I remember sitting anxious with discomfort on the cold leather couch in my therapist’s office. As tears made way for more tears, I remember craving the need to explain the energy that had built up inside me. I was exhausted, depleted, and yet as my journal from that time depicts, “There is a force burning inside me that grows stronger every day. I don't know what it is.” I was feeling more powerful than I had ever felt, yet I couldn’t harness it.
It was June 2007. I was in treatment for an eating disorder for a second time.
My counselor looked at me and asked the question, “Rachel, what are you so afraid of?
As I fought off more tears, in attempts not to hyperventilate, my answer was simple,
“I’m afraid of how powerful I am.”
My therapist’s eyebrows reached towards the ceiling. She chuckled and told me that I was ridiculous. She said it was not a valid response and to search deeper.
My body went numb.
Today, in this moment, I can honestly say that realization was probably the most profound revelation I had in treatment. In hindsight, that was the beginning of my awakening. Those words had been submerged for twenty-six years and the release of saying out loud- what every inch of my body already knew- was bittersweet.
I was not frightened of being destroyed by some evil aspect of myself. I was afraid that if I came in to the personal power I knew I had within me, I would have to own the truth about the power the resided at my core. What is clear to me now is that we are all powerful and come fully equipped with this same inner wisdom buried within each of us. We’ve just forgotten it’s there.After years of chronic dieting, excessive exercise, diet pills, laxative abuse, binging, purging, counseling, three different treatment centers, and being near death, I surrendered. I’m not sure it was surrendering as much as it was that I was sick of being sick. Thyroid issues, PMDD, acne, caffeine dependence, digestive issues, insecurities and body obsession became a part of normal life for me. It wasn’t until I was finally in recovery myself and began to listen to my body and heal myself, that I started to notice how wrongly myself and other women with disordered eating were being handled in terms of recovery.