Posting this on a blog for all of the cyber world to see terrifies me.
The reason why I feel it is necessary to share this is because I am seeing more and more helping professionals ignoring their own problems to help solve other people’s.
And it’s made us stagnate.
Two years ago I took some time off of counseling, I got a wonderful job at a non-profit to pay the bills while I dealt with some things.
You see I had been in a starving myself/binging cycle for 10 years. My body didn’t know what to do with food anymore. I HATED food because I couldn’t control it. Every meal was an enemy, every snack food terrified me. I had a full blown eating disorder.
Two years ago, I realized I was lost. But it wasn’t until six months later that I gave in. You see, as a counselor and a professional with a Master’s degree, I was always under the illusion that I could fix it. There couldn’t possibly be an addiction or disorder that could beat me. I was so completely in denial that my weight ballooned to a dangerous size.
I sought help. With resistance, I worked with a dietician who specialized in eating disorders to help me deal. I had to listen, I had to give in, I had to give up control.
Nothing was more difficult for me to do.
But gradually as I began to give up control to God and to the dietician I was working with: I was able to gain back some control of food.
I haven’t starved myself in a year and a half. I have also lost 80lbs. My body, that has been a mess my whole life is finally starting to feel normal and regulated again.
How has this made me a better counselor?
I changed. I get change now. I understand that it’s a long, slow process that is more about my mind than the symptoms of my problems. My graduate school program and my internship never could have prepared me for what it feels like to deal with something that has been plaguing me for a decade and come out stronger on the other side.
I hope my story can encourage other helping professionals to get the help they need. If you are drowning in something, take time off, get better. A fuller life is waiting around the corner. And who knows? Changing yourself might help give you an avenue to help change others in a way you never imagined.