10/18/2012 05:17 pm ET Updated Dec 18, 2012

Battling Bulimia: An Open Letter

To the woman sitting at the table next to me:

I know you're bulimic.

I know you're currently hoarding food so that, in a minute, you can politely excuse yourself and go throw it up in the bathroom.

I know that, while you're in the bathroom, you're going to shove your fingers down your throat, hoping to purge the two bowls of soup, three slices of bread, order of pasta, and extra-large chocolate milkshake that you just consumed.

I know that when you do purge it all, you will feel a release of sorts. Flooded with emotion, you will at first feel lighter. A few moments later, you will feel heavier -- weighed down by guilt.

I know that once you flush the toilet and wash your hands, you will then look in the mirror and feel shame.

I know that, when you return to the table next to me, your eyes will be watery and your cheeks somewhat puffy.

I know that your friend (i.e., the girl sitting across the table from you), while enjoying the fact that she has someone to eat with, is mentally berating herself. She wonders why you are so much skinnier even though you are eating more than her.

She doesn't know, but I do. I could notice it from across the room.

I know you're bulimic.

I know, because I used to be you. Because I too used to fear gaining weight more than I did hurting myself. Because I know what it's like to fear that one day someone will discover what really goes on in your bathroom. Because I know how it feels to numb your pain with food... and how purging it soon after makes the burden of your edible gluttony seemingly invisible to the outside world.

Like I said, I know you're bulimic because I've felt your pain and I've suffered your story. Then again, I also know what life is like on the other side... but only because I sought help.

I know you know what you need. I just hope you know that fear is the only thing standing in your way...

Be fearless and get the help that you need.

Reclaim your life.

Gain happiness.

All my best wishes,

For more by Lindsay Simone, click here.

For more on eating disorders, click here

If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders helpline at 1-800-931-2237.