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October 23, 2015

Supporting Others in Recovery from Bulimia Through a Mentoring Program

Computer on at night

Contributor:  Nikki DuBose, contributor for Eating Disorder Hope

If it weren’t for the continuous support of my online mentor, Monica, I’d probably be dead. After seventeen years of binge eating, bulimia and anorexia, I’d blown through all the money I had made as a successful fashion model. For most of my adult life I didn’t have insurance, and receiving care at a treatment center appeared to be out of the question. When my anorexia and bulimia were at their worst, I was afraid to continue showing my face in twelve-step meetings, so I sought help online.

Online. I felt hopeless – could this possibly work? I prayed as I spilled out my soul in the message to a Christian group and hit the “send” button, and surprisingly, within a few hours, I had a response. Not only was Monica understanding, but her words were infused with love and confidence. She had faith in my recovery, no questions asked.

We worked together through the Life Recovery Bible (1) and workbook (2), books based off the twelve steps. The daily work required sheer honesty; lying to myself had kept me trapped in bulimia for a long time. After many relapses, I became abstinent for a few months. Monica encouraged me to mentor someone else. I felt completely incapable of doing so, but she believed in me, as always.

Troubled young girl comforted by her friendI decided to give it a shot, and began mentoring another woman online who had had bulimia for ten years. Something ignited on the inside of me as I began to work through the recovery workbook and Bible with her.  I looked forward to waking up more than ever. I now had the opportunity to be a role model, when for most of my life I had felt like a nobody. I was always trying to people-please, which was another issue my bulimia was rooted in.  I didn’t have to please anybody anymore except for God, and over time, binging and purging lost its appeal. I couldn’t help her if I wasn’t helping myself. Soon I began to mentor another woman and later it spread into helping more people.

There are many support groups available for bulimia (3). Eating disorders are deadly mental illnesses, and they often play off feelings of isolation, worthlessness and shame. Having the option to go online at a moment’s notice and communicate with someone who understands your feelings is invaluable. Also, given how difficult it is for insurance companies to cover eating disorder treatment nowadays, it makes support groups for bulimia and other eating disorders that much more valuable. Reach out and support in any way that you can – it can be the key to your own recovery and peace of mind.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here?

Have you worked with an online group to provide support during your recovery from addiction?


References 

  1. http://www.tyndale.com/The-Life-Recovery-Bible-NLT/9781414368702#.Vgw_WiiAT8E
  2. http://www.tyndale.com/The-Life-Recovery-Workbook/9781414313283#.Vgw_mCiAT8E
  3. http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/recovery/support-groups/online

Nikki_Dubose_2015 Web-6Nikki DuBose is a former model, host, and actress who has recently turned her career focus towards writing, public speaking, and mental health advocacy. She is a passionate dynamic voice in the mental health field and seeks to encourage others to develop a strong sense of their intrinsic value and self worth. Nikki grew up in charming Charleston, South Carolina and lives in Los Angeles. After traveling the globe and working as a fashion model and commercial actress in exciting destinations such as the Middle East, Paris, Barcelona, and London, she was inspired to leave the industry to pursue writing full time. Her writing is focused on encouraging others to overcome the deadly grip of eating disorders that affect millions. She draws firsthand experience from a long-standing battle with bulimia, anorexia, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addictions, and a wide range of mental health issues. Her first book is currently in the works and recounts her life struggles and ultimate triumph over the mental disorders and addictions that plagued her for most of her life. She has been published multiple times within The National Eating Disorders Association for her hope, strength, and community outreach initiatives. She continues to advocate for NEDA, writes for the association and other incredible establishments such as Eating Disorder Hope. She has been able to connect with people around the world through her website and speaks and assists with other organizations covering various mental health issues, body image and self-esteem. In addition to her writing and advocacy, Nikki is pursuing her degree in Psychology, with the hopes of one day becoming an Eating Disorder Therapist.


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.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 9, 2015. Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

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