I’m so inspired tonight as I write this. About 2 hours ago I received an email from a woman who was on my blog and emailed me. I’ll call her “Z”. She emailed me needing bulimia support out of sheer desperation. She was in what I call the whirlwind of the disorder. Binging and purging every day and feeling no relief from anything she tried.
I felt when I read her email that she really just needed someone to talk to. Someone who had “been there done that” and would listen with an understanding that someone who had never had bulimia could.
I called and Z was really happy I reached out to her. She shared what her life has been like for the past few years trying to raise two young boys and pregnant with her third child. She talked some about her past and how she had this great career and when she decided to be a stay-at-home mom everything started to change. She was more alone, more conscious of her eating, more conscious of her body than ever before. She talked of torturing herself after she delivered her first baby to get back to her pre-baby weight.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but I have sensed there’s been a huge baby explosion going on over the past 5 years or so…maybe more. (There are people who track that sort of stuff.) Anyway, I have heard a lot from new mommies that they struggle with the transition from being a career woman or having a full time job to being a full time Mom. Admittedly, I’ve never had a child, so I can only speak from observing my friends.
I shared with Z that if she wanted to better understand what was causing her to compulsively overeat she might step back from the day-to-day details and look at what she might be avoiding. I talk a lot about how bulimia is about avoiding our feelings. We have some big elephant topic/annoyance that we don’t want to deal with that causes us to turn to food to sooth our soul. We feel better when we shovel bags of cookies and gallons of ice cream down our throat. There’s a hole in the soul than food helps us fill up…temporarily anyway.
With Z I told her that the transition from career life to mother hood was a huge step in her life. To be easy on herself. To be aware of the amazing woman she was before she became a Mom – she’s still here. She’s just doing things differently. She’s now an amazing, beautiful woman raising two kids and about to have a third. That’s her work and she’s doing it like only she could. It’s important we as women when we transition from one point (I like to call them chapters) in our life into the next that we change our perception. Who Z was as an amazing career woman, dynamo bride, fit and healthy woman was her chapter 3 let’s say. Now it’s chapter 7 and she’s the same beautiful, fabulous woman on the inside. Her outside (physical self) has transitioned into a mommy body, but that doesn’t mean who she is as a woman isn’t incredible and worth valuing.
I gave Z a few pieces of advice I’d like to share with you:
1. Practice a self-love mantra – I told Z to say every day, at least 10 times and as many as 100 times a day to tell her self “Z, I love you”. I told her to hear me saying it to her at first, if she couldn’t say it to herself.
2. Become present to what changed – look back at your life and start to get present to what changed in your life that maybe trigger the eating disorder. Did you have a traumatic or big transition period that triggered you to a heightened sense of stress or anxiety about your body, who you are as a woman, what your role was that you hadn’t looked at and come to terms with?
3. Look for the gold in life – in all of life there is plenty of dirt and gunk in our life. It’s our job to turn from the dirt and to see the gold in life. When you’re down in the dirt or feeling dumped on, where can you release the focus on the dirt and start to see some gold in your life? Is it your kids? Is it your connection with spirit? Is it nature? Whatever you call gold or you can praise and be thankful for you in your life. I live in a beautiful city with lots of great nature around. I am thankful every day I get to live where I live. What is the gold in your life that’s right under your nose?
I was so grateful today for Z’s call and she had so many kind things to share. She told me that for her one call there were probably 1000 people who didn’t call, but appreciated my bulimia recovery blog. That one statement made my day.
I’m often tempted to stop writing because it seems so lonely being a blogger. You write and write and write and never hear from people. Then, poof! I get an email or a call out of the blue where someone tells me that my blog is important. It means something to them to know they’re not alone.
You are not alone. I love you. I am you. I believe you can be thriving in life.
I am so grateful for bulimia for teaching me who I really am and what I’m here to do. I’m here to make a BIG difference in the eating disorder recovery community. Look out world!
Whatever you’re doing today, wherever you are in recovery or in the midst of bulimia – support is around the corner, Just like I never give up blogging. I want you to never, ever give up hope that you can live a happy, healthy live. You can!
I love you guys. Thanks to Z for contacting me and making my day. Thanks to all of you who read my blog and contact me or just read and never contact me. It’s all good. I can feel your love and I love you back.