My Recovery from Bulimia- a client's perspective
I started recovery from Bulimia three years ago and Jodie kindly asked me if I would write about my experiences of what helped and what did not help me.
I had been in a cycle with Bulimia since the age of 16, I am now 25. I tried many different things to break it but always managed to find myself back in its grips and hated myself just that little bit more.
What did not help me was:
Taking advice from family who told me it was a lack of control
trying to do it alone
Giving myself a hard time
Poor work life balance
Poor boundaries with others (I was a people pleaser)
For me, my Bulimia was a way I managed two things, one my feelings and secondly my bizarre relationship with food and my body and the rules and illusions I had conjured up over the years. For me I needed to address them both at the same time. It was pointless doing one without the other.
This is what I did:
I worked with a dietitian who promoted normal eating. Having the rules lifted meant I got to learn what my body needed and trust myself and relearn how to eat for nutrition and enjoyment. I also meant I was not restricting and therefore setting myself back up to binge and purge. I make this sound easy but it took me at least two years to even start feeling confident with eating normally as opposed to being on a perpetual diet and tolerating my body the way it was meant to be.
I worked with a therapist (Jodie) where I learnt that it was ok to feel and allow myself to be human. I worked at becoming more confident at managing feelings and identified the links between my feelings and my bulimic cycles. I learnt new ways to soothe myself and challenged myself to find other ways to increase my self worth other than just the pursuit of a "perfect body".
I let people in and built up a recovery network and found people I trusted with my feelings having previously tried to manage everything alone- this was very scary. I changed my work patterns to accommodate a more balanced lifestyle and picked up some hobbies that made me feel good.
This is a very simplistic view of what I did but I have not binged or purged for two years. It was a process and did not happen over night. The first year was a learning curve and I have only found some sort of confidence in my recovery in the last year (three years into it). I have recently stopped therapy and seeing a dietitian but all the skills and tools I have learnt I have been able to transport into my life now and into my relationship with myself and others.
I hope this is helpful to someone...Bulimia is a very lonely scary place.