Body Image Experiential

Originally Written: August 5, 2006, Day 5 in Treatment #2

Mornings are always the hardest for me. Breakfast went ok. I have a little anxiety walking to Body Image Experiential, but it’s not overpowering today. I just feel so lost and I truly think I didn’t get fully better the first time I was in treatment in 2001. I think I wasn’t ready to deal with everything and I was too immature.

Group started with a quote: It’s not uncommon to hear someone with an eating disorder describe her relationship with her body as that of one with a stranger or even an enemy.

I mean – WOW. This quote truly resonates with me. What does this quote mean to me?

  • I talk about my body as if it were an ‘it’.
  • I hate my body.
  • It’s not a stranger to me. It’s an enemy I have gone to battle with.
  • I get mad at it when it doesn’t make me happy or when it changes.
  • I take my anger and sadness out on my body.
  • I take what I do wrong out on my body.
  • I turn away from my feelings and use my eating disorder to numb myself.
  • Instead of facing other people, I face myself and take it out on my body.

My eating disorder has taken on dimension. How do you get closer to yourself? Feelings invade my space and I manage my feelings by ignoring them.

We, then, did an exercise as a group. Karen, the Body Image Therapist, tapped me on the shoulder as if my feelings were tapping me on the shoulder. I felt a lot of anxiety. Elise, a patient, said I looked like an abused little girl without tears. Another patient said I looked very guilty and as if I was blaming myself for something that wasn’t my fault. I feel like I am not allowed to feel. I need to ask people if I am allowed to feel a certain way. Why? How did I get so fucked up?

Thoughts in 2017: Recovery is like an onion. You have to peel back the layers of issues and trauma to get to the core in order to progress into full recovery. Looking back, I did the best I could in my first time in treatment. I truly gave it my all. I did everything my treatment team told me to do. They called me the poster child of treatment. I tricked my brain the first time in treatment. I told myself that I should give treatment 100% of me. Worst case, I can leave and go back to the same thing I was doing before. I was so depressed and miserable, it worked.