Giving Voice to Shame Will Lessen it's Power

Bear with me as I attempt to make a vulnerable post as eloquent as possible.
I cannot count how many times I stared in the mirror after purging and wondered if I would make it through this disease alive. Actually, I can give you a rough estimate – 14,777 times. Someone dies from an eating disorder every 60 seconds.
That’s the same number of times I glared with shame and disgust into my blood shot, tear filled eyes and proclaimed “enough”. 20 long years of “enoughs”.
I was taunted by this locked toolbox filled with an endless collection of tools – the key nowhere to be found.
For two decades I searched and waited for someone or something to hand me the key. For there to be a solution, a fix, a moment for the path to recovery to become clear.
By March of 2020, I was still entrenched in battle with my eating disorder – T1 diabetes and bulimia are a treacherous combination – and with both spiraling out of control I felt like I had failed not just myself but my husband and my girls.
One of the reasons I initially resisted studying Stoicism was because it forces you to recognize what is in your control and what isn’t- and to take accountability and action for how you are choosing to live your life.
I didn’t want to do that.
Because then I would have to admit that while bulimia was my biggest source of shame and suffering, it was also the devil I knew, and after 20 years, I didn’t know how to do life without it.
The truth was, no one and nothing held the key. The toolbox wasn’t even locked. I simply was too scared to open it, use the tools and face the hard climb ahead of me. There never was going to be an easy path to follow, I had to clear it myself.
As the world seemed to grind to a halt with the arrival of Covid, my journey to recovery began.
While I had my husband, family and therapist supporting me, I had to be willing to wake up every morning prepared to make it through the day without bulimia no matter how hard it got.
If you want to be a runner, you can hire a coach, but you have to put in the miles. It has to come from within.
Six months into my recovery I decided to discard my shame by posting publicly about my struggle. And in the 2.5 years since that post, I have spoken about bulimia more times than I can count. Before March 2020, I couldn’t say the word ‘bulimia’ out loud out of shame.
This is National Eating Disorder Awareness week- too often we wait until we are at the summit to share our story of struggle- don’t wait- start sharing now.
The more we talk about our shame, the less power it has, and the less alone we feel.
To those who read my post 2.5 years ago and shared words of kindness and support- please know that I have never forgotten those words and thank you so much for them.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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