My eating disorder began at 17, just before start of studies at Uni.
Raised in a family that emphasized persona, my guise became perfection. Through grades, wardrobe, friends, weight – or lack thereof.
A perfect persona translated to perfect love; to fall short of perfection was to be unlovable.
For eight years, as I desperately sought love through perfection, my self-hatred intensified. I thought myself never good enough. At anything. I saw therapists and doctors, yet was too ashamed to divulge that I had an eating disorder. I also studied the effects media has on self-image and the reasons eating disorders occur.
As grad studies came to a close, an increasingly erratic heartbeat made me fear death. During one harrowing episode, I chugged two large bottles of Gatorade at a convenience store, the only remedy I could think of to replenish electrolytes.
I DID THE UNTHINKABLE
Eventually, shame, fear and confusion were such a burden that I did the unthinkable: I confided in my boyfriend.
I expected him to leave. He didn’t. He stayed and loved me though I thought myself deplorable.
A few weeks later, I awoke to early morning sunlight streaming upon his smooth skin. I felt … Love. But not love based upon achievements or doing something “right.” Rather, a depth of love new to my experience. I was loving simply for the joy of loving. This love was complete, not needy nor judgmental. I had the power to love and it arose from the inside out. My boyfriend simply “turned on” the flow! Later I learned this is the field of unconditional love or Source, where great insights and healing occurs.
From that moment, my eating disorder was healed.
EATING DISORDERS and FAMILY DYSFUNCTION
My friend’s choice to remain, stay steady and reflect love back to me offered an about-face: I began a long, arduous journey to reclaim my authentic self and learn how to love my self and others.
I had additional knots to untie: My eating disorder was connected to family and cultural dysfunction. It was profoundly empowering to learn how narcissism wrecks children, how early trauma effects the brain and how family and cultural values can run counter to deeper Universal Truths.
Unconditional love is Source. When we are with Source, we become healthy emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
I healed by welcoming the challenging and deeply profound inner work of differentiating myself emotionally and intellectually while deepening in connection to Source. Today, I support others on the journey of growing their depth.
SEVEN STEPS TO HEAL AN EATING DISORDER
Share You’re not alone. There are people who understand and will reach hand and heart toward you. When we feel safe, we are at ease. And when we are at ease, we heal. Heart-based healers, friends, therapists and mentors can be a guiding light.
It’s Not Your Fault Really. Take that in. Often eating disorders are a symptom of a society that’s out of balance and a family structure that mimics societal dysfunction. When you’re empathic and sensitive to your world, you pick up on inherent “untruths” within society, messages that are counter intuitive to the soul’s wisdom. It’s crazy making. No wonder we develop eating disorders, depression, anxiety and addictions.
Think Critically, Act Lovingly Start questioning thoughts. Don’t believe everything you think. Is your value really based on clothes, job titles, cars? Wouldn’t it be exhilarating to celebrate other people’s abilities rather than feeling threatened? Enquire with love and compassion for your humanity and the harsh inner critic will inevitably quiet.
Limit Social Media Social media usually makes us feel lousy. We often compare ourselves to images. If you remain immersed within social media whilst recovering from an eating disorder, you’re feeding an old habit of comparison, judgment and self-hatred. We’re moving toward love for self and others.
New Habits for a New Life Cut out toxic people until you’re strong enough to stand in your True North. As you develop new habits, consider a toddler learning to walk. We wouldn’t push a toddler down! Ditch naysayers and people invested in keeping you as the old you.
Self Love through Source Love Source provides true wellbeing. When we connect to Source, we become healthy from the inside out. Meditation, mindfulness, singing and prayer all connect us to deepened experiences. Your guidance and healing will ultimately arise from within. I recommend a nondual path and therapists who honour your free will as they help you personally connect to the emerging consciousness. A mentor who treats the personality and ego as relevant, yet relative, is ideal.
Community Gather with uplifting friends who support the person you are today and the person you are becoming. You may even find a mentor who sees you through many years of life, who always reaches a hand out – sometimes a strong one – to support your growth and in turn, encourages you to do the same for others.
Karuna is nondual therapist, transformational mentor and keynote speaker. Her specialties are childhood trauma and Complex PTSD, narcissism and eating disorders. Book sessions and events at email@example.com.