Monday, January 10, 2011
The majority of my memories from childhood are happy and carefree... They're bright and vibrant - just as any child's should be...
But every now and then a flicker of darkness and confusion appears - and I remember when the evil illness began to take it's grip.
A glance of disgust when looking in the mirror "My bum is SO big!"
A proud and defiant "No, Thank You" when turning down a piece of cake
A quick trip behind the lucky bean tree to throw up my lunch
A whole roll of ultra thick cello-tape bound around my hips and thighs "That's better!"
I was just 8 years old when bulimia entered into my life... At first it came and went... Like a nasty niggling voice - telling me I had to be better, I had to be more... I was not quite enough.
Trauma and Bulimia
At the age of 15 my family and I were forced to leave our homeland - Zimbabwe. The political situation made it unsafe for us to live there anymore... My parents decided to give up all they had ever worked for to give us - their children - a safe future.
Leaving my home was terrifying. But I had no choice. I packed my bags and said goodbye to the only life I had ever known. I boarded the plane and left for New Zealand.
This major life change caused my eating disorders to take an evil turn...
I began to restrict my calories during the week to just 400 a day. I was also doing 4 hours physical exercise each day - as I was in the national springboard diving team. No food and huge amounts of exercise meant I was starving - and by the time the weekend came I was ravenous...
On the weekend I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted - as long as I threw it up. I'd fill myself to the point of bursting with chocolates, biscuits, bread, pizza and candy... Then I'd escape to the bathroom (or the shower, or the bushes, or the Tupperware under my bed!) and throw it all up. Id do this over and over again - throughout the weekend... Because I knew - come Monday - I'd allow myself sweet buggar all.
Over the years this routine gradually changed... But not for the better... My weekend binges started creeping into the evenings of each day... And eventually, into every day of the week.
I had become a compulsive eater - and these years were the most difficult of them all.
Food, food and more food...
I ate when I was scared.
I ate when I was sad.
I ate when I was angry.
I ate when I was happy.
I ate when I was bored.
I pretty much ate all the time...
And I threw up whenever I felt guilty and disgusting... Which was all the time too.
In my compulsive eating years - I turned into a machine - void of life - carrying out the motions of bulimia.
I hated what I was doing... And, I knew it was killing me... I wanted to stop - but for over 1/2 my life I'd lived this way - and I had no idea how to change.
My Commitment to Recovery
I knew that bulimia could kill me... I had awful images of my mom finding me - dead from a heart attack - lying in a puddle of my own puke... I knew this was a reality as long as I continued on the destructive path of self hatred and abuse...
At the age of 20, I made my first true commitment to bulimia recovery - I booked a session with a therapist - her name was Amanda. Talking to Amanda would be the first time in my life that I had ever opened up about my bulimia... It was terrifying...
But after my appointment - I felt amazing... Finally, I had done something positive for my health... Finally, I could see a light at the end of the dark tunnel of bulimia.
Was I miraculously cured from one session? No. Unfortunately it wasn't that easy...
It took me one year of weekly sessions with Amanda before I finally felt confident to say I was completely free from bulimia. But... One year was nothing when you consider I'd spend 10 years with my head down the toilet!
I still remember my first completely binge/purge free day... I went to bed with the most massive grin on my face... I even high-fived myself! I was over the moon... I'd had my first taste of a bulimia-free life - and I loved it. I was craving more.
And guess what... That day was the first of many more. In fact - I never looked back... 5 years on - I am still bulimia free.
I never imagined that a life so full of happiness was possible...
A life so full of acceptance...
A life so uncomplicated... so simple.
I especially never imagined that this type of life was possible for me...
But - It is possible - and I have this life now!
And guess what... You can have it too! I truly believe that if I recovered from bulimia - then anyone can. You just need to turn to face the direction of health and happiness - and keep taking baby steps until you get there.
Beating bulimia isn't about just ending the binges and purges... It's about healing from the inside out... Healing your self image, healing your self respect and learning to love yourself again. With this process you'll learn how to heal your addiction to food and end your bulimia once and for all. Karen Phillips covers this brilliantly in her book "Mom, Please Help: Anorexia and Bulimia Positive Energy Treatment". To read my review of this bulimia self help program, click here:
I hope that my bulimia story helps you realize that complete 100% recovery from bulimia is possible... You can have the life of your dreams... I promise you can!
Stay strong - and remember to be kind to yourself!
All the love,
P.S. For helpful recovery tips, bulimia stories and support, feel free to visit my website:
Share |Follow on Buzz