we allowed ourselves to become anxious over all of those things than we’d truly become incapacitated. And so we transfer our worries and anxieties onto one thing. It makes sense.