Bulimia, Stress and Starting Over

April 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm 1 comment

Before I get started, feel free to comment and TELL me, if you don’t want your comment to be posted. Due to the nature of this blog, the wish for privacy is understandable and will be respected.

Someone told me that she looks forward to when finals and school are over, and hopes that things will get better. My heart dropped when I read that. Although it is true that we relax when stressful situations are over, there are always new ones. I used to hope that when one thing was finished and another one started – be it a new job, a new apartment, a new relationship, life in a new city or country – that I would stop throwing up. In the beginning, I thought it was just a trick that had gotten a bit out of hand, but I still had control and would stop it when I’d had enough. (I ignored the fact that I’d used up all my savings on food and had lost around 25% of my body weight.) It took quite a while to realize I couldn’t simply stop doing it.

I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you what finally got me on the right track. Basic background information: I graduated high school, went away for a year as an AFS exchange student, moved to NYC shortly after I returned, moved several times because I was subletting apartments, got my own apartment, broke up with my boyfriend, found a new boyfriend (in Europe), moved to Europe, and started attending night school – because my high school diploma was not enough to allow me to attend the university there. I mention all those things, because I indeed hoped after each one that I would magically recover. And of course, with every volume of my journal that I filled, I hoped the next one would be about recovery.

When the realization that I’d really had enough finally came, I committed to recovery, no matter what it took. At the time, I was still attending night school. I decided to sit out one semester and just focus on myself, without the stress of homework and studying. I probably could have managed to continue with school, but I wanted as little stress as possible during that time. That was when I joined a therapy group specifically for women with bulimia and anorexia. I also signed up for a few workshops (esoteric topics, theatre, bioenergetics), and generally tried to be good to myself. It was all for me – one whole semester to focus on recovery, to find out what I liked to do – and do it.

First I had to surrender and admit that I couldn’t do it alone, which I really had expected from myself all those years. What a relief it was to finally seek help and let a therapist and the other group members be there for me. Don’t worry – we are still each responsible for herself, but we don’t have to figure everything out for ourselves, we don’t have to know everything, and we don’t have to do it all alone. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of courage and strength. It just took me a while to get that.

The reason I frequently mention that I was sick for several years is, I want to assure long-term bulimics that there is hope. On the other hand, if you are relatively “new” at this, there is no need to wait for years. Bulimia and anorexia are symptoms of underlying problems. The sooner you get help, the better.


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

The organizational talents of the bulimic The Blessings of Bulimia

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sheryl doeckel  |  June 8, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Hi. I read your webblog and it gives me hope. I saw a therapist once knowing that my bulimia is due to an underlying condition. It was no help. I feel like I will die with this condition which I seem to have no control. Its insane. Treatment is costly and I have no money. Any suggestions?


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