THE BLOG

The Words That Helped Me Overcome Bulimia


I have two copies of the book, "Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery" by Lindsey Hall and Leigh Cohn. One is over 10 years old, the cover is worn and handwritten notes mark the pages throughout. The other copy just arrived in the mail. My name is on the back -- I endorsed the book. Life has come full circle.

It is still surreal to me that I am ever asked to endorse books about eating disorders, especially "Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery," as it is the first book I ever read on the topic when I was sick. Before reading this book, I felt alone and thought that I might never recover from my eating disorder. My copy is worn and tattered, because I used to read it each night in my bed. I would fall asleep holding the book -- literally trying to squeeze all of the hope that I possibly could out of it. When I awoke in the morning, I would feel more energized about recovery. Lindsey Hall's personal journey within "Bulimia" encouraged me to break through the secrecy, to reach out for help and to never give up. I began to think that maybe I could get better, too.

When I was asked to review the 25th Anniversary Edition of "Bulimia" months ago, I was interested to learn how the book might have changed. I was thrilled to find the same inspiration that had helped pull me through years ago. I was also happy to see that the book has been thoroughly updated to reflect 25 years of growth in the eating disorder field. Today, "Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery" truly has it all!

In addition to Lindsey's personal story, the book also includes the unique perspective of her husband, Leigh Cohn, in an incredible section titled "Advice for Loved Ones." Looking back, I wish my family and friends had been able to read Leigh's thoughts, which would have helped them greatly.

Other highlights in the 25th Anniversary Edition include thoughts on spirituality, advice for being an activist and tips about both body image and exercise. Of course, food is discussed in a helpful, non-triggering way. I am grateful "Bulimia" was the first book I picked up years ago in a store in Nashville, Tennessee. Because unlike some personal stories, which can end up doing more harm than good, Lindsey knew -- before anyone else did -- to leave out the graphic details about eating disordered behavior and to leave the hope in!

My new copy of "Bulimia" is autographed by the authors. Like my first copy, this one is very special to me, but it will never become tattered and marked up. I won't need to sleep with the book gripped in my arms, because I still have all of the hope that I took from it years ago. I will value the newness of the 25th Anniversary Edition, and, more importantly, I will cherish the fact that I am now fully recovered.