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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Misc Mum responds to reader questions, on 'that' subject

Anonymous: "I am Bulimic, sometimes I'll be ok but then something triggers it and it will start all over again. Thia has been going on for about 4 years now. Does it ever go away? or do some people control it better than others?"

Anon, I hope you come back to read my reply. Here it is:

This post brings people to my blog daily. Mostly in their dozens; sometimes in their hundreds, thanks to Google and StumbleUpon. Quite possibly also many of my 'usual' readers are interested in finding out more about it as well and are too polite to ask (bless). I don't talk about it for the simple fact that it's still a sensitive issue. Sure, I talk about it with close personal friends whenever the subject may arise. I can even make a joke or two when the mood strikes, but some psychotherapists might argue that the making of the joke means that, on my part, I still have things to resolve and my laughter is a way of transference or dismissal. To them I would say, "Bollocks." Well, maybe.

I think it was ten years last month (August) when I first actually started coming clean with people about what was happening. They already knew - sure - but it's the old adage: "Only when you admit there is a problem can you move forward", or however it goes. So it's been a long time, eight or so years totally 'cured', but some days it doesn't feel like that. Maybe that's what you're asking. I don't think I could willingly stick a spoon or my finger down my throat anymore. I'm just not wired up for that kind of self-abuse. If I ever go, "Hmmm...could I?" Well, those are the days when I open a diary of the time and I cringe. Maybe I'll scan some pages in and post those up. They are frightening.

How did I work through it? In some ways I still am; perhaps always will. I really, truly believe it is a mindset. I have read a lot of psycho-babble on the why's and how's of eating disorders, and frankly I can't make any sense of it, even now. For me, the decision to get better was to right what I was doing to my body: the easiest and hardest part all at the same time, because the brain is such a powerful instrument that it takes years of positive thought, de-programming ("Do not stick your finger down your throat", "Do eat your tea"), setbacks, self-loathing, and countless other factors to reformulate your self-image in a healthy way. Some can't do it, or it takes them decades. By then, though, they have lost so much: their health, their fertility, their confidence, that it's just tragic.

You mention triggers. What exactly? Stress? Anxiety? A coping strategy? It's good that you do recognise them. And I know this will be hard, but you need to then identify those and find alternative solutions. I was in such a mess at the time that I would go from bulimia to not eating at all. Slothing all day, to putting in two hours at the gym at night. Obviously, that's not what I want you to do. Can you talk to someone? Are you working or studying? It's amazing, actually, what programs are set up for individuals at (some) institutions to call upon in times of need, free of charge. It's worth investigating.

I really, really hope I've helped in some way. At the very least, know that it's never too late to turn the situation around, even after four years. Now I've written this and read it over, I am reluctant to push the 'post' button because once it's 'out there', it's gone, and I can't hide behind the safety of silence.

But I will for you, anon, and others. Please take care.

Comments on "Misc Mum responds to reader questions, on 'that' subject"


Blogger Veronica said ... (4:15 pm) : 

I think you are incredible for being able to talk about your eating disorder, even if it was years ago.



Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said ... (4:24 am) : 

I started StumbleUpon. Still not sure of it's fuunction.


Anonymous Katie said ... (7:22 pm) : 

I've been avoiding replying to this post, but I really want to. I've struggled with anorexia and bulimia and I still have a love-hate relationship with food. I love to hear when people have conquered their ED, and your post was inspirational - you don't sugar-coat it and there was no "miracle recovery" like many people expect there to be.

Thanks for sharing, I know it's hard.


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (7:34 pm) : 

V - thanks, it was hard
JLP - oh, its great. remember me in your thumbs up ;)
Katie- I'm sorry to hear you've experienced the same :( Glad to hear you've come through it too


Blogger Babeth said ... (7:53 pm) : 

I can only applaud your decisions and I hope you will continue to find life rewarding despite the bad things. I guess it's not about self-discipline really, it's more about loving to enjoy what you can have instead of yearning for the impossible.
My cats send purrs. They are generous like that. ;-) Crazy critters.


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