(My blog post on overcoming Bulimia featured on People of the Second Chance, a.k.a. POTSC)
By Lara Izokaitis:
The day I found my 10-year old sister electrocuted and hanging in a tree was the day my life changed forever. The trauma left my soul numb, but it was years before I’d recognize it.
The thing is, I am a former Bulimic. I say former because it has been nineteen years since I last purged. People used to say “Once a Bulimic…always a Bulimic,” but I’m no longer trapped by the mindset of that label. I’ve learned that there is a WHY behind every WHAT, and exploring those questions has brought healing and true freedom.
The WHAT started with an educational video about Bulimia shown during my sophomore year in high school. It was supposed to be a deterrent to girls like me, but tragically it had the opposite effect. I went home that day and experimented for the first time — and piece of hell swept into my soul as a result.
The WHY had a lot to do with the emotions built up inside of me. So, I ate. Food was my addiction and purging was the way I got rid of my sin. Purging gave me a measure of release of the emotions that had been so numbed since my sister’s accident. I hadn’t cried then, but tears came after purging. For those short moments, I felt again.
I knew I had to stop. My body came with a destructive and tormenting secret. I looked good on the outside, but I knew the truth of my darkened soul on the inside. 19 years ago, I made the decision to become a Christian and give my life to Jesus. In doing that, I also made acommitment not to purge. I felt compelled to get to the bottom of the WHAT and WHY. I went to the places of pain and trauma of my past, like grieving my sister’s accident properly.
Ouch! My heart was beginning to feel again. And the more it felt – hurt or joy – the more I wanted to go to food. But part of my journey has been learning to properly handle my emotions and know where to go for different feelings. When my heart is happy, I laugh and smile. When my heart has been hurt, it’s ok to cry.
And only when I’m hungry do I eat. I’m no longer a car trying to run on orange juice.
There were setbacks, but the most important thing is never giving up. Grace never expires with God. My encouragement to you is to be courageous, and discover the WHY behind the WHAT in your life. Take a step into your own journey of healing and freedom. There is hope, and through God’s grace, all things are possible.