I was talking through my recent sadness with my therapist, and she asked with what I had replaced bulimia. I didn’t have an answer.
While bulimia was obviously not a healthy stress response, it was a response. When stress and anxiety started to overcome me, I would binge and purge. The relief was immediate. Now, I grant that it was destructive and that the relief was fabricated and impermanent. But, nonetheless, it was my coping mechanism.
I have tried the things I can think to try–meditation, mantras, exercise, baths. But, I haven’t really found anything that feels like a release, relief. And, maybe that’s the point. Maybe the bulimia was a big cop-out that kept me from actually sitting with the uncomfortable feelings. Now that they have nowhere to go, I guess I’m actually feeling them… and that often feels sad.