By MONICA KELLY
Stephanie Maines, a former Tech student, mother and
devoted wife from Dubach, seems like your average woman on the outside. She has
the two-story house with the white picket fence and minivan parked in the
two-car garage and is happy and smiling all the time. But on the inside Maines is screaming.
For seven years, Maines
suffered from an eating disorder known as bulimia nervosa, which is
characterized by a binging and purging of food. Now she screams from within to
try and help others.
Maines said on an average day
she would throw up nearly five times.
“I would wake up and promise myself that today would be
different, that today I would not let the demons take over and make me throw
up,” Maines said. “But it wasn’t that easy, and as
soon as the flood gates were opened I went on a downward spiral throughout the
Maines said she felt out of
control, worthless and that the worse she felt the more she would eat and the
more she would vomit.
“I kept my disease a secret for nearly three years,” Maines said. “I felt disgusting, like people wouldn’t like
me if they knew and I honestly felt that I could overcome it on my own. I did
this, now I’m going to get myself out of it.”
However, Maines could not.
She finally told her husband about the disorder when he
questioned her odd behavior shortly after they moved in together. Maines would sneak around, stay to herself and cry
frequently leading her husband to the assumption that she was not happy in the
marriage or not being faithful.
“Telling him was the hardest thing I had to do,” Maines said. “I thought for sure that my marriage would be
over. But he took it well and said that we would get through it together.”
Maines started to see a
counselor and went to group therapy to talk with others who were battling the
same disorder. The therapy worked for a while, but Maines
fell into consistent relapse. She finally decided to see a hypnotist and get to
the underlying cause for her battle with food.
“I was definitely skeptical about going to this measure
because it did not seem like it would work,” Maines
said. “However, after a few brief sessions of delving into my past, we were
able to discover why I developed this disease so that I could face this fear
and move forward.”
Through hypnosis, Maines
discovered it was an episode of rape in her late teen years that made her turn
to bulimia. Maines would turn to food to deal with
It was not until college, when she started gaining weight
from the indulging, that she started to throw it up.
“I found out that two [out] of three females with an
eating disorder had been raped or sexually abused at some point in their
lives,” Maines said. “Recalling these memories that I
had worked so hard to repress was extremely difficult, but I knew I had to do
it if I wanted to get better for good.”
After several years of counseling and relapse, Maines has finally overcome her trial. Maines
said there is not a day that goes by when she does not thank God for helping
her through the disease and giving her the strength to beat it.
Maines said, “For anyone out
there suffering, get help now, because the disease will not only bring you
down, but it will ruin those you love as well.”