Counting

My therapist asked me why I thought I really stopped my recent purge—did I use one of our planned coping mechanisms (no), was I mindful and breathing deeply (also no), did I choose self-love and feel an overwhelming emotional connection to and forgiveness for myself (hell no)? I think she may have been happier with any of these, but the truth is that I’m insanely competitive.

I didn’t want to reset my sobriety counter. I mean, it takes a long time to get back up in the 50s.

The one thing I decided and haven’t questioned is not to lie. I know therapy hasn’t worked in the past because I’ve lied. I don’t feel guilt about lying (working on it), so it’s easy for me to look someone in the eye and swear something completely false. It comes with a pretty steep responsibility, of course. There are only a few people in this world I won’t lie to about anything, and not surprisingly, it’s because my love and respect for them outweighs my desire to manipulate, to control situations by actually changing facts.

So, I knew lying was off the table. I wasn’t going to keep on with my day counter if I purged, and I wasn’t going to lie to my therapist when she opened our session with, “So, have you had any episodes?”

And so, in a spirit of defiant competition and a need to “win” over that damned day counter, I stopped myself. Is that the right reason? I don’t know. I don’t really care. Maybe someday I’ll get to the point of seeing that wounded little girl inside and feel sorry for her, love her enough to stop hurting her. But for now, I’ll take what I can get; or shall I say I’ll give what I have to give. Day 58.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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