One of the most meaningful parts of being a client at Sheena’s Place is the connections that you make with people in groups. Sitting in a room full of other people who just “get it” is a feeling like no other. The guidelines at SP make it a safe space to be authentic and vulnerable. It can be terrifying to walk through that door the first time. You approach the stairs and the front porch and don’t know if you even want to touch the doorknob. And, as one of the facilitators likes to say, “next time it won’t be your first time!”
If you are struggling with the anxiety about registering for a group, treat yourself with some kindness and compassion. You are not alone in your struggles with ED, you are not alone in the fear of attending a group. Most importantly, you are not alone. Your first step can simply be reading this blog. Maybe one day you will leave a comment on a post. Perhaps spark a conversation. And when you are ready and you still feel like you don’t know if you can do it, all you have to do is open the door.
This week, Kim shares her story of how a friendship began through the connection made in an SP group.
Take good care of yourself, and remember to nourish your body, mind, and spirit.
Making Connections – Making Friends
Prompt: Write about a time when I experienced or felt vulnerability and it had a positive outcome.
At first I gagged thinking about this. Ick. Vulnerability. No thank you!
One hard thing I did not that long ago was walk into Sheena’s Place. First I had to acknowledge to myself that my behaviours were actually a problem, not just “this is me.” Walking into the house was hard. What if people saw me walk in there? What if whoever was there called me on my self-diagnosis? “You don’t look like you have a real problem with an eating disorder. Are you sure you belong here?” “Staff reserve the right to refuse service if clients are not “bad” enough to need the help offered there” …. OK, so a bit of a tangent…
My first group at Sheena’s Place was about Trauma, The Body, and ED (Eating Disorders). There were about 20 of us. It got deep quickly, yet people kept their words high level enough to avoid triggering anyone. During my 8-10 weeks attending this group, I also attended a one-day workshop on perfectionism where a co-trauma group member was also in attendance. We had a little smile, a little connection.
On the last day of my trauma group, I fiddled with my papers. I was trying to write a perfectly worded, not too desperate sounding note to her, telling her that I’d like to keep in touch, and if she was interested, here’s my email.
I wrote the note a couple of times of course. Then the group session was ending. I was about to miss my chance. I quickly got up, gave it to her, and scurried away, avoiding any direct rejection as fast as possible.
my delight, she emailed me! And we have been fast and close friends for
the past two years.