Guilt About Bulimia
anonymous Asks ...
Is it weird to feel very guilty about bulimia. When my mom gives me dieting advice I feel so horrible and guilty I want to scream but I don’t say anything.
Rob Danzman Says ...
Thanks so much for reaching out. I'll answer your question with some other questions first.
When you say you feel guilty about bulimia, I'd like to understand more. More specifically, what do you mean by 'about?' This is not a challenge to you but a path I would take to better comprehend how you are experiencing bulimia and the underlying causes (or, more accurately, stressors). I'd like to define what the stressor is and how specifically you feel about it and how it impacts your choices and behaviors. Seems simple but pretty complex when you break it down. It's not uncommon for folks to say they feel 'upset' about something but what does that really mean? Are you angry, sad, sick? I want you to have a safe place where you can define for yourself what you mean by feeling guilty.
Next, I'd really like to dig into the relationship with your mother (and family in general). When I hear a parent is providing dieting advice, a few concerns start to pop up. Like, why is mom giving dieting advice? Is this in conjunction with other wellness advice like exercise, respect for yourself, yoga, healthy relationships, etc? Does mom have her own eating disorder or psychological issues? Asking and answering some of these questions could help figure out the best way to make some healthy changes in the family system.
Finally, it sounds like you are not happy with how or what your mom is communicating to you about eating, food or healthfulness. This obviously is tied to the relationship with your mother but also a separate question - How do you respond to anyone that seemingly pushes you in a direction you don't like? I wonder if this is isolated with your mother or a larger pattern manifesting in other relationships. Not a pattern that's your fault but a pattern that if you can recognize, you might be able to change. Here is a really great resource focused on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT we use often in our practice. This is just one example of some skills you might find useful.
You have a fantastic opportunity here if you seek help from a professional. If nothing else, reaching out to a therapist that will provide a safe space for you to share your thoughts, feelings and choices will be vital in transcending how stuck you feel. You may not be able to change those around you but you can certainly personally evolve and grow through this tough period.
Please do reach out to someone whether just a friend, religious leader or therapist for help. You do not need to carry this burden alone. Contact us for help or simply to find some resources.
Hope this helps.