For any problem or disorder that any of us face, one of the greatest hurdles to getting help with bulimia is that feeling of isolation. We end up feeling that we are the only ones undergoing our trauma, facing our demons and doing what we are to our bodies. Not so! There are so many others who have gone through much of the same stuff that you now battle and whatever their chosen bulimia treatments were, they without a doubt had a support group, person or helping hand along the way.
Support, in any form or medium, can improve healing and make for a longer lasting and more effective recovery from eating disorders. You will spend a lot of time in recovery “going it alone” because that’s just how life is. Bulimia support groups, support forums, the powerful banding together of disparate individuals having the same aim of recovery can be a tremendously effective part of your bulimia treatments and recovery. Yet, finding your way to a bulimia chat room, offline support group or just working with a friend in recovery will definitely make the journey a brighter one.
Let’s discuss a few of the many options you have:
Online or Offline – Are you more comfortable with online forums and groups because you retain a significant degree of anonymity until you are comfortable enough to reveal and share more of yourself? Or do you prefer the direct contact and the one-on-one interaction that an offline or in-person group can offer? Support groups whether online or offline will reduce your feeling of isolation and make you feel part of a whole giving you a sense of community, belonging and kinship. The other members can give you valuable insights because they have had a similar journey as you. You can learn from their mistakes, get valuable tips and recovery advice. You will finally be in a group of likeminded souls and could even make new friends.
Social Networking Sites – Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and so on, are today so much a part of how we interact with others that it seems a natural extension of this that they could form a part of overall bulimia treatments. These are informal and relaxed groups that could be a non-threatening and comfortable place to hang out. The great thing about social networking groups for bulimia is the fact that you don’t need to participate if you don’t want to. The same is true of most groups – participate and engage only to the extent that you yourself are comfortable with.
Consider the many, many support groups relating to bulimia that users have formed on Facebook alone – courageous individuals who are magnanimous enough to share their own story to help others! Without saying a word or voicing your own opinions, you can still obtain valuable insight into the way that others are handling and overcoming their eating disorder. This can be of comfort and encouragement in a very friendly and relaxed environment.
Overeaters Anonymous – This is an offline support group that formed decades ago out of the Alcoholics Anonymous model and follows the same 12 Step Program as AA except food replaces alcohol as the drug of choice. The aim of the group is to support each other as the members go through the 12 Steps at their own pace. The program helps people address issues of emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing along their recovery journey. Overeaters Anonymous is for all types of eating disorders including bulimia, anorexia, compulsive overeating or any variety of addiction where food is the crutch. Meetings take place all across the United States and schedules are available from their website at oa.org. I can’t say enough good things about the people I’ve met at these groups.
Form your own group – Many us feel uncomfortable about connecting online or with strangers, preferring the visible contact of people in-person. Perhaps you find there are no professional groups or support programs in your neighborhood. The bulimia.com website is a great resource not just for bulimia treatments, but also help of all other types that you may need. They even offer step-by-step instructions about how to go about forming a support group, how to let others know about it and what should be your agenda once your group is formed.