Michael's Story - Bulimia
Michael, 40 from Long Island, NY is in recovery from bulimia and experiences depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive traits. He developed bulimia over 20 years ago, but his illness has fluctuated in intensity from time-to-time. Michael has been in both outpatient and inpatient treatment.
The triggering event for his eating disorder came after a diagnosis of a heart condition, back and knee surgery, and the disappointing news that he could not have children. Michael was put on disability after his career as a police officer was cut short due to an injury he received on duty. Unable to engage in his normal active life, sports, and job, he turned subconsciously to bulimia as a coping mechanism to make him feel better by numbing his feelings.
Michael was particularly vulnerable to falling into the grip of an eating disorder, because of previous physical and emotional abuse by his family who failed to support and love him unconditionally. His negative family experience caused him to doubt himself and his self worth, including his body image.
Today, Michael is aware that he uses his eating disorder to hurt himself, because that is what he is familiar with receiving from others – hurt. He is taking small steps to recovery. He realizes the self-inflicted pain and the potential to kill himself through his eating disorder is NOT worth it! Michael is learning he needs to love and care for himself and to be tuned into his needs.
Michael’s motivation to be well is his wife, who has stood by him and offered her support to him. He realizes how the eating disorder can cause a wedge in their relationship, and therefore, the importance of open communication with his wife and showing appreciation to her.
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