Bulimia

Study Abroad Sign at Houghton College.

“Becoming the new feminine ideal requires just the right combination of insecurity, exercise, bulimia and surgery.” ~ Gary Trudeau.

I’ve been looking through different posts about bulimia lately, and I’ve noticed that there only seems to be two types of posts about it.  Posts that say “hey, this is what bulimia is!” and posts that say, “I’m suffering with bulimia and this is what I have to say about it.”  There is, as far as I can find, nothing about helping it, curing it.

This is basically what I’ve learned that’s of any use.

  1. Bulimia is an addiction.  You can want to stop, but not be able to.  People call it a psychological disease, but the fact that it is an addiction means that you have a chemical reaction to it, too, which makes it biological as well.
  2. The main suggested treatment is therapy, talking about it, and getting to the root of it:  why are you purging?  This seems a little optimistic to me.  I mean, sometimes it could be subconscious, right?  Then talking about it would be useless.
  3. It doesn’t make you thin, so it’s unlike anorexia.  It has just as much to do with eating as not eating.

and that’s really all I’ve learned.  Not much at all.  Nothing of help.

I did get to read some interesting stories.  Almost exclusively, it seems, young women.  I’m a lot like the woman in this post; I’ve tried purging and I was more disgusted after than I was before.  So me?  I binge, and deal with it, gain the weight, and hate myself more.  I’ve learned that quitting is hard as heck… once you’re out, that doesn’t mean you’re out for life.  Like cigarettes, the habit can kick back up again, maybe once a year… or maybe once a day.  And bulimia is something that people are ashamed of, at least on some level, because it makes them lie to other people.  A lie of omission, if nothing else.  Bulimia is personal, a dirty little secret.  In a lot of the stories, bulimia is referred to as another person (writers call this personification).  There is one person who, even through her words, I sense a lot of strength.  She talks about redirecting her energies, and at least where I read it here, it works.  It’s hard, though.

This last story I read… it hits close to home for me in some ways, and close to home to a friend in others, and it makes me nervous.

It’s so hard.  I feel like there’s no answers out there, and I want to learn about it.  The most I can learn is the textbook definition, and other people’s stories.  And the stories are far more helpful than anything else.  But I feel lost, still.

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6 Responses to “Bulimia”


  1. 1 Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC April 30, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Amber, thank you for your thoughts on bulimia. Bulimia is much more about our hearts and our stories than food and body image, which I’m sure you realize. Until we address the issues that were happening in our lives just before entering the black door or darkness called bulimia, we cannot fight it. Often people dance around the symptoms and never get to the underlying issues involving the pain in their own stories. I am a licensed mental health counselor and am writing a book called Fannies: Reclaiming the Plunder of the Body Image Bandit. My blog is based on the book and works on the heart issues around food and body image. Thanks for stopping by. Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC http://www.cherriemac.wordpress.com.

  2. 2 chelliroo May 3, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I thought I’d leave you a note here too, since I decided to start up ^^

    You may say it’s not much, but still, it’s nice to get some honesty and an “outsider” view (I don’t know how to better phrase that!). I did like all the links though, it was really interesting to read them!

  3. 3 cherrypole July 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I would like to say, recovering from Bulimia starts with admitting you have it, I have suffered since I was 14…Im almost 24 now.
    I am blogging about my recovery, I am still new to this blogging malarkey. please read, any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

  4. 4 serenequeen July 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Hi, I would really like to read your blog about Bulimia, but I can’t actually read the text because it gets lost in the background…can you help or send it to me?

    My most recent post has reference to Bulimia, as I have suffered from the disease. Check it out: http://serenequeen.wordpress.com/blog/

    Thanks! Serene Queen

  5. 5 nicole June 14, 2011 at 9:14 am

    i just read this post about bulimia, and first allow me to extend a big hug to you. i understand. secondly, i must say that possibly my blog will help you. a portion of my blog is about the adventures of my dog – because she saved my life from bulimia. but i am posting “life after bulimia” pieces . . . such as my story entitled “coupons” which was posted yesterday. being a binge eater, this will certainly help you. i’m definitely a no professional therapy sort of girl, so my theories are extremely unconventional and self-devised. please follow me, if you think it will bring value to your maintenance of a binge free life. with an outreaching heart, nicole.

  6. 6 nicole June 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

    this is my first “wordpress” comment . . . and i forgot to check the “notify me of follow-up comments via email” button, hence this second message. 🙂

    “i just read this post about bulimia, and first allow me to extend a big hug to you. i understand. secondly, i must say that possibly my blog will help you. a portion of my blog is about the adventures of my dog – because she saved my life from bulimia. but i am posting “life after bulimia” pieces . . . such as my story entitled “coupons” which was posted yesterday. being a binge eater, this will certainly help you. i’m definitely a no professional therapy sort of girl, so my theories are extremely unconventional and self-devised. please follow me, if you think it will bring value to your maintenance of a binge free life. with an outreaching heart, nicole.”


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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