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Breaking down walls

Posted Apr 03 2010 10:28pm

Facebook has an application called "status shuffle." It's basically a random collection of quotes and one liners. Most tend to be on the funny side , but this one was poignant and caught my eye.

"Sometimes people build walls not to block others out of their life but to see who cares enough to break through the wall."

At times, this was certainly my case. I used to have many walls that surrounded me. Various therapists would say they imagined me with this invisible wall that needed to be broken through or torn down. But they weren't exactly sure how or what I truly needed to do so. I never had an answer for them other than I was just too scared to break down my wall. That wall was a barrier, but it also kept me highly safe.

There were moments when I wanted desperately to let go of my shield and be totally vulnerable. Yes, I did eventually have those moments which always seemed to be stress/anxiety/sleep-deprived induced. My problem was afterwards, I felt so weird and worried about what I'd done/said that I immediately rebuilt my wall. Thus, treatment took a long time to truly get anywhere. My former therapist C used to say "it's like I'm reaching my hand out to you, and you're within grasp, but can't take my hand."

I'm sure most of us with EDs have at one point had walls that surrounded us. Walls keep things out defensively but they also don't allow things in. I think many of us have that juxtaposition of blocking people out, but at the same time, wanting and hoping someone can break through as well. And what does breaking through our wall really mean to us? Does it mean that we are vulnerable? Does it mean that someone cares enough to notice?

I don't have the answers to these questions, and they are different for everyone. But I do think in general, when we allow ourselves to start tearing down our walls, glimmers of the healing process have been initiated. Then, it becomes up to us what happens next.


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