People ask occasionally how I beat my eating disorder. I do NOT recommend any one-size-fits-all diet to anyone, ever. I DO recommend listening to you body. In fact, I recommend your body as #1 therapist in your life. I recommend that if your therapist recommends one thing, and your body screams NO WAY! you disobey your therapist! Be proudly noncompliant. Honor your body. Actually, that I know of, is there any religion out there that says, “Doctor knows best”? No! But many religions state that we humans were given bodies ENTIRELY FREE at birth and that we need to respect that. Respect what you have, honor it, and it will, in turn, respect you back.
I was told by my therapist to not run. However, I know now that this was nothing but a power move on her part. Maria Mellano was only playing out her own feelings about her own mother. She was taking out her anger toward her mother on her clients, and I wasn’t the only client she abused. I was 52 years old when I started with her, around Thanksgiving 2010. I stayed with her until March 2012 when I finally gave her the boot.
She was manipulative and controlling. Right away she forbade me to go running. She told me “All anorexics over-exercise.” I don’t. I was so mad. She tried to stop me from walking the dog even! This turned into a power struggle.
I started to over-exercise, but this was only in response to Maria’s abuse. There was only one time I did it before, in response to extreme weight gain from Seroquel. This time, as last time, it only lasted a few weeks. Both times resulted in a disabling knee injury.
The first time, in 2005, I weighed about 200 pounds and I spend three months off my feet and lived as a shut-in, unable to go anywhere. I had no transportation, no “nice person” who helped me out. I couldn’t walk the dog, couldn’t get to the bus stop, couldn’t do anything for myself, and had no “nice” pals around. People looked at me like “Oh she did it to herself because she’s fat.” I saw a doc but he didn’t care. My brother, who lived an hour away, refused to help out.Did I even matter anymore? I wondered if I would ever walk again.
In 2011, I was much thinner, weighing less than I should, and I ended up with a similar knee injury. This time, I saw a different ortho. I could walk some on crutches and got around fairly well. But this ortho told me I’d never walk nor run again.
I hope you’re laughing very hard right now.
“Don’t eat this.” “Follow this meal plan.” “Do these coping skills.” “Do deep breathing.” “I know what you need.”
Why do people follow other people’s advice, instead of listening to their bodies? Ditch the “advice.” Please! Stop going to these folks that claim to know better, especially the ones that charge money, or claim to know better than you do, and start doing what your inner wisdom tells you.
This is what I am finding out. I learned that I am doing much better without weekly or bi-weekly “appointments.” I used to think I needed that “therapy.” Now, I realize that therapy was holding me back. I realize that the only thing therapy did was to put money into the therapist’s pocket. Therapy did nothing to help my eating disorder. Most had no clue how to treat ED. Even those with “training” had no clue.
Sometimes it was far worse to see someone who claimed they knew about ED and didn’t. I got put into a mold I didn’t fit into. I would be accused of vomiting. I never vomited. These therapists never took into account the seriousness of binge eating. Very few ever asked the size of the binges, nor realized there’s a difference in sizes of binges. They didn’t realize that even though for much of my life I was stick thin, I lived in terror of bingeing.
They assumed I lived a much different life than I really lived. I never even looked at a fashion magazine. Ever. I don’t own a mirror. I don’t gaze all day long in one, never did! I don’t spend all day long brushing my hair. In fact, I re-do my braid once, period. I don’t fuss all day with makeup. I don’t wear it. I don’t give a poop about “fashion.” Never did. I don’t know the names of the fashion companies. To assume I do is following ED stereotypes they read in their textbooks.
Therefore, their textbook therapy never worked, since it is based on a host of incorrect assumptions.
These days I exercise a lot. I don’t overexercise and I don’t even think about that. I don’t worry about it since I was never an overexerciser to begin with. I know I should not overdo it or I will get injured. Of course, if I stay away from abusive therapists, I won’t have to worry ever again.
If I sit crouched over something straining my eyes to see something I can’t really see, then my lower back feels strained. This is my body reminding me to get up and walk Puzzle. Thankfully, Puzzle is a smart doggie and she will remind me well before my back starts to get stiff. She nags me and gets terribly obnoxious, demanding that I get up and take her out. If Rule #1 is Listen to your body, then Rule #2 is probably Listen to your dog. Your therapist should be on the very very bottom of that list, and I hope your dog drowns out all the abusive “advice” she has ever given you.
Rule #3: Laugh. When all else fails. This is a great default mode when you really screw up. The other day I was speaking in front of an audience. I knew almost all of the people there by name. Only there was one embarrassing problem! I was in the front, facing the group. I wasn’t that far away from my audience, probably the distance of two or three yardsticks (meters). If I had the ability to see, I would have been able to see the faces of my audience. However, I only saw blurs. Oops!
I was unable to recognize any of the people that I knew. When it came time to call on certain people, I looked around the room and alas, couldn’t find those individuals I was seeking. So what did I do?
Instead of getting all awkward and nervous, I turned it into a joke. It was fun poking fun at the situation. My audience laughed, too. It was equally funny when I had to remove my glasses and screw up my eyes to try to read the paper I had in front of me, and that, too, was loads of fun instead of awkward and embarrassing.
if I were in therapy right now, the therapist would demand I do “deep breathing.” The therapist would talk about “coping skills” and all that crap I never ever needed. I’ve thrown it all out the window.
Oddly, I have also saved a bundle of money in the process. While therapy was “covered,” the life they demanded I lead was not very inexpensive. i’m finding I am living a better quality of life more cheaply without their “recommendations.”
I can only conclude that I had a decent brain after all. I had great intuition. I had a fabulous way of viewing the world. I was plenty unique and didn’t need to change. I was creative enough, talented enough, and certainly already good enough.
I look back on my therapists and laugh. Could they orchestrate a piece for piano, converting it to a piece for woodwinds or brass? Did they know the difference between the well-tempered scale and modal scales? Could they sing the various intervals, or recognize them if they heard them? Could they pinpoint the music of various composers by ear?
No. They didn’t possess these skills. They didn’t know what a musical cadence was. They were clueless as to what a motif was. They couldn’t tell me about the creative process that goes into composing music.
I was always a cut above them. Still am.
I hope this helps anyone out there. We do not need them.