A Chapter Closes

Just before 4:00 PM on Wednesday, December 30, I walked out of my therapist's office for the last time. That's right -- my eating disorder treatment has officially come to an end. And I find that conflicted emotions are wrestling within me over the matter.

Let me be clear -- I am happy to be finished, to no longer depend on expensive therapy sessions that our insurance refuses to be straight forward about covering. I am happy to have an extra hour to add to my week (for hooping! for writing! for dog walking!). I am happy that my therapist and both agree that I have come to the point where I am ready to walk forward without her weekly advice, non-judgmental listening, and encouragement.

But that is the downside. I am going to live -- without my therapist. And I am going to miss her greatly. I didn't always like what she had to say, and she challenged me in ways no one ever has. Even though it may not have felt comfortable at the time, I am forever grateful. I praise God that He put her in my life, that, miraculously, I found my way to her door when all I wanted was to be dead.

Because of her help, I live, and I want to live. I eat, and I enjoy eating. I feel, and I am no longer afraid of feeling.

Life is so strange. More than two years ago, I would have given a lot to not have to visit my therapist (then, it was twice a week). Now, as I write this blog post, I cannot stop the tears from falling. Tears of gratitude, of joy at what I have accomplished through God's grace and through my therapist's support, but also tears of sadness. For nearly three years, I have spent significant, rich time with this woman, and I have shared the most intimate parts of myself and my life with her. I came to trust her, to enjoy our visits, and eventually to love her. I'll write it again -- I will miss her more than words can say.

In the past, I might turned to emotional eating to try to deal with my current overwhelming emotions, or perhaps to food restricting and over-exercise. Yesterday, when I returned home from that final meeting with my amazing therapist, I turned to the hoop. Because of knowing and working with my therapist, I have transformed from this:

. . . into this:

Just after I finished writing this, our chihuahua, Lio, came and washed my face of tears. God is good, my friends! God is good, and life is good. Here's to a new year and new decade!

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