Last night I went to the eating disorders support group run by my therapist. I was very nervous when I got there, but thoroughly girded my loins and went in. I grew more and more self conscious as anorexic teenage girl after anorexic teenage girl came in, mothers in tow. I recognized one teen (she was in my preschool storytimes 12 years ago) and her mom. What had I let myself in for? Finally one overweight teen came in -- and I recognized her mother. Oy. I may have bolted except that two women who were at least close to my age came in -- and it was the meeting during the month when parents and loved ones have a separate group. Whew.
It was heartbreaking to listen to these young, beautiful girls talk about eating only one meal a day, being afraid of restaurants, and exercising for hours every day. I just sat there thinking, "Please God, do NOT let this be my daughter six or seven years from now." I feel kind of proud that I was able to offer some concrete suggestions and comments to some of the attendees. One woman told me, "I'm so glad you were here." She is anorexic and bewildered, unable to afford therapy.
On the way home, the first thought that popped into my head was, "Wow, I want to go home and eat." The second thought was, "What? That was weird." I think eating after successfully making it through a stressful situation is a way of decompressing. At the family brunch on Sunday, I didn't overeat a bit. I didn't really eat much at all, actually. However, later at home I had 3 desserts. It was as though I thought "Whew -- it's over. I made it through without bingeing or overeating. Now I can eat." That doesn't really made sense to a sensible person, but until last night it made sense to me. For the rest of the drive home, I considered this new discovery. When I got home, I chatted with T about the meeting and went to sleep. No urge to eat anything at all.
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