Since My Last Post…

Wow, I can’t believe it has been months since I’ve posted… sorry! I’ll do my best to catch you up. Let’s see… I graduated from NYU with my MSW, as well as landed a job from my mental health/substance abuse facility internship (Yahoo!). I’m now learning how to become as competent as my current (and previous) therapist(s). Being on the other side of the couch isn’t as easy as it looks! In between my cognitive reframing, paraphrasing, summarizing, reflecting, and display of nonverbal communication—clinical techniques delivered in my best therapist extraordinaire impersonation—I’m quietly panicking and wondering what the F*** I should say next! Aww… the joys of being a new clinician. It gets easier, though.

As a new clinician, I recently experienced my first professional disappointment. A couple of months ago, I interviewed for a position at an outpatient ED facility in the city—my dream job—and the interviewer told me I didn’t have enough “clinical” experience. While her assertions were correct, I wondered if the nearly two decades of hell I went through with the ED would ever count for anything. I mean, really. I know EDs inside and out. She was right though; as I reflect back to the hospital days, when I hid my food in my napkin, I know that even the most seasoned clinicians are thrown curve balls by the ED population. On a brighter note, she said after I get some experience to contact her again. I know that all of my plans will happen in due time. Patience, Greta.

My patients teach me so much… the AA cliches that roll off their tongues in group remind me of what early recovery was like for me, and what I need to continue to do for my recovery. Through their resistance and struggle, I’m reminded that I NEVER want to return to the lonely island of isolation of the ED… even though on occasion my head still tries to persuade me to visit. Through their tears and perseverance, I’m reminded just how hard new recovery is, as well as how rewarding. I’m learning that the ED voice never fully dwindles. I guess that’s why it’s a called a disease.

Anyhoo…I’m continuing to work on my ongoing struggle of eating what I plan and only eating what I NEED to eat. It’s really hard when you love food as much as I do. It’s not like you get into recovery and your love of food dies. This is just another process of my recovery. I’ve stripped away the most harmful behaviors, now I’m stripping away behaviors that aren’t necessarily harmful, but keep me in the obsession.

Recovery, at least for this ED, is a lengthy process.