When I was thinking who could be my next interview, her name quickly popped up in my mind. I haven't seen her for a while, but I knew that wherever she was, she would be pleased to be able to help others who might be going through similar (or even completely) different problems. I didn't doubt to head to open my email account and send her some questions. (I think) she was excited, and so I was. She as a fellow blogger, we could imagine a great future embracing our blogs. Here is the result of my wonderings and her answers:
Which were the most significant issues, that, in your opinion, made you fall into the illness?
It basically was a cluster of things. Before bulimia, I went through a short period of anorexia (which, luckily, didn't go very far). It was a point in my life were I used to spend the majority of my time alone in my apartment and it coincided also with the breakup of a couple I had loved for a very, very long time. The feeling of emptiness, the boringness towards life and the (wrong) sensation of freedom to change my body through food, made me start following internet advice to get thinner, but in a completely unhealthy way. It all started pretty much unconsciously, but unfortunately, we live in a society were, although having a totally healthy weight, getting thinner seems like success. So I got addicted to the feeling of seeing myself skinnier and skinnier... All this leaded me to deduce that some part of this obsession was developed by a lack of motivation and illusion for life, needing something else to be full... Bulimia came later, when I was saved from anorexia by a new love (I gained back a dream) and I stopped desiring to get slimmer. But I did not only start eating back normally with a stomach that had become 'smaller'... I also had accumulated a lot of anxiety from the caloric restriction I had been going through. The whole situation made me eat compulsively, I did never had enough. I regained the lost weight (and gained some more) in an insanely short time. I was used to suffering so much for my physical aspect, so when I realized what was happening I got a lot of anxiety. It was summer and I couldn't control much carefully what I was eating anymore. Then was when I started making use of vomits.
"So I got addicted to the feeling of seeing myself skinnier and skinnier..."
One of the main characteristics of the illness is that it is psychological, therefore, it's inside the brain. And a part of it was sick (even thought the other was determined to get a cure). That's why I was on a constant fight full of temptations, to throw in the towel, to forget to love myself. And although, as I tell in my blog, relapses are fundamental (and I did had, and I still have), what kept me strong was the people who supported me, who I could ask to help me with food or call me when I was about to have a break down. Being able to talk it with my friends/mum was my salvation. Writing about it is also an infallible method, that helps me see things clear and to understand the situation. A huge help I needed was the post-relapse help, once I had started eating compulsively... but that wasn't a reason to give up. Being able to write it down and realizing that it was not so bad at the end made me know that I could stop it and keep progressing.
What helped you recover from it?
Basically, I am who has most helped myself, but that doesn't mean I could have ever done it just by my own. Being able to write about it, being able to share it (and therefore, being kindly supported) changed drastically the probelm. I have said it was basically me in the sense that every single person is a different world and it was my own advice and tips that I have used and that I have been discovering what most helped me, because they were personalized healing. Furthermore, since the first person told me that my blog has helped them, I have been thankful for what happened to me, of what I know and of what I learned (and I still have a lot to learn!). I learnt many important things for the rest of my life.
And when you see it from the distance...
I think there are two facts related to the problem: the stereotypes imposed by society and the existential voids we tend to suffer. During all this time, I have gained awareness of the impossible beauty stereotypes and, on top of that, of the strong daily pressure we have on them (specially in girls, but lately boys have had an increasingly beauty cannon to fight for). It becomes unreachable to be in peace with oneself, we turn uncertain of our bodies (and then, personality) that makes us not able to enjoy the moments of life... and the loveliness of our body. I realized that although my life expectations are high, they are not as impossible as this meaningless beauty cannons I have lost so much time for. And, if I have to follow something impossible, it rather be in the direction of my dreams.
"I realized that although my life expectations are high, they are not as impossible as this meaningless beauty cannons I have lost so much time for."
Any final advice you'd like to share to anyone who might be dealing with similar problems?
I have an article in my blog that talks about what I think are the cardinal steps to get out of an eating disorder:
- Being aware of the problem.
- Wanting to change it.
- Sharing it.
- Listening to you and taking care, learning what brings us peace and fulling our lives.
"Being able to talk it with my friends and my mum was my salvation."
My blog was created long before my eating disorders, and it was were I shared my writings, opinions, travels and recipes. Now, besides this, I have a space devoted to this problem, known as 'Project living in peace with food again'. My blog is in Catalan and in process to be translated to English (recipes and writings already are!) and its waiting with eager to be found by you:
"And, if I have to follow something impossible, it rather be in the direction of my dreams."
NEVER STOP FIGHTING FOR IT.