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9 months recovery and loving life

by Sharon
(North Yorkshire)

Hi to everyone,

I really just wanted to post you a brief story about how I have learned to love life. If I can you guys can.... Today writing these words fills me with a grin on my face, as it is totally true...

I was 13 years of age when it started. I do not know why or how... I was 13 and it was one christmas and my nana had made a load of buns. I remember eating and eating and then going to the bathroom and purging, whilst crying. It was so hard. Christmas was never a happy event. It always started out well, then went down hill from there. I had never heard of bulimia.

I was always what I called a chunky teenager but then I never had a set meal times. We always was given money for sweets and money to get fish and chips and treats. Don't get me wrong the fridge and cupboards were always full with crisps, biscuits all the nice foods but my mum was never around. My sister and I brought my brothers up.

I remember at school not eating through the day and bingeing at night. By the time I reached 17 years the bulimia had a strong grip on me. Binge purgeing was every day and every time something passed my lips. It gradually got worse throughout my 20's. I was spending loads of money on my binge/purgeing habit. At 21 I met Matt my husband now and I got a new family and the best man ever. I went to uni become an occupational therapist and was so happy, but the vicious cycle had totally engulfed me. I could not get out out of it. Matt was so supportive and tried to help so many times. To be honest I do not think he ever knew to what extend I had it until my potassium levels dropped and I became very ill. He was frightened. I did not see this.

However that is all in the past now. Something truly clicked. I was fed up of having to keep trying to beat this. A week binge purge went by then two weeks etc, then I would have a relapse. Then it was a big let down I was disgusted and ashamed of myself and would end up on the cycle once again. Feeling disgusted. Today Now the irrational person inside me tells me that relapses were part of the recovery process. These relapses actually made me beat this it made me stop take note and realise why I binged/ purged. I had a year of CBT, met a great therapist who spent time with me working on my life schemeas, feelings and thoughts.

WE all have these schemas from birth. I realised mine was unrelented standards and emotional deprivation. I was craving the love and emotional support I never had. This is where the 'guilt' always came in. I always felt guilty, it creeps in at times to time (even now). I am very much a person pleaser. I Just wanted to be loved. I soon realised that all these were in built in me, but as I understood them, I have realised I did not have control over the binge and purge behavior. It was controlling me. For the first time I realised I can change this by challenging my thoughts. I stopped putting 'attachments' to these thoughts and let them pass through my mind. (we all have these). I am a good person and have decided to love life. Yes I have had a horrible past and seen and felt alot of abuse in all he forms but now I was free. It was not my fault.

I started my recovery journey 9 months ago and feel so alive. I enjoy life now. It feels like the light has been turned on. I will not lie I make it sound easy. There were some hard times in fact lots of them and still now I get the odd thought of wanting to control things ( I still love exercise, but have cut it down)but the urge to binge and purge has disappeared.

What I would say is to have a goal. This really worked for me. I am 33 years next and so would love a child however my periods have stopped and I am starting treatment with an endocrinologist. I never realised what damage I was doing to my body. I so long for a child and this is what is making me keep healthy. 9 months now means I can carry a child which is a huge step for me, however I know my body is still not ready for a baby, hence not having a period. I have learnt our bodies are amazing at recovering themselves as well as protecting us.

Hang in there guys you really can do this I promise. Life is so so good. I love it so much. I can go shopping with friends, go to the cinema, go for meals, go on holiday. I always thought I was a loner with no friends. The truth was I had become a recluse and people really did want to be my friend I just did not let them in.

Keep strong and remember if I can do it you can. One step at a time. Learn about yourself once again. For some people it is about weight and image, but I believe for others it is about feelings and emotions. For me it was about that control and release of negative feelings I had. I then feel it became habitual as I have been so happy in my relationship but still did it.This has gone now. I would binge and purge constantly for hours and hours, as I did not have to think or feel, but today it is the opposite I love to think and feel as it is a reminder I am a human just like everyone else.

Love to you all. Today is my anniversary and I am so excited to spend the day with my hubby, eating and having fun and loving

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program