A Journey of Disordered Eating
My journey of healing was a journey of self-discovery, from an intense experience of disordered eating with its greatest intensity from my mid to late teens, which has brought me to the present day of embracing myself as a soul centred goddess of the earth.
I share my experience and knowledge to support others to know that you too can heal whatever the pain and confusion is that has lead to disordered eating. Disordered eating can play out in different patterns from person to person. It is very personal to the individuals life experiences and the pattern will be directly affected by how we react or not to these experiences.
I share this experience so that you can see that it is possible for you to discover and embrace your true beauty even if you can not see this in the `here & now`. You are infinitely perfect as you are and have your own unique, individual `design`. In my experience it is possible to fully heal from disordered eating if you wish too.
It did not happen over night, I can see the early signs of burying my emotional-self within patterns of eating. I also see patterns of not being satiated by food, then over stepping satiation until too much food had passed my lips. The pattern for myself was of bulimia.
I never shared this with any family or friends as often happens as it generally becomes a secret life playing out beneath the surface of normal family life.
Some who have never experienced a disordered eating pattern may feel repulsed by the lengths a sufferer can go too. Yet as someone who has healed all levels of this I see it as a traumatic pattern of self abuse where you feel as if you have totally lost any control. You will go to any length and to extremes to relieve the situation and regain control.
Even early in my childhood I remember sneaking favourite foods when I was in emotional turmoil or when I had been seriously told off. I recall sneaking food to my bedroom to store for emergencies. Although I am sure many children have done this, for me this was motivated by emotional upset, wanting revenge for being at the receiving end of my fathers anger or just because I could. At this point the favourite foods comforted me without over eating. I never thought of calories or weight during this phase as I was a slim build and active living in the country with ponies to look after.
As I approached my early teens I began to be aware of my physical body more so, I was never over weight yet still did not feel comfortable with myself, unless I was with my pony and later my horse. This is where I was happiest immersed with the world of horses, riding and wellington boots. Nothing that would judge you in any way.
I was brought up with my father from year 1, along with a rather wonderful grandmother, my brother and a country pub full of customers. A number of mothers came and went and I feel ultimately I never felt secure deep down. On reflection as I child I never understood why a mother would leave. Obviously through time I have a greater understanding yet I know I carried this for many years believing I must have done something wrong. Later in my life my relationship with my mother blossomed, healing on many levels.
Disordered Eating shows itself fully
A trip to India at 16 to stay with family was the beginning of the bulimia at full throttle. Returning home after amoebic dysentery with severe weight loss from a general healthy body size at that time in my life. Losing 1 stone very quickly resulted in a family who were set on `feeding me up`. Although I was weak from the dysentery I rather liked feeling smaller and slimmer. For the first time I felt comfortable in my own body. Although previously I was not ` over weight` as such I had been shy and under confident about certain parts of my body, just like many young girls and women.
As this new weakened me I began to avoid fatty, cakes, deserts that had always been available. I had spent about 7 weeks in India with a vegetarian family and so was inspired by this too. My immediate family and doctors had building-up shakes they insisted I consume to get my weight up again. As they thought I was now too skinny and weak. The combination created chaos within me, the pressure to eat-up and put on weight when for the first time in my teens I had felt comfortable in my own skin was the recipe for disaster. This resulted in the beginning of the use of laxatives, self induced vomiting, trying to controlling the food I ate and trying to avoid the building-up shakes and food. Remembering I came from a typical northern family who `should` have a bit of meat on your bones.
At this point I most certainly became totally disconnected to myself. The most important thing was to control my food and not put weight on as my family wanted. It became a constant battle to resist food I would have gladly eaten before yet as the slimmer me I knew I would add weight if I started to eat it again. As soon as weight did appear further chaos arrived.
I found the most stressful situations were with family gatherings, celebrations and eating out as a family, trying to fit in when I often felt I didn`t. I now see a pattern with these situations where I would be expected to eat as everyone else and perhaps divulge into a high fat, sugary dessert. Especially as I was now a vegetarian in a meat eating family who looked upon my food choices as odd.
Situations such as this generally pushed the buttons upon binge eating coupled with my full-sensors which were completely out of balance would result in further internal chaos.
I managed to control my weight to acceptable during calmer times in my life with the bulimic cycles. Yet at my most stressed I would become bloated, retaining water from the purging and bingeing and extremely unhappy. It was only later I would come to realise just how destructive these sessions are to the body … my body at that time. With the loss of hydration, nutrients, bingeing with high fat, sugar, salt, over-eating until one feels discomfort or even pain then purging in whatever way possible. It is no wonder people often put on weight during these eating and purging times. The body does not know what to do other than holding on to anything it can.
The short term and long term damage can be extreme as the body is eroded. Nutritional imbalances can then cause further bingeing cycles as the body attempts to nourish itself in desperation.
The Healing Journey
At 20 I moved to London from the north, this gave the opportunity to break away from the emotional ties that bind. I also broke away from a relationship which was pulling me into further darkness. I made new, diverse friends, met other vegetarians, found myself attracted to crystals, healing, alternative therapies and soon after my move I discovered the Lileth Healing Sanctuary. A local healing centre. This was the beginning of my healing as I explored the new, myself, my relationship with myself and realised I was a sensitive sensitive.
I spent much time at the healing sanctuary discovering the internal damage caused by the bulimia, I also learned about energy, energy work, healing, clearing and spiritual development. This was the beginning of self discovery and although I had ups and downs the road to healing was set and in sight.
In my 20`s I also became naturally drawn to raw foods, sprouting, juicing vegetables. This was an important aspect of re-embracing my relationship with food. Connecting with the food which nourished my body in a healthful, vital way. I began to step back into my power, embrace myself as a woman and body, slowly learning to love the self. It took time, patience, building self respect, experimenting with foods to find a good fit. I began to recognise situations, pressures, feelings and emotions that pushed the buttons which in the past would have resulted in chaos. I also identified foods which would trigger over-eating and which dulled my full-sensors.
Over the years my diet has become simpler and simpler, I love the food I eat, I don’t restrict myself in quantities. Simplicity serves me well. I eat when I wish too and I don’t feel deprived. I love to grow vegetable in my vegetable garden. I would say I am now obsessed with food in the opposite direction than earlier in my life. Yet I eat to live, I don’t live to eat or live to control my eating and what I eat. Neither am I controlled by food as I had felt so often too have been.
This brings me to a place to be grateful for my experience however much damage I may have inflicted upon myself and however much internal emotional pain I had felt which lead to the bulimia. As I would be a different person if I had not evolved, grown and healed myself through the process. I also know that one can break free from eating disorders if you so choose too. It is possible and perhaps it will be a long journey which may be turbulent at times. However it is possible with patience, compassion and the right support for the journey.
I share this in the hope that if you suffer from disordered eating you will see a glimmer of light for yourself, begin to realise that healing occurs and that it is possible for you too.
Live with Compassion for the self
Laara ……………………….. She who rediscovered her path of `Power and Beauty`.