My Second Chance

John Discusses his Second ChanceHi, My name is John. I used to struggle with bulimia and anorexia, but not anymore. Today, I’m doing so much better. Here is my story about My Second Chance.

I am so grateful to no longer struggle with bulimia or anorexia. I rely on the support of my family and friends. They are available to me when I need someone to talk to. This really helps me.

I pray to the Lord if I feel broken inside. My faith in Jesus is a big part of my recovery.

I am fortunate to have a good friend, Sharon, who helped me gain insight into my addiction to nicotine and food. Sharon is a great support for me.

My eating disorder almost killed me. In my late 20’s, I collapsed and ended up in the hospital. I had suffered a stroke and was in a coma. The doctors had me on dialysis and life support. I had a blood transfusion, a colostomy bag, and catheter. I was on a feeding tube and oxygen. I weight was extremely low for a man with a 5-feet 10-inch medium build. For a while, I couldn’t move the left side of my body. I couldn’t sit up in a chair or walk. I had a tracheal tube in my throat, which meant I could not drink or eat.

My long-term and short-term memories were affected. The doctors had to remove three-quarters of my colon because of my laxative abuse and vomiting. I had to go to physical and occupational therapy. I started out in a wheelchair, then a walker, and finally a cane before returning to normal walking.

Today I no longer have the colostomy bag, my trachea is back to normal, and I can eat and drink. I walk and run just like anyone. My memory has returned, thank God. The catheter is gone, and I have completed my mental-health therapy and counseling for my eating disorders.

Therapy showed me that I had engaged in bulimia and anorexia because I was afraid to be my authentic self. I hated everything about myself. I didn’t want to live anymore. I didn’t believe in myself at all. I was filled with rage, anxiety, depression, and shame. I didn’t like myself as a person. It was difficult in the beginning to forgive myself, but I realize now that I’m just human, and I forgive myself now.

I took an anger management class, and it really helped me. The class taught me that I held in all my emotions, and then I would hit my boiling point, and lash out verbally at people. I would also numb my anger by binge eating. I no longer do this. I practice deep breathing in a quiet place until my anger is gone.

Therapy gave me a lot of insight into my eating disorder and co-occurring bipolar disorder. I use my cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy books whenever I feel like I’m struggling with food or my mood. My therapist gave me the books years ago.

I used to think I was going to hell when I died, because I was afraid God wouldn’t forgive me, no matter how sorry I was. I still loved God, and what He stands for, and I still do to this day. Today, I’m so much more positive. The anger management helped with my temper, and now it’s more manageable. I live in a personal care home, and it’s nice. I’m one of the highest functioning residents there, but I need to be there for my eating disorder.

The staff and residents help me when I feel bad. I need that support. I quit smoking cigars 11 years ago with a support group, therapy, my family and friends, and also the help of where I live. The nicotine patch helped also.

I saved up my money and fixed up my big room. It looks amazing now! I get up and go out every day. Because I’m not bulimic anymore, my medications stay in my system, and that helps my bipolar disorder. My doctor recently took me off of some medications that I really didn’t need anymore, and they were making me very hungry. The urges to binge are pretty much gone now. I feel free from my eating disorders now!!

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on December 8, 2017.
Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 8, 2017.
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About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.