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My goodbye letter to my dearest enemy Bulimia

THE EARLY YEARS:

I'll start off with I remember first binging and purging when I was about 14 or 15, That was about 25 years ago. I had lost about 50 to 60 pounds and looked great, but I was so worried about gaining the weight back and mom was such a good cook. I thought I'd just try throwing it up, and wola - it worked! So, I thought I hit the jackpot, eat whatever I can and not gain weight.

I once had the toothbrush stuck in my throat too when nothing else worked and for what seemed like a terrifying eternity finally pulled it out. I couldn't talk or swallow for days. Yeah, another few pounds lost there! My family knew, but would not say anything - they were the type that would hide anything that was shameful. (But I still love them to this day and have no resentment whatsoever)

MOVING OUT ON MY OWN:

Wow! Freedom to eat whatever I wanted and don't have to hide it. I shopped for Mia and had a great time. This was my hobby, my habit. I hid food from my roommates, stole food from where I worked, spend most of my salary all on Mia. Looking back, Mia was very greedy.

MEETING HUBBY AND HAVING KIDS:

So, now I found my true love and started having kids and Mia was on the back-burner, but never totally out of my life. I always really watched my weight so I wouldn't be overweight. During my pregnancies it was different, I gained weight to support a little one growing in me, that was more important, so I really cut back a lot. My husband never new my secret.

PRESENT DAY:

So, here I am in my early forties and waking up to reality. I've always had a phobia about dentists since my top teeth are beginning to erode on the inside and they would know my secret. I made up my mind a week ago I would tell my dentist my problem right off the bat - that was THE BEST thing I ever did! He did not look down on me, he said my teeth are repairable over the next few years but would not last if I continued, and I made up my mind before speaking to him I would stop.

Luckily I have no other physical problems other than my teeth - very lucky considering this has gone on for 25 years. I have never been an alcoholic, did drugs, self-harmed, or been abused. I simply had a habit in the form of bulimia.

MY PLAN FOR RECOVERY:

So, since bulimia for me is not triggered by stress but habit, I had to form new habits. I plan my healthy meals every morning in my journal and stick to it. If I add a snack during the day I write it down. Off limits to me are potato chips (my downfall) and eating the kids leftovers. I do have "binge" foods in the house but I do now allow myself to have them. I am making low-fat versions of treats I allow myself occasionally. I floss and brush and flourinse after supper daily so I do not eat after (my urge to purge always was around 6 pm). So new rituals curb the urge somewhat.

What made me decide to quit? I had enough, I didn't want to be a bulimic senior citizen, and I really care about my appearance so the condition of my teeth were a wake up call.

Well, today was not such a great day, I didn't fall back to my old habit, but I had to give my head a shake a few times and really think about things again. It's so easy to forget and fall back into the old habits. That's why I decided to write my old friend Mia a letter - so I don't forget:

MY LETTER TO MIA:

Dear Mia:
You've been part of my life for about 25 years or so, and how could I not feel like something is missing? But it's not something that benefited me - you helped me at first, or so I thought. I wanted to stay thin and you helped me do that, but at what price? Living with a secret for so long (I told no one), wrecking my teeth, my self-confidence, taking away so much time that could have been put into something more productive. And the GUILT! I hated the guilt of keeping the secret, hiding it from my family and friends - especially my wonderful husband. My children and husband are the best things that ever happened to me and you are no longer going to endanger that. You've made a negative impact on how I look at food - it's supposed to be nourishing , not the enemy. You can't come back into my life and I will do my hardest to keep you out, because I despise you, you made me feel crappy and messed up my mind and emotions.

I deserve to have a good life, I deserve my family, I deserve to be happy and I deserve to be healthy. You are no longer going to bring me down into that horrible messed up cycle of mindless binging and purging. You may have taken years off my life, but I refuse to let you take a day more from me.

Good-bye, I have begun a new life without you.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community


The Bulimia Recovery Program