This week I really want to talk to you about the power of transformation that comes with recovery from eating disorders.
I’m sure we’d all agree that in essence recovery from bulimia means removing all urges, desires and needs to binge and purge; finding peace with food and ourselves; becoming stronger and more empowered individuals and not having to resort to bulimic behaviours just to make it through the day.
Those things go without saying.
But my own experience of recovery has taught me that it really doesn’t end there - in many ways recovery is the gift that keeps on giving.
Recovery encourages revival of spontaneity, development of strength, awakening of independence and the emergence of pride. It helps you to achieve things you would have never believed were possible.
Just last week I experienced one of those eye-opening moments where the true impact of my bulimia recovery really hit home.
In addition to my coaching role here at Bulimia Help and the other eating disorder advocacy work that I take part in, each Thursday I work as a volunteer support worker for an agency here in Liverpool that provides care to the elderly in their own homes.
Following my shift the area supervisor asked whether I would be interested in taking on some further responsibilities, including training new support workers, helping with funding campaigns and even assisting with interviewing new staff – I immediately jumped at the chance.
I found myself feeling excited, valued, appreciated and then it hit me -
I wouldn’t have had the time, the courage, the self-belief, the energy. I wouldn’t have even found myself in that situation in the first place because I would have been too afraid of failure and far too busy clearing my days to ensure there was enough time to binge and purge.
It really made me think about how my new, bulimia-free life is so drastically different to my life before recovery.
In deep contrast to this…
To someone who’s never experienced life with an eating disorder those transformations may not seem that major, but to me they are huge and wonderful!
Often when we find ourselves dreaming about our new bulimia-free lives we actually sell ourselves short, because even the most outrageous and exaggerated daydream often will not compare to the realities of how wonderful it is to live life without bulimia.
Reflecting back on my own ideas of recovery I can see how completely oblivious I was to the possibilities of exceptional change, but now they are undeniable.
I want you to know right now that I am not an exception, I am not just lucky, or a one off bulimia treatment success. People all over the world are recovering and achieving things they never dreamed would be possible.
So today why not take some inspiration from this post and create your own “typical week” scenarios.
STEP 1. For a few minutes write about the things that you experience, are held back from, miss out on or are afraid of while struggling with bulimia under the heading “A typical week in my life before recovery would involve”. Even if you’re still struggling try to write/think of this in the past tense.
STEP 2. Now take a few minutes to visualize your own recovery. Imagine that you have already fully recovered. How are things different? Do you have more time now? Do you work differently? How have you made peace with the past? Perhaps you even see yourself helping others to recover? Or maybe you see yourself never spending one more second thinking about bulimia again.
STEP 3. Really visualize that dream life, even if it seems impossible, and write yourself a second letter. This time focusing on all the wonderful transformations that recovery has brought to your life under the heading “A typical week in my life after recovery now involves”. Even if you’re not recovered yet try to write this in the present tense (just like we do with positive affirmations).
Having this real image of how your life is bulimia-free can give you the extra strength and determination needed during those more challenging days. Look back at your "life after recovery" list daily for inspiration.
If you’d like to share your own “a week in my life” before and afters and you’re a member of Bulimia Help then I’d love to read about them. Why not post them in the comments section below, or even write your own blog post on the topic?
I hope that this week’s article will inspire you to keep on fighting, keep on believing that anything is possible.
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The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.
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