Well...I did it. I got through my first hour of counseling today. It was petrifying!!! But I have another appointment for next Monday at 3:00pm again. It felt kind of good to open up and tell her things. I told her about the cutting and a little about the eating issues. Though I told her the eating issues were in the past. So at least she knows that there is a history without me having to deal with recovery for that just yet. I think I can only handle one recovery at a time. Plus, I'm not ready to give up my eating patterns.
Nancy, my new counselor, is really nice! She was really easy to talk to and wasn't judgmental at all. She even told me she doesn't expect me to never cut again just because I opened up to her. All she wants is to start the process of recovery. All she's expecting for now is to start taking note of what triggers the need to cut. I explained to her the emotions and feelings at the time of cutting but she wants me to start paying attention to more than that. To take in all the different factors. After that is when we'll start finding healthier ways of dealing and coping. She said she's proud that I was able to come to her and tell her. Even though I only used the word "cut" once during the session, she said she knows it took a lot for me to be able to open up enough to say it just that one time.
I was really shocked that I didn't cry. I was a nervous wreck all morning before the appointment and though for sure I was going to end up crying. One time I got really close. My eyes filled with tears and I could feel myself start to cry, but the feeling passed without having the tears spill onto my cheek. She said:
"Now I'm going to ask you to do something for me. And not for long because I don't want to put you through that. But, put yourself back into the emotions and feelings right before you cut yourself. Imagine that you're going through it now" *eyes start filling with tears* "Now..can you picture a time in the past where you felt this same way?" And I couldn't... Other than in high school I couldn't think of a time in my past where I felt that way. She said it was fine, I didn't have to. And then we were done with that part.
The session lasted an hour and we covered a lot. We talked about me, she talked a little about her so I would understand her more, we talked about my family, everything. It was emotionally and mentally exhausting. And there were times when I wanted to get up out of my chair, say thanks but I'm done, and walk out of her office. But I stuck it out and I'm glad I did. And she was real with me which I really liked. We were talking about my family and she was asking questions that I didn't always have an answer for and she said:
"That's alright. We're going to dig stuff up in here. And, if you decide to make this a regular thing, there are going to be days when you come in feeling good and you leave feeling worse than when we started. Because we dig things up so we can deal with them."
Her method is: "It's the same as the story of How Do You Eat an Elephant? .... One bite at a time!" It's a daunting, overwhelming task, but we're taking baby steps. And I think I can handle that.