My goal with the Recovery Rocks interviews is to include as many different types of people and addictions that I can. This weeks interview is with Tebby who has recovered from an eating disorder.
The hardest thing about eating disorders is that you have to eat, you don’t have to drink alcohol or smoke crack. So it is hard for people to understand what abstinence means when it comes to an eating disorder, because we have to eat.
With eating disorder, abstinence usually means being abstinent from the behaviour and sometimes particular foods.
That would mean abstinence from binging, purging, starving and for some people they have to remain abstinent from particular foods like sugar and white flour.
This may sound hard, but having an eating disorder is a lot harder. Like any addiction it is all consuming.
Tebby was binging and purging for many years until one day she realised she couldn’t carry on. Finally her life changed when she started down a path to recovery. She met her husband, had children and a wonderful career. All addictions are lonely but eating disorders are particularly lonely. Binging and purging are hardly group activities.
Tebby understands this and would like anyone who has questions about overcoming an eating disorder to tweet her at: @TEB2350
Please share this with anyone struggling with an eating disorder. Recovery is possible.
Describe your ‘rock bottom.’
At the height of my eating disorder (at the age of 30) I can remember binging and purging as many as 10-15 times a day. I used to drink water and continue to vomit until it came out clear in the toilet so I knew I had gotten all the “bad” food out of my system (like pasta). One night, I was alone and got very drunk. It was two days before Valentine’s Day and I felt so lonely. I remember thinking to myself. “No more….. this can’t continue.” That is when I started to look for help because I knew I couldn’t defeat this beast on my own anymore.
What was your ‘moment of truth’ or ‘clarity’ that prompted you to get sober/clean?’
Watching “Girl, Interrupted” that night I described in previous question. I am not sure why it spoke to me (I’ve never watched it since. For some reason, I don’t want to ‘go back’ to that place I was that night and I feel watching it would make me relive the pain. I’m enjoying my happiness to much.
What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Unlike booze, you can’t live without eating so I was forced to face my demons at every meal. I went to my therapist once a week and I was very open with my friends about my struggles. Everyone was very supportive and helped me get through those tough days. I wasn’t perfect- I was out of the hospital in May but it was August before I had stopped all purging completely.
What are the best things that have happened to you since you got healthy?
I don’t think its coincidence that I had stopped all purging at the beginning of August 2001, and I met my husband the next month. I love not having the burden and shame of such a terrible disease hanging over my head. I feel free and alive and I’m so much happier.
If you could go back in time to you when you were binging/purging what would you tell yourself?
Life doesn’t have to be this hard. The effort that you put into this disease is the problem. You can be happy and alive if you get that monkey off your back.
What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting healthy?
I am worth it. I have value. And I am so blessed to have my husband/kids as well as some fantastic and supportive friends. Life is GOOD!!
What are your favourite recovery slogans?
Sorry- can’t think of any
And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’
I think recovery rocks because of how great life becomes once you start actually living it and not waiting until you beat the demons before you let yourself begin to live it. When you are happy with yourself, others become attracted to your confidence and amazing things happen