You’ve gone through so much and deserve to live at ease, loving yourself from the inside out.

I’m a 37 year-old girl who suffered from bulimia for 20 years, starting at the age of 14. Around 7 years ago I hit rock bottom, when feeling all the damaging effects of the illness from a psychological and physical perspective. I was tired of lying and feeling ashamed. I had gone through periods of recovery, then falling under the effects of bulimia again, passing through restriction and feeling awful inside out. I knew what I was doing wasn’t right but opening up about my thoughts and feelings again was tough, especially as in theory I was “recovered” after having gone to therapy for a number of months.

Living with and living without

Most people ask what it was like to live with an eating disorder, but few ask what it’s like now that I’m recovered. For most people, it isn’t something that completely goes away.

Are you wondering if you have a ‘valid’ eating disorder?

One of the experiences I value most from my years attempting recovery from an eating disorder has been the opportunity to listen to the voices of other people on the same path. I’ve heard people describe the mental, emotional and physical suffering that is part of their daily life and had no doubt in my mind that these people were suffering from ‘valid’ eating disorders. Yet over and over I’ve also witnessed the genuine suffering of these same people as they struggled with doubts as to whether they were ‘sick enough’ or ‘hopeful enough’ to deserve help.

One person's experience-Eating Disorders and Study

The eating disorder would still like to be the most important thing in my life. The eating disorder presents me with personalised goals, measurable progress and a sense of identity. The eating disorder encourages me to cultivate such high levels of paralysing self-hatred that I will be unable to function or find peace among any people, anywhere in the world. The eating disorder offers a constant internal stream of negative scrutiny guaranteeing isolation and painful feelings of social incompetence.