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No to Bulimia - now what???


I wrote on here back in March when I had not binged or purged for about 2 weeks after having Bulimia for 7 years which meant I was doing it everyday.

I have now been over 2 months with only 3 episodes of purging. I have achieved this through structured eating and by trying to catch the thoughts when I want a binge. What I mean is that I think to myself 'I want to binge' then I think ' well what do I want to eat? Am I actually hungry?' and the answer to that is No thanks to the structured eating.

So then I think well why do I still want to do it? It must be for some other reason, am I sad? am I unhappy or bored or tired? Often these things might be the case but they still don't feel like the reason. So now I think there must be something else that I'm not aware of that means that I still every day have to consciously fight the urge to give up and binge and purge.

Since stopping I have found things like work and exams, that I thought I was coping fine with before, a lot more overwhelming and I think perhaps I was hiding from these things behind the Bulimia before ie. putting all my problems and stresses into one neat little bundle called Bulimia and thinking if I wasn't Bulimic my life would be perfect!

Since I haven't been using Bulimia to escape to I felt loads better to start with but now I get stressed out very easily. I don't feel I can take time for myself to relax and unwind, I'm constantly paranoid about what other people think of me and if anyone says anything I take it in the worst way possible.

My boyfriend has been helping me with the structured eating but now if he suggests any changes to my diet plan I get angry and assume he must want me to lose weight. If I am ever late for anything or feel I have said anything stupid or wrong I think people aren't going to want to know me any more. If I do anything wrong at work I think I'm going to get fired. etc etc These are very strong feelings which means I've started having really bad nightmares and get very anxiuos several times a day.

I don't want to go back to Bulimia as I know that isn't a real solution but I feel like Bulimia was my shell and now its been ripped away and I'm so fragile on the inside.

Has anyone experienced similar when stopping?

Please help, I've wasted so much time already, I just want to enjoy my life

Thanks and best wishes to anyone else suffering

Emma xxxx

Shaye Says

Hi Emma!

What you're talking about is actually very common.... And, I experienced it too...

2 months is still early days in the scheme of recovery - and it's when your bulimia 'shell' or 'barrier' has been pulled off - and you're feeling very vulnerable...

What's happening is all the things that you used to block out with bulimia are feeling extra intense... In particular, your insecurities about what people think about you...

Now is the time to start talking... to somebody you love and trust... Just as you opened up about your bulimia... Open up about these emotions - talk them through... Allow yourself to feel them.

When you notice any extreme emotions coming in, try not to push them away or feel like you need to shove them down... Realize that it's okay to feel - and allow yourself to do it. Try to sit with the feeling until it passes...

If you notice any extreme thinking, or negative core beliefs coming through, try to challenge them... As I wrote about in this newsletter... and again in this one......

It takes persistence and repetition to change the way we think... But, it's the next step of the journey - and you should be SO proud of getting to this stage!

You are doing amazingly well Emma - keep putting one foot in front of the other... It's early days still and you'll get there!


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program