Almost a week into my therapist's challenge. It's up and down- at times I feel relieved that there aren't expectations of me beyond taking one class a week and not rushing into more. The rest of the time I am left feeling empty, hopeless and guilty for not moving faster towards bigger goals. "Baby steps" is all fine and well, but it is incredibly frustrating. It's been hard to feel optimistic, to find reasons to eat, to look forward to things because I don't feel like any immediate goals are on the horizon.
Today was the first day of my class- I was very tempted to not go. To be honest, I contemplated lying to my family and saying I had enrolled but doing something different entirely. When I left the house this morning, I wasn't sure if I would make it or if I'd just go for a walk instead. I went, and am glad I did. It was a REAL struggle to concentrate- it's pretty heavy going for what I thought would be just "interesting". I think I'll enjoy it- the challenge will be to accept my limits, accept that I don't know anything about the subject, accept that it's OKAY to not understand everything 100% straight off the bat, and most importantly of all...to accept the class at face value. It's 2 hours a week for 11 weeks. I don't need to take it to degree level, make a career out of it. I can just go to class, take in what I can, read up as much/little as I want and see if my interest and understanding grows or fades.
The other issue is the depression aspect. This challenge aside, the past week has really highlighted that there is NOTHING right now that I am looking forward to, excited about, planning for. That has been a big downfall for me in the past in terms of my eating habits- there's no concrete reason to eat, so why bother? I need to figure out how I make self-care an independent thing. NOT conditional on a job, a move, a relationship. How I do it for ME because *I* believe I am worth it.
I'm not sure how to get to that point, but I can see the patterns of struggling, restricting, placing hopes on something external, doing better, finding out that the external factor isn't what I hoped, stopping eating, giving up on the "dream" and falling back to square one. Time after time after time.
I NEED to change things. I need to find a way to give myself permission to eat, to be healthy. Without conditions on that. It's such a difficult concept to grasp, and honestly? I find it hard to fathom how other people do it. I honestly do not understand how people justify it to themselves...or how they do it automatically without questioning whether or not they "deserve" to do something so basic as EAT.