Thursday, March 14, 2013

Counseling

Lately, I have been sort of low-level-stressing and feeling like I am stagnating with this whole eating thing. I mean, I get the mechanics of the plan. I am out of the binge eating mindset. I feel like I have made a lot of good changes in my life. But something just feels... stale. Like I need something else. I've looked for it in prayer. I've looked for it in my dog training. I've looked for it in new friendships, in volunteering, in seriously considering a new part time job. I've looked in churches and clubs, neighbors and books. I've looked within myself. But there has been that sense that I need a new direction, or maybe some new insight, or *something* to keep moving forward and making the changes I need in my life.

Over the years a lot of people have left me comments suggesting counseling or a life coach. I've done the counseling thing... more than once, actually. When I was married to my first husband, we went to plenty of sessions together and a few alone. After I was divorced, I found a new counselor to help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. When my mother died, I again sought out a counselor to help me deal with those emotions. And they helped, some. While I've blogged, I had a few phone chats with a Medifast behavior specialist who gave me some very good counsel and advice in regard to my eating and the whys of the emotional connection to food. But for the past year or so, I've been thinking about going to counseling to talk through the changes in my life that weight loss has brought, and to help me figure out what I want for my future and how to make it happen.

Last year I dug deep and started *really* looking. Nope, no eating disorder specialists within two hours drive. Nope, no clergy available to folks who aren't established in their congregations. Nope, the "free" community counseling won't see me because of my income, and the "sliding fee scale" counselors won't slide their fee for me because I purchase my own health insurance. And finally, nope, I don't have an extra $250+ a month in copays just to sit and talk to someone for an hour a week. Wish I did, but I don't!

I never gave up, though. I had a handwritten list tucked in a file in my drawer with every counselor and clinic I had contacted and what they said. I had notes about how much each would cost and I was hoping a time would come when I could make it work. And every so often I pull out the list and do some more Googling and make a few more calls.

Finally, today, I hit the jackpot! I found counseling that I can afford. I am SO excited! I really just look forward to having a sounding board to talk about how my weight and eating has affected my life, and how I might best accomplish my vision for the future. I don't need to rehash my childhood, talk about parent issues or divorce issues or that kind of thing. I pretty much hashed all that stuff out with other counselors years ago as well as here on my blog. But I do need to talk to someone about where I now stand with food, and how to best finish the detachment process from emotional eating. I need someone to give me feedback on my own ability to succeed. And I am going to have it! It might be awhile... I am number 20 on a 2-month-ish-long waiting list... but I am ON THE LIST and I cannot wait to see what new insights I gain with this counseling!

Persistence really pays off... in everything!

13 comments:

Vickie said...

You need to consider going with an open mind. Because while I understand you think it is the food, the food and the fat and the behaviors are just the parts you can see. All the things you think you are past, are probably part of what you actually DO need to work on with a therapist. So keep an open mind.

Anonymous said...

Vickie is right. Go into this not dictating how you want it to go. It's up to the counselor to learn about you, your past, and he/she will decide what should be worked through. Allow the professional to do his or her job and keep an open mind.
Allison

Lyn said...

Thanks Vickie, my mind is open :)

Allison~

that's how counseling goes, in my experience! I don't mean I will boss the counselor, just that I have an idea of what I'd like to get out of it. Of course, a good counselor may lead me in an even better direction. Excited to find out!

Deb Willbefree said...

:) What Vickie said. Sorry, but really, I was going to write exactly what Vickie wrote.

The old onion cliche is true-there are layers. You deal with an issue, think you're done--and you are, for a time. then you learn more about yourself, you experience more good and bad, you get stronger, kids get older, roles change--and you're ready to deal with the next layer, dig deeper into areas you weren't ready to touch last time.

I wish you well.


Deb

LHA said...

Good luck! I am happy that you are excited about this. As the veteran of many years of psychological and nutritional counseling I have found that for me some of it has helped, and some has not, but it was all worthwhile in some way. I hope your experience is just terrific and really helpful! Also, I agree that persistence always pays.

Marc said...

Good luck and wishing you the best. Not all clients and counselors "click" and if that ends up the case, then politely request a different counselor.

InWeighOverMyHead said...

Good for you! I just started with someone today! :)

CarrieHales said...

I agree it's Vickie. From the experience food issues are just a scratch in the surface. You might find its a little bit painful to talk about things at first, but you will feel much better once you do. It takes guts to as for some help so well done!

timothy said...

that's wonderful insight is always a positive and i'm sure it'll help you in dealing with patterns and self sabotage and setting and reaching the life goals you set!

Elaine said...

Great!! I'm happy for you! You have no idea how much I admire your persistence and honesty.

Were you really thorough in your search for a church counselor? It seems so strange to me that they all turn away non-members. What about the value of seeking?!? But of course, I've lived in the south most of my life, and churches are much more plentiful here than in your area...still, if your current plan falls through, I hope you'll leave no stone unturned with regards to clergy...there has to be someone around with an open-door policy.

Fair Enough said...

I think this will be a really good thing.

Touching on what someone else said, sometimes it takes a lot of tries to find a person you click with. Trust me, it's worth the effort and trying once you find the right one! Just be patient and like everyone else said, open-minded. I've dealt with my own depression since I was a child so I have a good amount of experience with this kind of thing. Talking to someone definitely helps, in my opinion, if they are the *right* person and all. It can happen, just takes some work sometimes to find them.

I also agree that often issues that we think are "dead" or so far into the past that they don't matter anymore are actually what keep us down in our current lives. It's really helpful to look at things with a new perspective and with a fresh insight.

Betsey C. said...

I am happy that you are happy with the idea of going to counseling. I hope you get a lot out of it.

Just my opinion, but I think you need some romance in your life! Have you thought about trying some on-line dating sites? Lots of people have success meeting a special someone that way.

Anyway, just a thought. I know you are a busy lady as it is!

Lyn said...

Betsey~

while it is very true I need some romance in my life, I am still legally married so that's off the table. I do get tired of being alone most of the time (physically separated), but have been for the better part of 4 years. Another topic for the counselor :)