My Entire Family Came To My Therapy Appointment
This past week was pretty nerve-wracking.
I found out through my mom that my family was becoming increasingly worried about both my mental and physical health, and wanted to schedule a meeting for all of us to talk about things. So, I made the bold move to reach out to my therapist and ask her if they could attend our next scheduled session, which happened to be this past Friday.
I was really nervous. We are not a family who openly discusses serious matters that often, so I was extremely apprehensive about how things would play out. Talking about my health issues is at times very emotional for me, and fearing what might happen completely drained all of my energy that day.
Also, it felt weird for them to be in my therapist’s office. Her office is my safe space, and I feel comfortable telling her anything in there. But to have my whole family in my safe space felt… well… a little unsettling.
I won’t go into too many details in order to respect my family’s privacy, but I’ll speak for myself: I felt incredibly supported. Supported and thankful. There were a couple of tears (mine), a couple of nervous laughs (mine and my sister’s), but also some great questions and some very valid concerns.
I told my family the reasons why I haven’t been super open with them.
1) I’m frustrated by my illness and by the fact that it is still so present in my life. So, I refrain from talking about my issues because I get so worked up when I do (and will do anything to avoid those uncomfortable feelings).
2) When I see my family, all I really want is to be distracted. I don’t want to spend our time together talking about my anxiety or my eating disorder. Instead, I would rather talk about my job, or my blog, or my nephew, or literally anything else that comes to mind. It’s not that I’m trying to avoid the subject. But when we’re together, I want to hear about anything other than the eating disorder.
So what came of the meeting?
We set up some concrete strategies that involve ACTIONS. It’s not enough for me to simply be willing to make changes… I have to actually MAKE the changes. The weeks to come will focus on distraction during meals (FaceTiming with my family) and accountability (sending pictures of meals to my family). I’m nervous, because changing my food intake both in terms of variety and quantity is something that my eating disorder is screaming about. While I am willing to make these changes, committing to actually doing them is stressing me out.
But I keep reminding myself of how blessed and grateful I felt on Friday with my entire family in my therapist’s office. They were there for me even though their schedules were packed, and I would do anything not to lose the love and support I felt. So I know I need to make these changes. Changes for them, but just as importantly, changes for me.
If you have any questions about family therapy, please don’t hesitate to message me. You can send me a DM through Instagram (@meghanturnbull) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thanks for listening to me! Wishing you all a great week. And to all you ED fighters, I’m here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.