When I read the blog Universal Medicine Helped to Heal Bulimia, it felt great that such a shameful and ungraceful topic involving food could be brought out into the open and offer people an opportunity to know more about it. The hell that is experienced with this illness is well described in this article and inspires me to share my own experience with bulimia, plus my dependence on laxatives for more than 13 years… And if I am completely honest, they are old ways that I can easily fall into if I get tempted to give up and let go of the commitment to my ‘truthful’ self.
I would also like to share how meeting Serge Benhayon changed forever my understanding of this illness, and how the support that I received from many Universal Medicine practitioners allowed me to set up a loving foundation to heal and live my life upon.
It Started with Laxatives
I suffered greatly from constipation during my childhood, to the extent that I started getting haemorrhoids and all sort of physical discomforts. However, I didn’t want to give up certain foods, so laxatives offered me a solution and I started using them daily.
A couple of years after that my bulimia started. In the beginning I thought it was because of my fear of being fat, undesirable and ugly, plus my fear of eating things that would constipate me, even if I was already using laxatives.
My bulimia slowly grew out of control and became a living hell. On top of the fear of being fat, I started blaming it all on my incapacity to be disciplined and strong willed. I thought I was weak and always ended up eating desserts and carbohydrates, which I knew were the worst types of food for my body.
My Obsession with Food
I was also obsessed with counting the amount of calories I had every day, so I would do a list of what I should and shouldn’t eat. I tried to eradicate dairy from my diet as I knew it made my constipation worse and it was really bad for my body in general. However, everything that I loved to eat had dairy in it: ice creams, cakes, cheesecakes, blue cheese sauces, pizza… and the list goes on.
This also was the kind of food that was most easily offered in all social gatherings, such us birthday parties, Christmas, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and activities such as going out with friends to the cinema.
My desperation grew stronger, as food was everywhere; everywhere I went the temptation was there… and because strong will is not really that ‘strong’, but rather an unnatural force, it wasn’t enough.
So I would give in to all these temptations, then go into self-loathing and then I would start binge-eating; and because I couldn’t bear the idea of digesting it all, throwing up was the only solution I could find. And in case I didn’t do a good job, laxatives were there to get rid of everything the other way. I was trapped in this cycle for years!
I slowly started realising that my fear of constipation and/or being fat was not all that was there to understand, that there was something else. I needed to go deeper.
Searching to Heal Myself
In my desperation I searched to heal myself (including my bulimia and my dependence on laxatives) with all sort of things: self-help books, astrology, psychology, Catholic rituals and healing masses, meditation, yoga, alternative medicines, psychics, psychoanalysis, runes, numerology, I Ching, tarot, family constellations, crystals and the list goes on and on…
I tried a lot of stuff in different measures. I wanted to understand my complex personality. I saw my problem as something so big, so intricate, and I didn’t want anyone to know. From all these things I got to some ‘near-truths’ or ‘half truths’, such as the fact that I was traumatised in my childhood with food, that I had a self-destructive, critical, obsessive personality, that I was in this life struggling to not repeat my Dad’s way of eating, that it came from past lives of suffering with survival, etc…
But none of these disorganised realisations seemed to really make a difference apart from increasing my knowledge, sustaining a non-stop mental analysis, and making me live in a permanent self-focus. Something inside of me wanted to know what the real issue was behind it all, so I kept looking.
Encountering Universal Medicine
Even though this entire search to find answers came from desperation and a big hole I felt inside, I arrived at a point in my life where a part of me was truly willing to be open and honest. In this way I encountered Universal Medicine.
In 2008 I met Serge Benhayon and started participating in the workshops and courses held in Somerset, UK. I didn’t want anyone to know about my problem, so I kept it very secret at the beginning. I thought I didn’t need to address it as the bulimia after 13 years had pretty much stopped and only re-appeared occasionally.
When did it re-appear? In those moments I felt like I was one of the ‘walking dead’, so DISCONNECTED from my feelings and myself in general, dull and empty, so throwing up made me feel something again through pain: it also reappeared when certain situations were too difficult to handle and I didn’t know what to do with my chaotic feelings.
Because I thought it was more manageable I didn’t need to bring it out into the open, but I was still dependant on laxatives. This is another ‘scary’ story, as even if bulimia stops, the laxative dependence continues as the body, after so many years of abuse, doesn’t work properly without them… and in very severe cases you need higher and higher doses.
In my case though, it unfolded in a different way and it all happened during my 4 years of participating in Universal Medicine activities.
All of Serge Benhayon’s presentations were profoundly and amazingly inspiring. I’ve never met anyone who expresses the way he does. I would travel long distances just as long as I could to hear him speak and feel the quality, clarity, integrity and simplicity of his speech: truly beautiful, revealing, healing and fun.
Making a Commitment
I then made the commitment to stay, to go deeper. I made a commitment not with Serge or Universal Medicine, but with myself. Enough was enough; I could not deny my light and my beauty any longer. This meant I went through a period of confrontation, resistance, criticism, comparison and helplessness, but I didn’t give up.
I was ready for more honesty in my life and that is how I did it.
In the beginning my way of living completely changed. It made a huge difference to the way I felt about myself and life in general. I stopped partying, drinking, smoking, doing drugs. I committed to a job and saw working in a different light. I started looking after myself much more, I slept more, changed my diet, started saying NO to many distractions that would exhaust me, and importantly, I became aware of my body and how ‘hard’ it was.
I found out that underneath the hardness I was living with in my body, there was a lot of nervousness and anxiety that I never wanted to truly feel or accept. For years my body had been held on a level of permanent angst and restlessness and I was trying very hard to hide it and to not feel it.
By hardening, I protected myself from everything I felt to be a threat and everything I felt coming my way in general. When I say everything, it was pretty much everything across the scale from ‘bad’ to ‘good’: the ugliness, the anger, the stress, the attention from people, the social situations, the tenderness, the love, the choices, the people, etc.
I was living in a permanent reaction to life and I would do anything to protect myself and to not feel the unknown fears and the apprehension I felt about dealing with life and its practicalities. It was a simple but powerful revelation to become aware of this mechanism that I had created to walk through life.
When I began to be more aware of my body and started practising being consciously present with it in everything that I did, I realised my mind was really out of control. I had found shelter in my mind with such intensity that it was almost impossible to be aware of my body for more than a minute.
My mind was my main focus, my strategy for survival, and I was proud that I had a very analytical and inquisitive mind. It had helped me to build up a mask that guarded me quite well.
However, the dark side of my mind wasn’t that great. It was a very sabotaging tool that I used to give myself a hard time, ruthlessly criticising myself in very unloving and depreciative ways about everything: my looks, my behaviours, my stagnation, my lack of talents, my weaknesses, and my inability to get all the attention I longed for.
I became aware that all my life I have been hyper-sensitive and that I had used my mind to find solutions and go through life blindly ignoring and dishonouring my feelings.
I was a girl with an amazing sensitivity and tenderness in absolute rejection of herself and reaction to who she was and the environment she ‘happened’ to be in. A girl protected with a very individualistic, punishing mind, obsessed with perfection and the struggle to be recognised and accepted.
This understanding was key in setting up a foundation to heal and start my journey of returning back to me. My new foundation was based on self-acceptance, self-love and clarity. This, plus my new claimed way of living, allowed me to put bulimia behind me.
An End to Laxative Dependence
Nonetheless, the laxatives and my dependence on them were still around. I thought this would never end, and that I had to be on them for the rest of my life. But my body decided something else. It had enough of them!
My digestive system was very much in a debilitated state and as a consequence, so was my heath in general. I was anaemic, exhausted, depleted, with all sorts of food allergies and amazingly, I was hiding all of it from everyone. So the time came to finally address it all. The GRACE that came with this decision was truly beautiful.
First of all I decided to take responsibility, to stop the reaction and to go and visit my GP, along with the gastroenterologist, and have all the necessary invasive tests. Thankfully, no major damage had happened to my bowels. But I did have to start a program of ‘rebuilding’ the mechanics of my digestion, with an amazing and loving Naturopath and Nutritionist.
The most important thing was that I finally managed to understand the issue behind all the drama. The simplicity that it brought was a real breakthrough in my life:
Bulimia and laxative dependence is an issue
of ACCEPTANCE, and of LETTING GO
of everything I react to.
Suddenly it all made sense, everything fell into place. It was so simple, yet so powerful.
All my life I had been living in denial, disregard and completely dishonouring my sensitivity.
I could not accept my feelings or myself, transforming them instead into reactions and STUBBORNLY attaching to and dwelling on these reactions with an intensity that made them bigger.
I realised I have lived in REJECTION and JUDGEMENT of my own choices, avoiding the opportunity to truly see and to ACCEPT who I was and WHERE I WAS AT. Above all, I was tenaciously holding onto the list of comforts I’d created to not take responsibility and to avoid dealing with my feelings and my choices. These comforts kept me less, comfortable, and in denial of my own Light, Love and Joy.
This revelation forever changed my understanding of and the way of relating to myself and life in general. I can now clearly identify when I go automatically (or progressively) into reactions and the compulsion to ‘hold onto’ something (a story, a grumble, an embarrassment, a judgement, a list of reasons, resentment, a victimisation, etc). I have felt the intense attachment and identification that a part of me has to drama. I now know that is NOT who I am, and I can gracefully accept it instead and deal with it in any case.
Working on acceptance and letting go… and getting to feel my reactions, is a work in progress, an ongoing process where layers and layers unfold. It is FUN and a beautiful process where I don’t ignorantly keep building upon self-loathing as I did before.
This ongoing process has a foundation that is built on:
- Getting to feel the difference between the suffering and emptiness that comes with being ‘disconnected’ and the ease and fullness I feel when I allow myself to reconnect to the essence deep within me – THIS IS HUGE!
- An allowance and acceptance TO BE PRESENT IN MY BODY every single day. This has brought out my fears of illness and disease and I am now aware of how much I have lived in reaction to them. This awareness, in addition to having experienced the natural stillness that exists underneath my anxiousness, is showing me new ways to relate to being ill and uncomfortable. The way I react to the body’s messages has truly changed.
- Allowing myself to deal with situations and issues at my own pace.
- Claiming my life as a great opportunity to CONNECT BACK to me and making a commitment to myself.
- Accepting WHERE I AM AT on a daily basis, being aware of my potential to go into comparison, judgment or the need to conform.
- A willingness to feel everything around me and practising not going hard when I sense something coming towards me. I now know that becoming hard does not protect me at all, it actually hurts me more. I don’t need to use force or hardness to reject, react or protect. When I allow myself to FEEL EVERYTHING, knowing that my inner self remains untouched/untainted, I automatically connect to a truth within, and then go into accepting and letting go… without interfering or judging.
- A decision to take command of my mind (and not let it rule my experiences of life with its narrow judgements) and working on becoming gentle and consciously present in my body in everything that I do. I have learned to command those thoughts ‘NOT TO ENTER’, and ‘OUT!’
- An understanding that ‘acceptance’ is a very good friend of ‘taking responsibility’. When I consider the possibility of throwing up again or taking a laxative, I know there is something that goes beyond the issue of not accepting or not wanting to feel something; I now know it’s because I do not want to take responsibility for the way I am living, and for the quality of life I am living. Rather, I prefer to criticise and judge myself, feel helpless, and then punish myself. I want to avoid dealing with my choices, I don’t want to digest and LEARN from them, I want a short cut. The truth is that I am disempowering myself in the name of ideals, comparison or how I think things should be.
- A new understanding of the word ‘digestion’. Surely a ‘good’ digestion has to do with the type of foods we eat, in what state of being we prepare and eat them, and also the level of love or disregard we live in.
A Greater Understanding of my Digestive System
I have also come to know that ‘digestion’ shows us how we relate with ourselves and with life in general.
I now understand ‘digestion’ as a process of accepting whatever is there to accept, face and acknowledge; contemplating, feeling and pondering on it for a while and then making a decision that will support nourishment and the movement of the flow.
Finally the process ends when the moment to leave and let go of the old comes and can be completed with grace and in true appreciation.
On the contrary, if the ‘digestion’ is a trouble, then the process is being complicated: first by rejection and denial, with an unwillingness to accept or deal with situations or issues, leading to indecisiveness and/or confusion and dwelling on things so more stuff gets stuck and starts to accumulate, inviting in overwhelm and a holding onto the old with stubbornness, followed by the choice to then bury things deeper.
A New Foundation: Acceptance
My foundation is now based on the knowing that we are all one and the same. I am not less, and not more than anyone else. I have just made different choices. That is all. I have come to realise AND ACCEPT that I am worth it, I am Love, I am Harmony and I am Joy.
This new foundation, one that has changed my life forever, would have probably taken me many lifetimes to sort out by myself, but with the support I was ready to receive from Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and all my personal sessions in Esoteric Counselling and Esoteric Breast Massage, all this amazing change was possible in a short period.
The emptiness that was the foundation of my old ways of bulimia and laxative dependency has been replaced by a foundation of love, clarity and simplicity. It is a strong and beautiful foundation I am building on as I continue to allow more, to LET GO of what I am not, and ACCEPT how precious and glorious I am.
By Luz Hincapie BA Architecture, Dipl. Arts Management, Jewelery Design. Colombia