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An ongoing vicious cycle

by Katy

I've been bulimic for perhaps 6 or 7 years. I think it all started with the stress of an intense and challenging course at university.
I was always so bright at school, and everything came very naturally to me. I got to uni and thought things would be the same. However, I fell into bad habits. As much as I had excelled at school and had what i thought were good friends, i had missed out a lot with boys and experimenting. The freedom of being away from home and the anonymity being in a new environment gave to me was thrilling. I drank a lot. My confidence soared and I got attention from boys for the 1st time. The rush was addictive and so the drinking, sleeping around cycle started. Unfortunately, this didn't help the waistline. I put on X stone in less than a year. It also didn't help the grades. But I always 'got by'.

My weight hasn't always been an issue. Pre-teens I had been a ballet dancer and a gymnast and looking back, a slim kid. Puberty hit, and I gained weight, a lot of weight. I remember binge eating when I was in my teens. My mum and dad were fairly strict with food but the 'restricted items' were always in the house. At night, I would sneak downstairs and steal chocolate biscuits. Naively, I thought my parents didn't know. Of course they knew. I just wish they had intervened then and perhaps broken such a destructive behaviour.
But I cannot blame them, this is my doing. I am responsible for my actions. I am the one who puts food in her mouth. I am an intelligent person with a good degree, a good job, a lovely house and an amazing husband. But I am a self destructive, self loathing and broken person. I worry I could lose all of this if I let myself continue.
I have opened up in the past about my bulimia but it coincided with a period of depression It was all put down to the depression and I was started on antidepressant treatment. It did help. My mood and motivation improved and within 6m I felt a lot better. Unfortunately, the bulimia stayed with me. I haven't had the courage to open up since then. It's my dirty little secret.

My so-called friends I have realised have a large part to play in my self-destructive behaviour. I was always 'popular' at school in that I got on well with most people but I think I was very naive. I was left out of social events. I was the 'fat' friend, easier to leave out when it came to boys and parties. I think that it made them feel better about themselves but it still hurt me. To this day, they are still my 'friends'. Growing up has helped. I am no longer a pushover but not quite strong enough to confront them or walk away from them. They still have a control over me.

I am only 6m married. I had a period before the wedding when I vowed to lose weight and had a fantastic personal trainer who worked wonders. I was buzzing and bingeing and purging never even crossed my mind for months on end. Even after the wedding, on honeymoon, it didn't cross my mind despite the rather large calorific portions I was consuming. But then I got ill and stayed off work for 2wks, went on a 2wk holiday to the US and came back to a busy work schedule. I have never got back into the gym properly (not helped by my personal trainer moving away) and the weight has slowly crept on again. I am now locked in a very negative cycle of bingeing and purging. I look at articles on the internet of scare stories and all of the horrible effects bulimia has on your body. They scare me but they don't stop me.

I have come across your site and it has given me hope. Hope that it can help me take one more positive step towards recovery again. I can't keep up the pretence, it's tiring and deceiving. And as much as I know it'll hurt the people I love to find out, it'll hurt me more if I don't tell them.
I vow today that I am seeking help. I will get better and I will succeed.

Thank you so much for such an honest site. I am in awe of how open you are of your experiences and of your recovery. I only hope that one day I can get to the same stage that you are at.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program