It was with the benefit of hindsight that, coming out of my eating disorder, I recognized that I had a Hole in my Soul for most of my life. This, I feel, was the main contributor for my bulimia – that dangerous cycle of binging and purging.
A very significant part of overcoming bulimia for me was recognizing the hole in my soul (and heart). Realizing that the large amounts of food I was eating was just one way to fill up that hole and those feelings of being empty, lonely and sad. The food was supposed to fill me up and make me feel better, but that is not what it did. Compulsive overeating, far from being comforting, has the opposite effect and would inevitably lead to guilt and self-loathing which lead to purging continuing that vicious cycle.
It turned out that I was looking in all the wrong places for ways to fill up that hole in my soul. It was not in food, it was not in material or external things. I finally found the ways and the means to fill up that hole – but it was from within myself. It was a sense of self-love and acceptance that I sought and eluded me for 20 destructive years that I eventually realized was the answer. Filling that void from inside me put me on my path to overcoming bulimia.
While overcoming bulimia I also had to learn to love myself anew. I had to renew my connection to my spirit and my universe and had to relearn and recognize the good around me. I relearned gratitude as well. This reconnection and this relearning – this looking within -helped me combat those feelings of emptiness and that lack of fulfillment.
I have had to develop other coping mechanisms to replace the one that didn’t work while I had bulimia. The cycle of overeating and purging was obviously just making me feel worse and not better. So I stopped looking at food as a means to fill me up. It filled only my stomach whereas I was looking to fill that hole in my soul left by an empty and aching heart.
The food never filled my soul. Food never completed me. Happily for me I was able to break that cycle of binging and purging by finding a deeper love and acceptance of myself. I have other, healthier coping mechanisms now. Meditation is one and hiking is another – both help to fill up that hole.
Are you using food to fill up your empty heart? It never will. Look instead for a spiritual practice and you may find a key to your bulimia recovery.