Recovering From Bulimia vs Recovered From Bulimia
My name is Patricia. A few months shy of my 32nd birthday, I’m approaching the fifth year anniversary of my eating disorder recovery. While I consider myself recovered from bulimia, this milestone has been occupying my thoughts in recent months. One recurring theme involves asking myself what does it actually mean to be “in recovery” from bulimia and when do you actually become “recovered”?
Bulimia Recovery is Individualized
I believe it’s more than just semantics. Invariably, I always come back to the same answer: bulimia recovery, or recovery from any eating disorder, is an individual experience and you’ll know in your gut when you’re there. In my case, I believe the state of my recovery to be defined by my current state of mind and my daily resolve to survive beyond bulimia. There is no fixed path and no set timeframe, but perhaps you can consider yourself recovered when you face those demons at the root of your mental illness in the first place, and can look back on those times without triggering an eating disorder relapse. And yes, relapses are a part of the recovery process. Looking back, my relapses were essential in conquering my mental illness. Relapses taught me to be humble; to have compassion for myself, and mostly, to accept them as a normal step of the recovery process. More importantly, relapses didn’t deter me from giving bulimia recovery another shot.
I've Recovered From Bulimia
Personally, I know I am recovered from bulimia because I can speak up about having suffered from a mental illness and I don’t care anymore about the reaction I will get from others. I know I am recovered when I go for coffee or a drink with a friend, and I’m comfortable replying to an invitation to eat, by saying that I won’t eat between meals if I’m not hungry. I know I am recovered because I know my triggers and have learnt how to avoid them. I know I am recovered because, when I can’t avoid a trigger, I can turn to someone I love or trust and tell them that I need help. I know I am recovered because when I go for a morning run and I sometimes feel tears running down my face, I know they’re from the overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude I feel for being alive. I know I am recovered because I no longer run to run away from myself, but rather to become who I am a little bit more everyday. I also know I am recovered because it has been a few years now without a relapse, and I will do everything I can to keep it that way.
Your path to recovery, much like your recovery journal is your own, it’s your journey, and it’s personal; but at the end of the day, we all share some things in common on that road to eating disorders recovery. I suspect if you currently suffer from an eating disorder or if you’re in recovery, that you want to reach a point where your inner dialogue about self-harm, food, and body image have changed. Soon enough, this will translate into behavioral changes.
I wrote this post, hopefully not only to inspire you in your own lives and journey into recovery, but also to inspire you to share your stories with me. I’d love this to become a forum for others to feel comfortable enough to share their stories of triumph, or to feel comfortable to ask for support in your setbacks. So to anyone reading this, if you are ready to share, please feel free to reply. What is your journey into recovery like so far? For those who have recovered, what can you share about that AHAH moment where you knew you were recovered?
Lemoine, P. (2013, April 30). Recovering From Bulimia vs Recovered From Bulimia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, October 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2013/04/recovering-from-bulimia-vs-recovered-from-bulimia
Author: Patricia Lemoine
Hello. My name is Amanda. I'm 27 and have had quite the life with eating disorders. Going threw some family drama when I was younger was a major cause for both my Anorexia and Bulimia. It started in 8th grade when my mom passed away. I was already fed up with school because I was friendless. I'm blind and back then no one took the time to get to know me. when I got to high school my parents sensed something was wrong and when my teachers told them what was wrong, all they did was ground me. So, no support at home. I hid things. Hid my disorder from those around me. In 2007 my grandma passed on. After that a former teacher of mine took me into her home. I fessed up about my disorder, but when she suggested getting help I said I would, but never followed threw with it. Then, May 1, 2012 came along. I was sitting at home in my room, looking up YouTube videos, when I found this song by a new artist. The artist? SoMo. I read up more on him, intreagued by his voice. He's an R&B artist from Texas. I made it my mission to meet him. I wasn't able to go to any shows on his first tour because nun of them were near me. On his second tour, The Ride Tour, I saw he was coming to Lancing Michigan, an hour from where I live. I began listening to more of his covers and original music and began to realize threw his music, what a amazing down to earth personality he has. On October 11, 2013 I was able to meet SoMo. I was finally able to really be true to myself and open up to him about all that I'd been threw with my disorder. Since that day, we've become good friends. I've seen him in concert 3 other times and this last September, finally got my first picture with him. Now that isn't to say I don't still have a lot of triggers, but when I encounter one, I turn on SoMo and think, "What would he want for me as his friend?"
It definitely takes time and one must be gentle with themselves since it's very tough to not restrict and accept that the scale will fall where it does. I completely understand and empathize with your situation. The journey to recovery is long and emotionally demanding. #staystrong
I have been "in recovery" for 3 months tomorrow. I'm not sure if that day will ever come for me to truly love myself and accept myself as I am. I've learned that gaining all the weight I have lost is a lot harder than it was to lose it. Some days this frustrates me, other days, I'm grateful I'm not gaining. And that right there shows me that my eating disorder is still there, in the back of my mind.
Thank you both for your comments! Recovery is a very personal process. Often associated with other types of mental illness, such as anxiety and depression, eating disorders can easily take a toll over our minds and rule our lives. More voices and more help are needed to end stigma surrounding mental illness.
Guest Author on the "Surviving ED" Blog
I was bulimic for years. As I have gotten older, I've worried about serious health issues, so have stopped purging for long periods of time. Occasional still. But my pressing concern is I still overheat/binge. My weight is increasing, it makes me frantic to think of reducing, frantic keeps me eating. I am in a total self-defeating cycle. I have joked that I am a 1/2 recovered bulimic..I overheat but no purge. I binge all the time and really have an opposite body image, probably see myself thinner than I am! I am struggling and concerned I need real help. Chronic health condition also causes me to fight depression..
I agree that that it can mean different things to different people. I have been "recovered" since 2006. Do I still have some thoughts now and then? Sure. I, however, am now aware that I am not my thoughts and process the urges in a more constructive way. To me that is "recovered".