2019 is the year of my metamorphosis – from hungry caterpillar to beautiful butterfly.
I am 40 years old and for 24 years I have struggled with bulimia.
When I was sixteen I was caught in crippling self loathing, major negative body image issues and overwhelming “not good enough” syndrome. Being fat to me, was the ultimate sin, and being thin the solution to all of my problems. As a way of eating what I so hungered for while also keeping slim I started throwing up my food. Soon the binging and purging became an emotional release – a way to handle the relentless anxiety I experienced. And before I knew it I couldn’t stop. My disordered eating had become an addiction.
At eighteen years old in my first year of University, aware that I had a terrible problem, I desperately tried to stop. I saw shrinks, was honest with my friends and family, doubled down on my drive and determination, and ramped up my will power, but nothing worked.
I was in trouble.
I tried to commit suicide. A few times.
22 years later I have mostly rid my self of debilitating self loathing and negative body image. Yes at age 40 I have fantastic self esteem, I rate my body an 8/10 and I know that I am “good enough”. But the vice hold of bulimia clings on.
I still throw up my meals – almost every day. Two or three times on a good day, seven times on a bad day. It has got to stop.
A few months ago I decided that this was it. It is time to do whatever it takes to stop.
Since then I have started a daily journal and meditation practise, hired an incredible addiction recovery coach who specialises in bulimia, and set up this website.
Despite my renewed enthusiasm in my recovery and an improvement in my abstinence -the struggle lingers on.
I am nothing if not determined. And I will not quit until it’s done.
This online diary is my way of sharing my story with anyone who is struggling too.
In the hopes that by doing so I can record the reality of recovery and document the things that worked and things that didn’t, which I might otherwise forget.
There will be spelling mistakes and grammatical gremlins lurking in all the crevices of this text – but I hope you will forgive them. My aim is to record the journey. Open and honestly. We can fix all those grammatical gremlins later when I am free from the stranglehold of bulimia and able to write the story of my full recovery.
For now I’ll just record the naked truth about the journey. One meal, one day, one step at a time.
I’m sharing my journey with you in the hopes that not only will you hold me accountable to my commitment to transformation, but that I might one day create a butterfly effect – a ripple that becomes a tsunami.
If you have found this blog and are reading it I am thrilled to have you with me and encourage you to reach out and let me know your story/ thoughts/ challenges and triumphs.
Lots of love
Helen the Hungry Caterpillar – who is determined to become the Beautiful Butterfly that I can feel exists within.