To those who do not suffer from an eating disorder this seems like an obvious statement. To sufferers like you and me, not so much.
Bulimia does not provide any solutions to the twists and turns of the human experience and it never has. As sufferers we know that bulimia creates more pain and more wounds than anyone could ever imagine.
It will not erase negative feelings. It will not alleviate fear. It is not a panacea to anything.
Yet for years, I used bulimia as if it were some sort of magical answer. Isn't it amazing to look back and realize this? In a perverse, very perverse way, I believed that bulimia was an answer. I saw it as a solution. It was my one and only coping mechanism, no matter what the situation, good, bad or indifferent.
If this sounds familiar, then maybe this will too. A huge step forward in my recovery was to admit to myself that bulimia was not the answer to anything. The next step was to admit it to the people who were in my life: my loved ones, my friends, my therapists.
The moment I did so, it felt like a weight being lifted from my shoulders. I felt free. Oh yes, I knew it would take time and patience to fully embrace this revelation. After all I'd been a prisoner of my eating disorder for a quarter of a century. But all of a sudden I had a new mantra, a new affirmation:
"Bulimia is a problem, never a solution. And it never has been."
To support this affirmation and to embrace its words, I now had to apply logic to my thought patterns. And if you are a fellow sufferer you will know how alien logic is to us. I had to admit the damage bulimic behaviors were inflicting on my body and indeed my psyche. I had to battle that voice in my head that tried to convince me otherwise. Above all else I had to trust and embrace the intelligent, logical me. The real me.
Admitting that your eating disorder is a problem and never a solution is a huge step on the road to recovery. To this day, even in recovery, I continue to repeat this affirmation to myself. I cannot afford to allow the twisted, illogical thoughts that once convinced me otherwise to reassert themselves.
If you are a sufferer reading this, I implore you from the bottom of my heart to speak these words out loud to yourself first, then to your therapist and to your family:
"Bulimia (or whatever your disease) is a problem, never a solution."
After a 25 yr battle with Bulimia I am recovered and dedicated to helping others also win their battles with Bulimia or other Eating Disorders. I have chronicled my struggle, as well as strategies for recovering, in two books and encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out to me confidentially