How One Mom Overcame Her Devastating, All-Consuming Eating Disorder

Inspiring 17

woman How does one overcome an eating disorder? Does anyone ever really fully recover? I can only speak for myself. What inspired me to begin my road to recovery was meeting my husband.

It may seem cliché. I hate that we live in a world where little girls are taught that one day their prince will come and sweep them off their feet and make everything okay. That’s not what happened for me. What happened was that a young woman who had been spinning out of control for eight years found a touchstone.

The comfort that I once took in my bulimarexia now had a different source, security in the freedom to be completely myself free from conditions. I could be flawed.

It’s hard to explain without sounding like a teenage girl. I must make the point that it wasn’t about my husband, it was about how being with him shifted how I saw myself. I finally felt safe.

Recovery began for me when someone finally saw me. I made up my mind that I wanted to get better when I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him and if I didn’t stop what I was doing, that wasn’t going to be very long. A switch flipped. I went from being consumed by the need to control everything to being able to let go. I finally cared if I lived.

How I did that may sound simple, but it was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do.

I directed all the energy I had focused on controlling and restricting myself into giving myself permission to let go. I was never hospitalized for my disorder. However, I had extensive psychiatric and psychological therapy for my bulimarexia. In my case, there were comorbid diagnoses and once we determined that, we were able to get to the root of my issues. I was medicated to treat my primary diagnosis and that helped me see my path to recovery more clearly.

From my own experience, I highly suggest that anyone who is suffering from eating disorders seek professional help. You can’t imagine how it made me understand why I did what I was doing and how much it helped me to know that I was not alone in having this disorder. There were other people who were going through it too.

I stopped vomiting. It was more like I weaned myself from it. It’s very hard to stop this disorder cold turkey because, for me, anyway, it was an obsession and an addiction. I built my entire life around it.

I slowly incorporated more calories into my diet. This was torturous for me to do, too.

I educated myself about my diagnoses. I read every book that I could get my hands on and even took clinical psychology courses to better understand my diseases.

I learned about nutrition. I changed the way I ate and I met with a nutritionist.

I opened up about it. I talked about it with my family and friends. Letting them in was part of my recovery. Helping them understand, just being able to be honest with people, allowed me to have a greater support system to fall back on. That support system was critical in my path out of darkness.

This is my story of recovery. I have been recovering from bulimarexia for 15 years. I will be in recovery for the rest of my life. Each day is a new battle, but each day the battle is easier than the last.

If you know anyone who is suffering from an eating disorder or you are suffering from an eating disorder yourself, please visit National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) or call 1-800-931-2237.

Do you have any advice for someone suffering from an eating disorder?

Image via Rega Photography/Flickr

eating disorders


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nonmember avatar suebradley

Wow, Deborah, that must have been a really hard post to write. Thank you for your honesty, and I wish you the best in your continued fight against this dreaded disease. God bless.

Newle... Newleaf32

This happened to me too, almost exactly. My sickness was so severe that even after stopping, I lost 50% of my hair and 2 years later, is just beginning to look normal, but no where close to how thick and healthy it used to be. I stopped my binging/purging/starvation/running cycle 2 months after I met my husband to be because I knew he was too good to be with someone who did this to herself. Our relationship very well might have saved my life.

Jscot... Jscott1216

So many people are so ready to judge someone going through this and it's not right. When I was in high school if I ate I purged, otherwise I wasn't eating. You think you must be doing something right when people tell you how good you look cause you've lost a few pounds so why not keep going. I still struggle with it and I'll be thirty next month. You never truly get over it you just learn to deal with your emotions and feelings in a healthier manner. My husband is my touchstone as yours is for you. If not for my husband I don't know what I'd do now. It must have taken alot of strength and courage to write this but thank you because it's an issue that needs to be talked about an people need to know they aren't alone.

Kaymad41 Kaymad41

I found out last year that my (than) 13 year old daughter had been throwing up. I was the typical clueless mom. At one point I had even heard her throwing up and thought she had a stomach virus! I let her stay home from school. Thing is, I think she wanted to be caught because she dropped clues and hints. She wasn't only bulimic, but also somewhat anorexic as well. Finally her best friend made Madison tell me. My sister was bulimic when she was younger, in times of extreme stress she'll still throw up, so she was the first one I called. I got Madison into a behaviour therapist, she has put on 15 pounds and is doing great.

nonmember avatar Jessi

I was a bulimarexia but not in the traditional sense. Being on the chunky side for the majority of my life I resolved to lose weight for good through hard work and determination, it quickly evolved into an obsession. I drastically limited calories while burning off the rest through excessive exercise. I'd spend 2-3 hours a day vigorously exercising with an intake of as few as 400 calories. I was losing about 4lbs a week. Everything became about the numbers. Food was no longer to be enjoyed but a necessity for survival. If I wanted those few potato chips that meant an extra 15 minutes on the bike. A modest slice of cake? That's an extra hour. It didn't matter what I ate because after all a calorie is a calorie right? The body doesn't know the difference. This continued for at least a few years. I could count my ribs, feel my pelvic bones and clavicle jutting through my skin and I loved it. Family began to comment on my fragile sickly figure. It took an unrelated hospital stint after a severe car accident to put me back on the right track. It wasn't until years later that I read that exercise is often used as a form of bulimia. I had no idea.

Truth... TruthfulMommy

You women inspire me. Thank you for sharing your stories in the comments. I'm so sorry that any of you had to experience firsthand what I wrote about but I am so happy that you have  found help. It is an ongoing process but we can do it; one day at a time. XO



kellynh kellynh

Thanks for sharing all the stories

mrswi... mrswillie

The only advice I can give is get professional help.

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I have no advice,it's a lifelong personal battle. I wish them all the best in their journey.

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