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LOVE IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER
One woman's story about her experiences with Bullimia

I

had come to the point, where I knew that nothing was left for me. Nothing was moving. Nothing was changing. I was tired of the endless cycle of bingeing and laxative that bulimic women face every day.

I didn't know any more what to do with my life. I packed up everything and went to the Humaniversity in Holland.

It's been two months now since I started the one-year Addiction Foundation Program here. I had been taking four hundred and fifty laxative tablets per month, but have been off the tablets for four months. I have had bulimia for twenty-six years and my body feels exhausted from all these years of self-abuse.

It started in childhood. My mother used to drink laxative teas. Early in life I got the message from her that I would never be happy and never find a man, unless I was thin. Being thin equalled being happy. I fought with her constantly about food and dieting, as she would stuff her kids with food and then nag them about being overweight. Food became my enemy.

By my teens, my weight escalated to 75 Kilos and I was using all kinds of laxative teas and tablets. I watched my friends going out on dates and knew that I had no chance with my weight. I began to learn about society's cruelty to fat women. If you don't fit into a certain ideal, you are excluded and condemned as being unattractive to the opposite sex. You are never accepted.

I became dependent on pleasing men and winning their approval. Their opinion of me was what made me OK. I was caught in between a strong rage against the society that I blamed, and the strong need to be loved and accepted by those around me. This made it increasingly difficult to cope with my addiction.

The relationship with my parents constantly deteriorated. They constantly reminded me of how much they had sacrificed for me, how I never appreciated all they did, how ungrateful I was as a daughter. When I was in pain emotionally, my mother reminded me that I had no idea what suffering was. She had lived through two years of Auschwitz. What was my pain in comparison to hers?

My feelings had no place to be expressed, so I took them out on myself. I had no idea how to cope with parents I hated and a society I despised. I felt there was no place for me, no one I could talk to, no one who wanted to understand my situation. It was a nightmare, a prison without any hope of release. I lived in a state of such utter hopelessness and desperation that I needed some kind of sedative to ease the pain.

Food became my sedative and the laxatives were a way to shit out both, the food and the feelings. With all this constant bingeing and purging, I felt at the same time chronically starved of love and affection. Above all there was a feeling of unbearable loneliness and resignation, which made me give up on myself and my own life.

Only later in life did some information come to light about my addiction, after working with sannyasin therapists. I learned that 80 % of bulimic women have been sexually abused in childhood, either through incest or rape. My behaviour patterns somehow indicate this childhood abuse, but I personally have no recollection of what happened to me. My body developed a surface illness in order to protect me from the memory of this trauma.

I committed myself to the one-year Addiction Foundation Program here because I felt I need to give my body time to heal and to work at the same time on all the issues lying behind my addiction. I see that I need to learn to love my life again, to claim it back for myself. Most of all, I am learning to love, accept and appreciate myself for the woman I am today. I see that it is indeed possible to stop the self-destruction, to change my life now, because the choice and responsibility is entirely mine.

I have the choice every moment to use my energy and power to destroy my life, or to build something out of it. I create my own reality and this knowledge is, I believe, the key to stepping out of any addiction.

When I see the therapists here, some of whom were for many years on hard drugs, I see that full recovery is possible. I have so much love, respect and admiration for them as people and for the work they do. They work with total love and total commitment. They are helping me to save my own life.

As Veeresh says - love is always the answer. If you want to make any change in your life, you have to accept that you are worthy, that you deserve to be happy.

Would you like to find out more ?

The Humaniversity publishes a magazine about their work with addiction and many other things. If you mail your postal address to them they will be happy to send you a copy of the magazine

For more about Bullimia see Jen's story & Salona's article on the media's influence on young women.

Share your views and find support at the Bullimia Discussion board

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