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I used to try and fight bulimia with cruelty...
I thought that if I was cruel to myself, I'd persuade myself to change.
I thought that if I continually told myself how shit I was, I'd try to be better.
I thought that fighting bulimia meant fighting myself.
But fighting myself only ever got me even more deeply lost in the world of binge eating and purging.
I'd like to teach you a simple tip that I learnt from my recovery. It helped me to fight bulimia - and win...
Bulimia can not exist within a heart of self kindness and self love...
Bulimia manifests in criticism and denial... It feeds off every nasty word you say to yourself.
Each time you put yourself down, it's like injecting steroids into that villain bulimia.
One way to guarantee recovery progress is to deny bulimia of what it needs to survive and grow...
Say "No" to feeding it with unkind words about yourself.
Shout "Never" to pumping it up with self abuse.
Beautiful soul, you deserve a beautiful life.
Talk kindly to yourself and allow this magnificent season in your life to begin.
It's as one of the wonderful members of my Online Recovery Program said the other day in the forums...
"When my self-talk is turning critical, I stop and ask, "What would I say to a good friend who was in the situation that I am in right now"? The response is always one of kindness, sympathy, understanding, and unconditional caring."
Once I understood that self kindness was crucial to fight bulimia... I made a point of allowing it into my heart...
I had one problem though...
Those pesky neural pathways of self cruelty in my brain had grown so strong. Self cruelty had become an automatic habit.
Luckily, our human brains have been blessed with the wonderful ability to change. To re-wire. To develop new habits...
Just as cruelty had become a habit through repetition, I knew that in time, I could make kindness an automatic habit too.
Each time cruel or negative chatter would pop into my head - I'd release it. I'd acknowledge that unkind chatter wasn't helpful for my recovery from bulimia and I'd replace it with something uplifting.
My internal conversations would go something like this... (C for Cruelty and K for Kindness)
C: You are so useless, Shaye. It's only 10am and you've binged already. Well, to be honest, it's no surprise - I knew you couldn't get through the day anyway
K: Of course I'm upset that I slipped up... But being cruel isn't going to help. I deserve love right now, I'm hurting.
C: Love. Hah! Until you beat bulimia, you deserve nothing.
K: Slips are normal in recovery... It takes time to change a habit. No matter how many times I fall, I'll love myself through them all. Every single human being is worthy of love and kindness, including myself. I'm trying and I'll get there.
Every time a conversation like this went through my mind, I was strengthening my neural pathways of self kindness and love...
I was making my heart, soul and mind a place of peace and happiness - a place where bulimia could not exist.
Now that I have fully recovered from bulimia, I can not believe that this mind of mine is the same mind I had back then. Self cruelty is hardly ever an issue for me... and when a little negative chatter does sneak in, I have a whole lot of love and kindness jump in at my defense.
It's such a happy and peaceful way to live :)
Of course, it takes time to fight bulimia and win...
It takes patience to re-wire the pathways of our minds. But it is entirely possible for everybody - including you.
Why not start your bulimia recovery today by practicing self kindness? :)
Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community