What if I Just Can’t Stop Eating?
That’s a good question and one I asked myself repeatedly in early recovery. After a few decades of not being able to stop, what gives now? The answer?
Commitment, nutrition, and support.
If you are reading this blog, you are likely very committed. You have reached a time in your life where you are tired of settling. You are tired of watching others self-actualize while you’re stuck in your little life ruled by bulimia.
You are ready for an upgrade, so you can tick commitment off the above list.
The next step will be re-feeding yourself. This is a significant key. It’s the key to a vault you have yet been able to open. I can’t stress it enough. You will fight a never-ending battle if you keep starving your body of the nutrition it needs for survival and thrival (you won’t find that word in the dictionary!) The more your body trusts you to feed it properly, the less it will scream at you to feed it everything in sight. And it will signal you to stop eating.
I promise you.
I never thought that would happen for me. I honestly thought I missed that gene—the one that tells you to stop stuffing your face. But once I fed myself proper nutrition, my urges subsided, my willpower emerged, and homeostasis was established.
The last piece of this part of the puzzle is support.
You likely didn’t have a strong support network in place before, so of course you kept falling back into bulimia. But you know better now. Perhaps you have a few names and numbers from an EDA group, and maybe you have reached out to a few other safe souls. Maybe you and I have even connected. Acknowledge to yourself that you are on the road to recovery. The vital thing at this stage is actually using the support that has come into your life. This is not a time for pride or self-sufficiency.
It’s time to call in the troops.
I remember one humbling weekend during my first round of recovery in the late 1990s. I had been doing well all week, but felt the binge/purge cycle coming on. I just knew I could not be home alone all weekend and stay abstinent. So I uncharacteristically picked up the phone and asked one of my mentors, Cathy V, if I could please come and stay at her house for the weekend. Looking back, it was perhaps a lot to ask—she had two kids, a dog, a husband, and a busy life—but she accepted without hesitation.
When you are ready to help yourself, people will scramble to help you, too. Create and lean on your support systems. There will be plenty of time in long-term recovery where you will be able to reciprocate.
You’ve got this!