Have you ever caught yourself invalidating your experience, your pain, because “someone else has it worse”? Comparison is the worst companion! It keeps us small and trapped in lies, unable to reach out & get the support we need!
So often I hear this from my clients ask: “Do I really NEED therapy? Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe I should just read another self-help book...” I hear clients, especially those with eating disorders, question if they are “sick enough.” Their body doesn’t “look sick,” they can still work or go to school, they haven’t yet experienced x or y symptom so clearly it’s “not that bad.” Honestly, I don’t blame my clients for this- if this is you, it’s not your fault. Our society has created a hierarchy around who “deserves” care, our medical establishment often still reinforces that somehow internal suffering should have visible signs...it’s ludicrous!
I could go on a rant here but succinctly- YOU CANNOT “SEE” INTERNAL PAIN!! And one more rant: there is NO “SICK ENOUGH”- SIZE and/or MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS are NOT PREREQUISITES for diagnosis of an eating disorder nor do they determine your level of suffering!! Eating Disorders can, often do, have medical complications, but having “normal labs” does NOT mean you’re “fine.”
If you are struggling with food, if you feel out of control around food, maybe you feel like you’re “addicted” to food, or maybe you’ve tried every diet and they always end with a binge (that’s not just you- that’s the way diets end for most humans)…know that your pain matters. You don’t have to have a diagnosis of an eating disorder to get help. I work with lots of clients who’ve been chronic dieters, struggle with their body image or just want to make peace with food. No matter where you are- it’s okay!
And this can be said for many other struggles- just because you can go to work, doesn’t mean your depression or anxiety isn’t worthy of attention. Maybe you have panic attacks, or maybe you function well all day but then you’re mind races as you try to go to sleep. You don’t have to wait for it to get worse to get help. And a word on trauma- I think people are very quick to discredit their experiences as trauma. Often people say “it wasn’t that bad”- but if it’s still bothering you, if it still hurts- it matters. Just because the event happened 3 years go (or 25 years) ago doesn’t mean you should be “over it,” even if others are telling you should be.
If you are suffering, if you are in pain, please hear that is enough! If you say you’re in pain, I will believe you. Please know you never have to prove you are “sick enough.” Being a human saying, “I’m hurting, I need help”- that’s so unbelievably brave, I will honor that! I will listen. I will be with you in your journey & help you to find the next steps for you. You matter. Your pain is valid, it matters because it’s your experience & you matter!
If you feel like you need help, I hope you will reach out. I recognize there are many barriers to care- worthiness of pain should never be one of them. If you are struggling, you deserve compassion, you deserve compassionate care!
If you’re in the Atlanta area and interested in working with me, you can reach me via this website, or you can call or email me to set-up a time to speak. I’ll do a free 10-15 minute consulation with you by phone to answer any questions and we can explore if we’d be a good fit to work together.