I know this is no way to live, but a lot of times it feels like recovery is impossible.
I suffered from bulimia for about 5 years before I got any treatment. And I didn't come out with it and ask anybody for help. My mom heard me purging one night after dinner and confronted me about it. With a LOT of hard work (I can't stress that enough), I was able to stop purging. But the binging continued, and then I started to gain weight, which at the time was my biggest fear. Every pound felt like a million, and it kept growing and growing because I kept binging and binging.
Finally I just stopped caring about the way I looked (my health was never really the issue for me, obviously).
I get tempted to start purging again a lot, every time I look in the mirror, but I know that I was no happier then than I am now. I have been considered bulimic, a binge eater, and even had long periods of starvation in between, but none of these things ended up making me happy. Despite my efforts, my body was never what I wanted it to be, and no matter how hard I tried, it never would have been.
With an eating disorder, I will never ever meet my own standards for who I should be, and that is scary because of the extremes I've been willing to go to. And I think most of us know this in the back of our mind, but we still do it and strive for that perfection that just doesn't exist.
It's not a matter of fixing all of the things you dislike about yourself, there will ALWAYS be those, no matter what you do. But rather to actually love and accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all. I know, easier said than done.
I've been in "recovery" for a long time, and I still struggle every day. But it does get easier, and if you take things slow and really try, you will get to where you want to be. I'm not quite there yet, but I feel more and more weight lifting off of my shoulders every day I treat my body the way it should be treated.
I still have a ways to go when it comes to my binge eating, it's an addiction I've grown very close to over the years. But honestly, I'm just sick of relying on other things to make me happy. Whether it be food, or drugs, or alcohol, it's all just so temporary and destructive. I always need "something" to help me get through the day, and I don't want to be like that anymore. And I don't want to die, either.
I don't want to get all preachy, but if I could turn back time, I would. I have really severe tooth pain and sensitivity, it's almost unbearable sometimes. There are a lot of things I can't eat or drink anymore. I have HORRIBLE acid reflux. I have digestive problems. These are just the things I can see and feel, I'm sure there is more going on inside. And these things are mild in comparison to what will happen to those who continue to live like this.
And I ask myself now, after all these years and still a body I've never liked looking at in the mirror, was it worth it? Absolutely not.
(((Em))) Thanks so much for writing. Best wishes to you for health and happiness in 2010.
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