Something that came to mind recently was the fact that even though I’ve been going to therapy every week, my binging and purging wasn’t incredibly affected. Yes, it decreased for a while, but once I got used to the fact that someone knew about my illness, it didn’t serve as enough motivation for me to stop. I’d tried everything. Therapy was my last resort, and I only called the counseling office when I felt like the despair might just eat me alive.
Going into therapy I made myself believe that it could offer me some magic cure. Like I would see the counselor and she would know exactly what to do, and do it quickly enough that I would never have to let anyone know I’d even struggled with a problem.
Obviously, that was not the case, and I doubt it’s the case in any treatment method. Basically what I’ve learned through therapy is that I have to do the work myself. That was kind of a disappointment when I realized it, because I’m tired of dealing with this eating disorder and it’s a nice idea that someone else could take care of it for me.
So what was the point of going to therapy for the last two and a half months if it didn’t resolve my symptoms?
I think one thing therapy did do is it gave me someone to talk to about my illness. That was immensely relieving, and for a few days it gave me a feeling of accountability- now I have to tell someone when I throw up, so I’d better not.
The problem was that after a week I started getting a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that made it almost impossible to resist binging. Since I binged, I purged, and the cycle started once again.
I guess the only other thing therapy helped with was getting me to tell other people. I can’t say exactly how, but maybe it was a feeling that since after I told a therapist she still didn’t hate me for it, other people would not hate me either. Because of this, I told some of my closest friends and eventually my parents, who responded with support. Their support is currently what’s keeping me from having to binge multiple times a week. The therapy is almost useless now.
Who knows if my experience is shared. I’m not in an eating disorder specific treatment program yet, so once I sign up for one of those I’m sure I’ll find it more helpful.
But I guess the point of this post is just to say that therapy isn’t helpful in the ways you might think. But it’s still helpful.