by Anna Karam, Goonellabah, Australia
I am a 35 year old woman. I am also a loving wife, mother of three gorgeous children, owner of a successful small business (successful by definition here being a joy to work in) and casual check out operator at my local supermarket. I’m sorry, did I forget to mention here that I am also amazing! It’s true – I love my life, I love myself, my family (in this I include many) and I love people. But life for me hasn’t always been like this. In fact, up until a few years ago I had suffered from Bulimia Nervosa, a psychological disease which began in my early teens.
For those of you who don’t know, bulimia is medically defined as an eating disorder characterised by binge eating and purging, or consuming a large amount of food in a short amount of time followed by an attempt to rid oneself of the food consumed (purging), typically by vomiting, taking a laxative or diuretic, and/or excessive exercise. But for me this definition doesn’t give a true understanding of the absolute physical and mental torture and self abuse that make up this disease.
In my experience bulimia has always been one of those ills that people don’t really want to speak of. Not unless it is happening with themselves or someone close to them. It is one of those taboo subjects you simply don’t touch! It even has medical professionals baffled. I feel this has contributed to why so many young men and women (including myself) are able to hide this disease so easily from the outside world, whilst secretly living behind closed doors with so much pain and torment.
For me bulimia looked like this. I would wake in the morning and the first thing I would think about was food, how much was I going to eat today, how much exercise would I need to do to counter this, and would I find myself binging and having to take a trip to the toilet to bring up all the food I had so fervently shoved down in an attempt to numb myself out or sabotage when I was actually feeling good. The latter would happen more often than not. I would then go to bed feeling ashamed, my body hurt, and my mind was already in the torment of what tomorrow would bring.
At times when I was living with others I would find this difficult, to hide the binging, the empty wrappers, the cereal boxes that went down so quickly, the ice-cream that never lasted. I figured out which foods were easier to bring up so as to be not so hard on my throat, cause swelling around the glands in my neck, or dilate my pupils, whatever was needed to not get found out, it was all highly orchestrated. Learning how to bring food up quietly became an art. Aside from all the physical damage, there was the constant shame and guilt that was inescapable, and deeper than this was the enormous sadness in the knowing that it was I who was doing this to myself. This disease was nothing short of a prison. A self imposed isolation that at its very core was an inability for me to accept the world as it is, and to accept me in all my light, my truth, my glory and to not be afraid to show this.
When I was 31, I was introduced to Universal Medicine. I listened to Serge Benhayon speak about self love, honesty, responsibility, and choices. Each of these words resonated so deeply with me, and so I made the choice to explore this for myself. I also started attending presentations on Women’s Health by Natalie Benhayon which inspired me in so many ways to connect more deeply with myself as a woman first and foremost.
I feel it is important to say here that I didn’t start attending these presentations and making different choices in an attempt to heal the bulimia. This was something I had long given up to be even possible for me after having previously sought out pretty much every modality on offer from East to West. I started making these choices and changing how I was with myself because everything I was hearing simply made sense. Why wasn’t I tender with myself? Why didn’t I listen to and honour the feelings I had? What was it about me that chose to abuse myself or to allow abuse from another?
What was presented to me was that change had to start within ourselves, that we cannot wait for others or expect others to make the changes, but that this needs to come from every individual in their own time and at their own pace. I never once felt judged or pushed to hurry up and get it right. In fact Serge Benhayon was the first practitioner to know about my condition before I even opened my mouth to share it, and in this there was already a healing for me and an opportunity to be more open and honest with myself.
What happened from here is nothing short of amazing. Through simply choosing to be more in tune with my body, to tend to myself with a greater level of care and love, and to take more responsibility for my choices, I have turned my whole life around. At first (and considering the pattern I was in) I found this difficult: it was new for me to love myself, and something I had always felt I couldn’t express to others. I had long associated self-love with selfishness, vanity, or being ‘up yourself ‘as my school friends used to say. And yet gradually this started to change, and it became more easy. In fact I discovered that it is actually very natural to love and care for me. From the way I choose to brush my hair, wash myself, in how to dress, the foods I choose and how I prepare them, the way I walk, how I hold my body, it is there in everything – the opportunity to conduct myself gently and lovingly and to appreciate who I truly am.
Without even trying, one day I woke up and the bulimia was no longer a part of my life. It had stopped. I had stopped. And if anyone was there throughout that period they would not believe seeing where I am today. I have come to see myself for the precious woman that I am, and my life is becoming truly amazing from this.
What have I learnt from all this? I have learnt how important it is to self love, to honour my feelings, to listen to my body, to hold myself in the deepest regard, and from here consider all others in that same light. I have learnt how important it is to accept things as they are, but that this acceptance doesn’t mean giving up on oneself, or on people. I have learnt to trust in myself, and from here I am beginning to trust once again in others. And with the support of my incredible husband, I have learnt to make light of situations, to have fun and not take things so seriously as I had always done.
Yes, I have healed bulimia, and it has been through my own choices, but I could not have done this without the enormous love and support of Universal Medicine and the presentations delivered by Serge Benhayon and Natalie Benhayon that have been nothing short of amazing, and continue to inspire me each time I attend. I have turned around an existence that saw me struggling from day to day, to living a life that is truly joy-full – in my home, my work, and my body. And the beauty is that I can feel there is so much more. I am discovering that there is simply no end to where self love can take us. It’s only the beginning and what a truly powerful beginning for me it has been. Endless thanks to Universal Medicine for how it has supported me to truly change my life, and for the countless others I have witnessed do the same.