Tips to Overcome Anorexia + Bulimia


Arabic LogoHealing for ED Lauren Cowne

 “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

– Buddha


Dear Readers,


I am delighted to share a wonderful post by Lauren. I hope it will help many of you in your journey to recovery and healing.



Today I am answering a question from Amy who writes:
To Lauren,

I really find you inspirational.  I think its lovely how much you want to help other people recover.  I have just read your post on not wanting to recover and its really where I am at.  
I have had 6 hospital admissions for anorexia and I really am on my last chance now to try at home.  Its so alien to me to change the way I live.  
My blocks are definitely staying in behaviors that I know and feel safe.  My block is my anxiety that goes with changing, but deep inside I long for a better life.
Could I ask what helped you to get over that block? Did you recover at home? How did you deal with breaking the rules without someone making you?
I also struggle with stomach pains from trying to physically eat more ( ONE OF MY MAIN ANXIETIES CURRENTLY) I wondered if you ever struggled with that and if so how did you manage?”

The Key to Freedom in Eating Disorder Recovery

SO many wonderful things are happening in my life right now.

I am so grateful it feels like my heart might explode some days.

These wonderful things have not come into my life by accident– I have worked damn hard to get to where I am right now.

I am not lucky.  I am certainly blessed.  But this did not happen by ‘chance.’

I remember when everything felt hopeless, when I felt lost, confused and didn’t have much hope (or any at all) to go on.  I thought I would just die.

I know what it’s like to not feel like to know what is going to happen.  Or to believe that this is the way that it’s always going to be.

I know there was a strong dominant voice (the eating disorder voice) that would tell me that I would always need it, I would never be free, and I’m not worthy or deserving of it anyways, so why even try.

I heard that voice for a long time, most of my life in fact.

But then slowly over time I began to tune into another voice.  A smaller, quieter, more gentle voice.

The voice that recognized that something was VERY WRONG.

This voice that acknowledged that I really needed help, that I really WANTED to get better, I just didn’t know HOW

This voice — as quiet as it may seem sometimes– is the voice of your True Authentic Self.

This is the part of you that is underneath the eating disorder.

I was doing a private coaching session with a woman yesterday and we were talking about how the eating disorder feels so much like a shell or a mask that we put on, that encloses and

covers up who you really are on the inside.

It feels difficult and many women have described this to me as feeling fake, pretending to be something you’re not, as having to TRY to be a certain way, and feeling like a FRAUD.  The eating disorder becomes your SHELL– what protects and keeps you safe from the world and prevents you from getting hurt.

Do you feel this way?

Like you’re acting and if people knew what you REALLY thought, then…what would happen???  Maybe they wouldn’t like you or they would reject you or abandon you and hurt you.

So you don’t say it.  You don’t express your true feelings.  You hold it inside and stuff it down and numb it out with the eating disorder and other dysfunctional coping mechanisms.

So the eating disorder becomes a way to HIDE who we truly are, because deep down inside we don’t feel like we are ENOUGH.

At some point in your life, whether unconsciously or consciously, you realized that who you were and what you felt were UNACCEPTABLE.  To your parents, to your friends, to your teachers, peers or siblings.

Something happened when it was suddenly not okay to be yourself.

So you abandoned yourself.

You lost who you truly were.

You stuffed that true self down and created an image, a shell, a mask on the outside– that became the person that wanted to gain approval and acceptance from the outside.

You became the person and did the things that you believed everyone else wanted you to be and do… and you sacrificed your happiness, your true self, your confidence and trust in yourself.

And the eating disorder knew that you were vulnerable enough — and swooped in with the opportunity to make it all ‘better.’

It didn’t start on purpose.

We didn’t WANT to have a debilitating eating disorder.

All we wanted was to be HAPPY.

All we wanted was to be liked and loved and accepted.

We wanted to like and love ourselves but we didn’t know how.

We had good intentions.

However, it didn’t turn out that way, because somewhere along the way it ‘switched.’

It switched and turned into something that we DID– into something that we COULDN’T STOP DOING– even when we tried.

The point when all the SHIT HIT THE FAN.

The point when you realize– OMG I am OUT OF CONTROL.

I don’t have this shit under control like I thought I did.

You try to stop and you can’t.

That’s when you know you have a serious problem.

There are some people that will continue to struggle who will deny this outright, who will deny that they even have a problem and believe they are still in control of it– and that’s totally fine.  If this is you — GOOD LUCK!  Come back again when you hit rock bottom and are so fucking miserable that you finally surrender and get down on your knees praying for someone to take it away because it has gotten so bad.

But to all of you who know this and understand this with all your heart– who really and honestly have a pure and honest desire to HEAL and RECOVER 100%– this message is for you.


About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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