The true turning point in my healing process came about on a couch. Well, ok, let me back up a little bit. There is a little more to the story then just a couch…
Upon my arrival back to Boise after a not so good Christmas break, I made the decision to seek counseling once again. I had been knocked off track after a very long and stressful first semester of graduate school, athletic training, and traveling. Being in a different state every 3 days for four months had really taken its toll on me, things with the Train were shaky at best, and I had missed 8 of 15 Statistics classes earning me less than 1/2 of the points available (I would lose my job if I got less than a 3.0 GPA). Going home for break did not offer me peace of mind being that the holidays are centered around food, and at that point food and I were not on daily visitation terms. Needless to say, I holding hands with danger on the path to hell.
Luckily during break, the Train and I were able to work things out and after many long and loving conversations, we landed on the topic of me and my eating (more like the lack there of). It was no secret that I was struggling, the Train has always been keen on any minimal negative changes that I make and tries to help acknowledge the destructive behaviors. We decided that it would be best for me to get help. I chose to find a holistic counselor who specialized in ED. To my luck there was one in Boise who I felt after a short consultation would be the key to my healing.
My counselor, CE, and I met once a week for an hour each time. She focused on finding the root to the ED rather than trying to tell me how to fix the surface issue. CE discussed with me imbalances and deficiencies that are linked with compulsive and disordered eating habits. I started supplementing herbs, amino acids, and vitamins in hopes to get my body back to working condition. I made significant progress and was feeling good again, but after a few months I felt I had plateued and almost as if I was regressing. This is when CE and I tried vibration therapy.
Alternating vibration therapy is similar to hypnotherapy. I am not sure exactly how it works, but it allowed me to get into a state of complete vulnerability. Holding two little balls in each hand that alternate vibrating, CE talked me through an imaginary situation. In a dream-like state, I was able to imagine myself as a baby and see myself care for Baby Me. I saw myself loving and nurturing Baby Me, and I watched as I protect, cherish and held Baby Me as if I were my own mother. CE guided me as I watched myself grow into a beautiful child.
Then, very quickly, my dream turned very cold. All of a sudden I was in the bathroom of my high school as a sophomore standing in front of the mirror saying negative and self-loathing things about myself and my body (this is how and when the ED began). I could feel myself tense and my heart beat race. I could hear the ED shouting horrible things about how fat and ugly I was or how undeserving of happiness I was for letting myself be fat.
CE asked me what I was seeing. After I told her, she instructed me to talk back to the ED and see myself again as the growing child whom I protected and loved. Then, Young me, the Train, and my best friend Mer came into the bathroom and each one gave me a hug and told me it was ok and that they loved regardless of anything. Then Young Me took my hand, told me I would be ok, and walked me out of the bathroom. I felt tears running down my cheek and a great warm light in my chest. I saw a flash of light at which point CE brought me back to the present.
I melted into the couch and cried. I cried 9 years worth of tears, sorrow, pain, guilt, shame, and embarrassment. I felt each cell release all the stored negativity I had accumulated. This went on for 10 minutes. Not a single word was spoken, just tears purging grief and anguish. After each molecule of my being was ringed of the toxic energy, I felt myself freed of the ED’s grasps.
I felt I had run a marathon once the tears ended. I could barely get off the couch in CE’s office but I knew something amazing had just happened. I couldn’t even describe the feelings coursing through my body. I felt cleansed, renewed, emancipated and revitalized.
I was so exhausted from my session with CE that I slept for 13 hours straight. From that day on, I stopped having the compulsive and disordered eating tendencies and stopped allowing the negative self-talk to go on in my head. I felt stronger and more love for myself than ever before. Every now and again I feel the ED try to rear its ugly head, but each time I am strong enough to get back to the state of loving for myself and talk back to it as I did that day with CE. I just go back and see Young Me, strong, beautiful, and healthy, holding my hand and I know that I will be ok.
And it all started on a couch.