When I struggled from bulimia in my teens, I found I used so much energy just thinking about food and what I was consuming. I let negative thoughts take over and I remember always telling myself I was useless so of course I believed it. I ended up isolating myself from friends but all it did was make me miserable.
Although I was ashamed of myself when my friends and family discovered what I was doing, it was also a relief. My parents were there for me even when I didn’t want them to be and they always gave me constant encouragement. I also went to a therapist who helped me understand why I was feeling the way I was and I slowly started to feel better about myself.
I was still being sick but not as often. All of a sudden I looked at this disease as a bad habit and I was the only one who could stop what I was doing and make the changes to get better. It eventually got to the point where I had had enough. My body was telling me to stop, my teeth were falling apart and I had no life. I wanted more than anything to change.
So I read as much as I could about Bulimia and how others overcame their battles. It gave me so much encouragement that I could do the same. I decided to set a date and there was absolutely no way I was going to throw up from then on. It was a constant mind game and I was forever distracting myself and telling myself I was going to be ok. I had to be careful with how much food I put in my mouth, because I was so used to gorging at meal times. So I ate little and often and slowly my stomach got used to consuming food again.
To begin with I felt bloated all the time and it took a few months before I actually started feeling normal again. There were days in between when I wanted to be sick again but when I thought about far I had come, I was too scared to go back. Even just a few days were a huge achievement for me.
I noticed was how much more time I had in the day to do other things that I enjoyed and I felt so much stronger in myself and it gave me the will to carry on. I stuck to my word and wasn’t sick ever again. But it did take a couple of years before I no longer had to think about every little thing I was eating. I saw myself differently and when I had my first child I realised how amazing our bodies really are.
It’s sad when I think back to how much I missed out on when I was younger but what we learn from our past is never wasted. It has made me who I am and I’m so appreciative of my life now, how far I’ve come and the people in it. I also think it semi prepared me to find that same strength and willpower when our family went through tragedy. I feel I can also help others who may be struggling and to let them know that though it may seem like there’s no way out at times, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.