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What made you finally stop bulimia?

by Jennifer
(Los Angeles)

Hi Shaye,

Your recovery and your support of others really inspires me. Will you please share what you felt when you finally had enough of life with bulimia? I ask this question because although I am better and better each day, I still binge and purge. I feel so close to letting it go and yet I haven't.

I realize that you've worked very hard on yourself to build a life free of bulimia. I know the process takes a lot of work and commitment. If you have one moment to share, a moment that you truly felt yourself committing to life without this disease, I would love to hear about it.

Thank you,

Shaye Says

Hi Jennifer!

Thanks for your question :) It made me realise that I don't think I have ever mentioned on my site the time in my life that I realised I could not live with bulimia any longer...

It was towards the end of my first year of university if I remember correctly... An entire year had passed and I felt as though I didn't know my classmates at all. Although they considered me a friend - I considered myself an outsider - I felt as though nobody knew me. I felt as though I didn't even know myself. I was absolutely exhausted all the time. I felt as though I was dying - in spirit and in body.

I felt that although a year had passed - I had gone backwards - I felt that with each year of life that I lived - I was less of a person - and more of a machine - carrying out the motions of bulimia...

Every day at uni I would binge and purge constantly... Then, in the evening I would have a massive binge followed by a shower... In the shower I'd throw up and then cry... I would sit on the floor sobbing... I remember thinking over and over again 'What has happened to me?'

Somewhere deep inside I knew that I was worthy of more... I wanted so badly to be free of bulimia - but I had no idea where to start.

I think having bulimia at university made me realise that my life was passing by and I was losing precious years that I'd never get back... I was no longer a child with bulimia - or a teenager with bulimia... I was an adult with bulimia - and this thought horrified me... It made me realise how many years I had sacrificed to the disease...

As this realization struck me - at first I felt devastated... I would sob for hours at a time... I felt angry and scared... I knew I needed to recover but I felt so out of control.

Eventually I decided that I couldn't recover alone - and I think this was my first true commitment to my life without bulimia... I knew that I needed to open up about my illness - firstly to a counselor and then as I felt more comfortable - to family and friends.

My bulimia didn't end overnight - I had many months of gradual improvement - just as you're experiencing right now... I just had to keep reminding myself that as long as I was facing in the right direction - I would eventually get there...

And, about 10 months after starting my recovery I had a completely binge and purge free day... My first in about 6 years. I was over the moon! I remember going to bed and actually squealing in delight... I think I even high fived myself!

That day was the first of many... I think the next time I threw up was about 1 year later when I got drunk with my awesome uni friends... But that was alcohol induced vomiting - not bulimia!

Jennifer - I hope from this story you can see that recovery for me was a long journey... It didn't happen over the course of a few weeks - or even months... It was the majority of a year. You say you still have the urge to binge and purge - and I want you to know that this is normal... But, in time it will go away...

Just keep taking positive steps in the right direction - and you will 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