My therapist (how American) issued me an ultimatum this morning: Either I do the homework and commit or I take a break. Story of my life. Why can’t I just float along like a fat baby in a basket?
I have Body Dysmorphia you see- this means I hate my neck and think that I am generally a freak. I’ve developed lots of ways to deal with this, such as:
1. asking for reassurance from Esther 50 times a day (does this coat look alright? What about if I have to undo it? What about with the hood up?)
2. getting drunk,
3. lying to myself that I need a wee so I can stare into the bathroom mirror at work.
4. Wearing clothes that cover up the parts I hate: shirts and scarves for my neck, hats for the 365 Bad Hair Days I have.
I’m having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is all about making you do the stuff you’ve spent years working out intricate rituals in order to avoid.
So, we wrote down all the unhealthy stuff I do to feel better, and we are going to do the opposite for each bad habit, one at a time.
First up is to walk to work 5 days a week without distracting myself (no ipod) and without doing anything that makes me feel comfortable (hiding my neck with a scarf, checking myself out in windows). It sounds easy to anyone who doesn’t do those things, but it’s really hard if you do them without thinking, and when you don’t do them, you feel hideously ugly.
So, I walk to work exposing my lanky giraffe neck and grimacing against the onslaught of buses and cars all rubbernecking at my rubber neck (or so it seems). By the time I get to work, I’m sweaty and knackered, and want to go home.
I was meant to be doing this for 5 days in a row, but I just can’t make myself. I want an easy life goddammit.
She my therapist is leaving me for another neurotic.
Altogether Now, sing these new lyrics to the chorus:
Don’t put your hands anywhere near my body”