The organizational talents of the bulimic

April 23, 2008 at 7:20 am 1 comment

Yesterday I received a comment from someone who prefers to remain anonymous. She mentioned all the time that goes into her eating disorder – setting up the situation, scheduling her life around the binges and purges, all the plans she postpones for her eating disorder. That brought back memories. At one point, I did regret all the energy I’d invested in bulimia/anorexia, thinking about what I could’ve accomplished if I’d put it towards something more productive.

But I don’t want to beat on myself or anyone else with things like, “Oh, you should… You could have…” No, I simply want to address the fact of our wonderful talents. Yes, indeed, just think about all we are capable of accomplishing. We manage for years to surreptitiously procure large amounts of food, smuggle it into our lair and devour it all by ourselves, and then get rid of it again and hide the traces behind us. Meanwhile, we are diligent housewives, apt students, reliable employees, and doting mothers. We are incredibly clever and able to hide it from most people. Of course, some do notice that we’re skinny and shy, but most people are so busy with their own lives that they don’t really bother about us.

When I lived alone in New York City, I had a whole ritual developed. I knew when the doormen switched shifts, so no one would see me carrying home 4 bags of groceries twice. Since we used to put our garbage outside the apartment door, I used to make sure that mine was folded together as small as I could possibly make it, so as not to attract attention. And when I think about the routine itself, I’m impressed. The groceries were chosen according to preparation times, so I could eat and be preparing the next food already, have something else in the oven, etc. And of course, the consistency was important. I was quite the scientist – I knew which foods and what combinations worked best and had a very systematic approach at times.

So, praise yourself for your talents! You are intelligent, creative and resourceful. You are also suffering, in great pain, and deserve help. Just because you are as gifted as you are, doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. If you get help, you can learn to use your gifts to your real advantage and feel good about yourself!


Entry filed under: About Recovery, Coping, life. Tags: , , .

The Hermit Bulimia, Stress and Starting Over

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. carolynlboyd  |  April 23, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    This is so true! Putting these skills to positive use is a wonderful way to take care of yourself.

    Unfortunately, we don’t seem to learn to take care of ourselves as a matter of course. Thank goodness it is learnable!


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