I never forgot that time several years ago when I had a very bad stomach virus of unknown origins. Nothing at all helped me feel better, except time. I stayed on my knees in front of the toilet for days. That helped me appreciate the plight of people with the eating disorder, bulimia. The most obvious symptoms were a fever, nausea, and vomiting — all of which lasted from about 8:30 pm one night through the next several days. My whole body ached so much that I thought I was dying, literally. I’m not kidding. I couldn’t keep anything on my stomach. Each time I found myself on my knees in the bathroom, I hoped that it was the last. But, it wasn’t. I couldn’t eat, so I kept drinking orange juice to keep up my strength and to keep from becoming dehydrated. I also kept sucking on ice cubes and using a cold compress to try and combat the fever.
It was such a terribly, ghastly feeling I wouldn’t launch upon my worst enemy, and it made me think of the many people who routinely purge themselves on purpose after a meal to control their weight. I realized that someone who is completely stable and comfortable would not do it. I don’t really understand what a person might be going through that would make them do that; however, my experience helped me to have a little more compassion for those who do it. If you know of someone with an eating disorder, don’t be too hard on them. It’s an addiction, much like someone who abuses drugs or alcohol.
I always say that we should look for lessons in all of our pain, and I always try to do just that. I am glad that I could learn something from my own suffering. Even years later I still think about it.
I did some research. See these resources.
- Bulimia Nervosa
- The Learning Loop Lesson on Bulimia, from Youtube (below)