it’s easier to love the dogs…
I have a fabulous therapist, who I have been seeing for several years, she is such an important part of my life. Some people think therapy is a waste of time, money and effort, I know because I used to be one of those people. Oh how I have changed my tune.
When I first started seeing Sara it was for something completely unrelated to weight….little did I know eating disorders were one of her specialized areas. It took over a year of seeing her before I would even talk about my weight with any seriousness and even longer to begin to speak of the shame and let the walls begin to crack then crumble. What I have learned is that when you are ready to let the things that haunt you go, ready to acknowledge the reality of your situation and see what you have become with complete honesty only then can you being to understand how to heal. The writings I have shared on this blog would not be possible without the work I have put in with Sara, she has been the vessel I needed to be able to lay down much of the shame, anger, resentment and hatred of myself and my situation. I don’t know that I can really put into words what she has meant to me only to say when I could not find comfort, when I felt like I was at my darkest points and I questioned if I would make it, she has been the source of unconditional acceptance, strength and providing a totally safe place for me to face my demons.
In our last session together the question came up “why the dogs? What was it about them that was the link to this journey?” My answer was long, rambling but heartfelt, and when I finished my answer I looked at Sara and asked her the same question. Sometimes she will not answer and reminds me this is about me, my thoughts and my work but sometimes she does answer and this time her answer would make more sense to me than any of my disjointed ramblings.
“It is easier to love the dogs.”
For me these seven words rang the truth. It is not about hating myself or self loathing of any kind but it IS easier to love the dogs. It’s easier to put the intention of losing this weight on saving dogs than it is on saving myself. In saving the dogs I am in fact saving myself but in the past to link the weight loss to me alone was setting myself up to fail, because when things would get hard and I made a bad choice, went backwards or gained weight I wanted to “punish” myself so I would give up, quit, walk away but I can’t walk away from the dogs, and I can’t give up on them like I have given up on myself in the past. Now, this is not to say that I don’t love myself or think I am worth it, because I know now I am worth it. My relationship with food and my past has made it difficult for me to succeed without something else bigger than myself involved. When I lost the 200+ pounds it was because I was afraid of death (pretty big incentive) but prior to that I had tried but failed at losing weight.
In the end connecting personal changes and challenges for many might be easier if the pressure is taken off themselves and associated with something they believe in and are passionate about. The combo of a fat girl, a dog nobody wanted and a death row rescue is working out pretty good for me so far!
** If you are in the area and are looking for a wonderful therapist shoot me a private e-mail and I am happy to send you her info.