What happens in therapy, doesn’t stay in therapy.
Due to reader demands, I will happily share what took place this morning with the Mimi-Miester.
Okay- We started by targeting the most troublesome days for me throughout the week in terms of bingeing. Although there is generally no rhyme or reason to the binges, I know for certain that Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are really hard for me due to the bins of doom at my internship. If you are a new reader, you should know that my internship has a closet devoted to all types of snacks and candy that we give to the kids. I often get myself in trouble around 2 when the snacks come out. She asked what kind of snacks there are–candy, chocolate, chips, crackers, cookies. What came next surprised me– Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are your binge days. On those days, you can eat from three of those categories. If you decide to have chocolate, cookies and chips, you can eat as much of them as you want but you cannot have crackers or candy as your binge food. You can’t stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way home for a donut, but you can get a cookie because it’s in the category you already chose. You have to stay within the three categories chosen. You should have a dinner that isn’t composed of binge food and only you know what’s considered binge food. On the other days you can binge or not binge–whatever.
Okay I said, well hopefully I can resist all the categories on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. She replied no, that’s exactly what we don’t want you to do. We don’t want you to be having the constant internal battle on those days about whether or not you’re going to eat the snacks and binge. On those three days of the week, you must eat something from all three categories. Even if you eat just one chip, one Hershey kiss, and one cookie– you can consider that a binge. (Not that that’s really a binge in technical terms.)
I asked where she was going with this and she replied that giving myself choices on those three days, lessens the toxicity of binges and helps to make them less special. Right now I’m bingeing to rebel, say F-you to everyone, get needs met, etc–they are special. The idea is to lessen the power of the binges and regain some control. To have choices. She also said that if this doesn’t feel right over the course of the week, then stop doing it. Regardless, we’ll process the experience next week and take it from there. I asked her what the end result of treatment looks like for someone like me and she said to greatly reduce the frequency of bingeing.
I know this method sounds totally bizarre but I trust that Mimi is having me do this for a reason so I’m going with it.