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Late Start Early Finish?

by Brie
(Sedona, AZ)

I am a 32 yr old single mom who has spent the last 9 years throwing up my feelings and teaching my little girl to hate what SHE sees in the mirror. When I heard the words "I hate my fat tummy" come from my 6 yr old, my heart broke and I decided to find help. I'm still in early recovery, but my saving grace is that I've been in a 12 step program for recovery from other substances for 4 years now. IT TAKES WHAT IT TAKES for anyone to recover from anything. The first time I threw up, at 13, my parents caught me and immediately put me in therapy. I didn't puke again by force unless I was trying to get out of school or on the verge of getting in trouble with cops until I was 23. At 19 I started going to the hospital with gastritis attacks. By 23 I was throwing up before bed to avoid these attacks and the trips to the E.R.. A few weeks after beginning this, I noticed a slight weight drop. The boyfriend at the time threatened to leave me if I lost weight, which threw my "you don't tell me what to do" attitude into effect. I started at X lbs and was down to X in 9 mos. I'm 5'4". Today I have a road map of gross (to me) skin that reminds me I have a choice. I can choose to weigh and measure REAL food to put in my body that will nourish the God in me beyond my body and brain or I can die. Essentially, that's what I've been trying to do for years. It takes hard work to recover... from anything. I think my biggest asset today in recovering from bulimia is the ability to love myself through every day, not just the good ones. I took "I'll start..." out of my vocabulary and replaced it with action right now, this very moment. Not another hesitation ever again. I get redo passes all day long. So do you. I give myself permission to eat as much food as I want and throw up... all of a sudden I don't want to and I go find something else to do. When I want to eat because of stress I punch a pillow until I feel better. If I don't know what to do with the emotions I'm feeling I call people who might and if they don't know I keep looking. Relapse sucks. I think for me, it's the physical repercussions that bother me most. I've given up on beating myself up emotionally if it happens. I can't change that I did, but I CAN start over right now! I don't know if I'll ever be completely free of wanting to eat until I can't stand it and purge my sins away... but I do know that there is recovery and there is hope. There are those who have gone before me and recovered, so WHY NOT ME? I'm done asking why me or why this or why that. I accept what is and work with what's on my plate today. Fortunately, my plate is full of activities instead of food. I wish I had a family that knew what healthy means, in all ways. But, I don't. So, I have to learn by seeking others' knowledge about what's right for me. I am not you. I am not her. I will never be anyone but me and that is the woman I want to love and care for as if I were my own child. I have compassion for the little girl who didn't get taken care of or taught well. I also have responsibility to that little girl to show her it's o.k. and that God and I are handling these things now, so be at peace baby.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program