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Recovery Stories: Laurie (Anorexia and Bulimia)

“I asked for help just one more time”

Eating Disorder Stories; Laurie's Anorexia and Bulimia Recovery StoriesI am 40 years old. I am a stay at home mom to a 4 year old daughter. I have been to the edge and back with anorexia and bulimia.

One of my earliest memories is of me as a little girl telling a story I had somewhere to my mom. It was about a little girl who was lost and looking for her mom. She described her mom to everyone as “the most beautiful mom in the world” (because she was so kind, though she was rather plain looking)…and I remember not understanding why everyone around me didn’t treat each other (and me) kindly. Even at Sunday School, I wanted to know why we weren’t learning about love.

As a teenager, I was still (more intensely) longing to feel love. I prayed, “Please send someone to love me!

I believed more and more…there must be something wrong with me.

I did meet my first boyfriend (and future husband) and began to feel lovable, but he soon moved away to join the Air Force. It was around that time that I began to focus on food and weight. I remember my mom showing me a medical book. “This is you,” she said pointing to the page about anorexia. I was relieved to have words to describe what had been going on inside my head.

So started a long journey into recovery: 2 therapists, 3 hospital stays, support groups, 12 steps, medications, alternative therapies, healers…

What has been most helpful has been finding a few people along the way who helped me to connect with parts of myself (like the little girl who believed so strongly in inner beauty and love).

Of course there were times when I just couldn’t get myself to eat and I was very thankful for the in-patient programs that kept me alive.  And there were therapists who listened to whatever I needed to say and offered the only safe places I could find.

It hit me about a year ago that there is a reason why I keep starving myself. I wanted to get to the bottom of all of it after 25 years. Miraculously, I was able to have a healthy baby who was 2 at that point and developing well. I had started to relapse again and the thought of leaving my daughter to go to treatment was unbearable.

I had to figure out another way.

And rather quickly, before I lost too much weight. I went back to my most recent therapist. I had a very confusing visit.

She actually turned me away.

After a less than helpful referral and some more searching, I vowed to become my own healer and do whatever it takes to heal what needs healing…somehow… with a toddler and little support.

I had lost a lot of friends over the course of the ED. I know what it is like to be so tired and feel so disgusting inside and still have to reach out.

Somehow I did just one more time.

I found a hypnotherapist who reaffirmed that the healing would come from inside of me and that she would partner with me in that. I had met an energy healer years before who told me that the real healing comes from inside me. She had helped me to remember my spirit.  So for the past year I have been doing this inner work on a deep level.

And, well, it hasn’t been all that scary. It’s actually been quite pleasant.

I haven’t thought about food and weight really at all for the past year. I have had some real peaceful moments and some moments that I was able to accept whatever feeling I was having.  My relationships are much better. I am continuing to heal and look for ways to share what has been most helpful. It takes a certain amount of strength and courage to continue in recovery.

We’re pretty darn strong!