Post by Shaye Boddington
The journey to discover myself, care for myself and love myself has been a long one… It’s been a journey with many ups and downs… A journey that has taken me to the darkest corners of my mind – and back again…
But, it’s been a journey that has ultimately saved my life… Learning to love myself has enabled me to beat the dark burden that I’ve carried since I was 8 years old… Bulimia.
I remember throwing up for the first time when I was just a little kid. Somehow I had developed the belief that being thin was the only way to be accepted and loved. I looked at myself in the mirror and decided that I needed to change. I decided that what I was wasn’t quite good enough.
This destructive thought pattern intensified as I got older and bulimia became more and more ingrained into my life.
When I was 15 years old my family was forced to emigrate from my homeland – Zimbabwe. The political situation meant that it wasn’t safe for us to live there anymore. My parents decided to sacrifice all that they had ever worked for to give us, their children, a safe future. We said goodbye to everything we had ever known and boarded the plane for New Zealand.
The trauma of immigration made my bulimia spiral out of control… I felt alone and scared in a world that was completely different to anything I had ever known. Eating helped to numb my mind and throwing up helped keep my body skeletal – which I had grown to believe was an essential part of being loved and accepted.
By the time I went to university I was throwing up over 15 times a day. I was suffering from the terrible bulimia side effects – heart palpitations, electrolyte imbalances, decaying teeth and depression just to name a few.
I was so ashamed of what I had become… I remember sobbing in the shower one night and screaming in agony ‘What has happened to me?!’ I felt devoid of life – I had become a machine living out the motions of bulimia.
The Belief That Saved My Life
Long before my bulimia began, I remember a teacher who I respected very much saying – It is impossible to love others if you do not love yourself first…
And, although my bulimia had completely turned my life upside down – I knew one thing for sure – That I loved my family and partner more than anything in the world. And, because I loved them – I knew that deep down I did love myself… and I knew that I was worthy of more…
This belief eventually made me pick up the phone and book my first appointment with a therapist. This was my first true commitment to healing my self esteem and well being – and with that – beating bulimia.
The first session I had with my therapist – Amanda – was amazing. I walked out of her office feeling like I had finally done something positive for myself. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t such a freak after all. Amanda made me realize that I wasn’t the only bulimic in the world… I wasn’t alone in my suffering and there were thousands upon thousands of girls just like me.
I met with Amanda for the best part of a year – over which time I learnt how to treat myself kindly, respect myself, cherish myself and love myself… The side effect of this was that I said goodbye to bulimia after over a decade of suffering.
I used cognital behavioral therapy and positive energy treatment to transform my self image and say goodbye to bulimia for good. Many of the techniques Amanda taught me are shared in the book “Mom, Please Help: Anorexia and Bulimia Positive Energy Treatment”. To read my review of this bulimia self help treatment, click here.
A Life Without Bulimia
I never imagined that this sort of life was possible…
A life where you wake up in the morning – excited for the day ahead.
A life where you enjoy food because it’s fun and it nourishes your body!
A life where you look in the mirror and smile because you truly believe that you’re beautiful.
A life where you’re so grateful for every moment that sometimes it even brings you to tears…
A wonderful life. A bulimia free life. A simple and content life…
A life full of well being in every sense of the word.
This life is possible… How do I know this? Because I have it…
And guess what… You can have it too.
Just turn to face the direction of self discovery, self love and self acceptance – and keep walking, in baby steps – until you get there. It will be the journey of a lifetime.