Real Women Today Real Women Today Real Women Today Real Women Today

Bulimia stories – my six year recovery story

bulimia stories, health and beauty, real women today

Like a lot of bulimia stories, my food addiction was punctuated now and again by some desultory and half-hearted attempts at recovery that always lead me back to the comfort of my eating disorder. Over the years I attended some Overeaters Anonymous meetings where I occasionally found comfort and an escape from loneliness. While they can work really well for some people, because I never really worked their 12 step program, they weren’t what eventually helped me overcome my addiction.

For 20 years I told almost no one about my addiction, lied through my teeth if anyone ever suspected it, and led a lonely, miserable life of binging and purging in secrecy. For two decades I rarely allowed anyone to get near me…though high school, college and my early working life I was a bulimic but no one knew the truth.

The final straw

Just like I’ve read in a lot of other bulimia stories, there came a moment in my life when I reached the point where I had to stop being bulimic. I tried many times over the course of those 20 years to walk away from bulimia, but kept falling back into old patterns when times were tough.

In May of 2005 I attended a 3-day workshop called the Landmark Forum at the recommendation of a girlfriend. She said it changed her life and her life looked good to me. I enrolled in the workshop and went on to experience the most profound 3 days of my life. After attending the Landmark Forum I enrolled in a 10-week seminar to practice the personal transformation techniques I had learned in the weekend workshop during the course of my everyday life. In that 10-week seminar I made a life-altering decision. I declared to my group that “I am a non-bulimic” and I made the commitment to start being a non-bulimic from that moment forward.

The decision to be non-bulimic was scary

If you have an eating disorder you’ve probably grown fond of it, or at least rely on it to be there for you. As with so many women who share their bulimia stories, I was used to being a bulimic. It was definitely my comfort zone.

I was really terrified at the newness, the unfamiliarity of the idea of being a non-bulimic. It’s one thing to tell people you’ll be a non-bulimic, it’s something all together different to walk the talk. My bulimia was usually triggered by stress. Giving up my coping mechanism – compulsive overeating and purging – when I was stressed was hard. Really hard at first. Over time, just like giving up smoking or drinking, it got easier.

Believe me – in the moment of decision to be a non-bulimic I was freaking out when I first said it to my group. And yet there was a huge sigh of relief that I was finally giving up this horrible crutch that was not serving me like I thought it was. In fact, as I look back now those 20 years were just a big cover up because I thought my addiction made me feel better when all it did was temporarily allow me to avoid my feelings.

The reinforcement of my decision to be non-bulimic

The sequence of events in my life at that point were fortunately supportive of my recovery, because soon something happened that made me reach that point of no return in my recovery. Two months after the seminar, I met a man and we started to date.

Two weeks into dating I told him that I was non-bulimic. This was huge for me. I couldn’t believe it as I sat there at dinner and told this man about my addiction and commitment to recovery. Bulimia stories are fraught with secrecy; mine was no different and this was the first person (outside of my seminar group) I had actually admitted the decision to be non-bulimic to.

This was a promise that I had to keep – not only to myself, but now to him. It was a commitment that strengthened my decision to recover fully and permanently. The strength I gained by telling another person of my commitment surprised me and with each passing day I found I was finally living as a non-bulimic.

There’s no doubt that the fact I was in a happy, healthy relationship helped my recovery process. I went on to do a lot of personal development work over the next 6 years including healing a lot of family issues, connecting with spirit, learning to love myself and allowing others to love me, too. No eating disorder recovery is complete without making peace with your physical self, healing the underlying issues that cause the addiction and developing new coping mechanisms.

The future is bright

I am now happily married to the man who helped me reinforce my decision to become whole again. My mission is to make a difference like other bulimia recovery stories out there. I share my journey in the hopes it shows someone still suffering that overcoming bulimia is possible. Bulimia is a part of my history and helped me become who I am today. However, since that decision in 2005 to be a non-bulimic all I do now is look forward to a life filled with self-love and happiness. Guilty, in pain and ashamed is what I was. Powerful, confident and able to love is what I am.

To read Polly Mertens’ entire recovery story as well as other bulimia stories and resources, visit her website

Article Source:

Article Source:


Tags: , , , ,

Leave a reply