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Bulimia brings out the worst in me!

by Shantz
(South Africa)

Hi Everyone

Wow, where do I start....there just soo much to release. So my name is Shantz and I've been a bulimic for about 9 or 10 years now. Its sounds like forever, feels like its all I've ever known...

I've always had a terrible complex, my childhood years were filled with a lot of pain as my dad was an alcoholic up until I was 16. I was a quiet, shy and reserved kid and when I hit my teens I started having this huge complex about my weight and everything else I thought was wrong with me. I wasn't very popular and always felt like people were watching me and judging me on what I thought was wrong with me! Its crazy I know, but at the time it was all I thought about, I couldn't have attention on me because I felt like being sucked by a hole in the ground because I felt fat and ugly.

So anyway, back to my dieting, it started at 13. I just stopped eating, nibbled like a bird and lost a lot of weight! But eventually, everyone noticed and I liked being noticed, I felt accepted. However, my family grew concerned, my mum especially. You see, my mum always worried about what people thought, of her, of her kids, of her life. I guess that was due to my dad's alcoholism. I suppose you could say that I learnt from her and started being self-concious aswell. So while I was starving myself on one end, she was feeling the stress of people asking why I'm getting soo thin. She started questioning and I would get defensive (which is how I react to everything). Eventually one day, she made me watch a movie with her about bulimia and the story about this girl who was bulimic. The entire 2 hours of that movie I was wondering to myself, 'bulimia, what on earth? I didn't even know I could throw up my meals...'. My mum asked me if I was doing that, I ofcourse didn't even know that such a thing existed so I said no.
But that very same evening after dinner, guess what I tried. It felt horrible at first, sticking my own finger down was disgusting but I saw this new technique and wanted to try it... That evening I probably felt great because there was no food in me :( I think about all this and feel angry :( I wish I knew why I am soo angry!!! I snap all the time, I'm not happy anymore, bulimia made me feel free for the first year or so but now I just want out! I want to stop being soo angry!

I continued throwing up and lost significantly more weight but in my 15 year old mind, it was all about being thin nomatter what... At this point, I was not a binger as yet... I still ate like a bird and threw up.

Oneday, I was at my aunt and she being concerned about my weight, forced me to eat a full plate of food, heaped right to the top. Just looking at it made me sick but I had no choice, I ate it and it felt good to eat! But after, I immediately threw up because the thought of that food in me and the feeling of it in me was horrible! After this day I noticed that eating more and throwing up didn't change my weight soo..I started to eat, more and more and more and more until I was soo full I had to throwup. I reached a point where I started to obsess over what to eat just soo I could stuff my face and then throw up :( I feel like crying as I type this because I feel like such a disgusting person :( but now I'm addicted to food just to throwup, what a waste!

When I was 16 my decided to join the AA, that was a blessing and I only started to be able to love my dad at that point. Then one day I woke up, my thighs felt heavy and painful, my ankles felt swollen n sore, but worse....My face felt like it was going to pop! I looked in the mirror and was terrified at what I saw... My mum saw me, in the back of my mind I knew exactly what caused this but to her it was mumps. I never showed her my ankles... The swelling went down a few day later and my face normalised after a week of 2...

My matric year was the worst of my bulimia because I started binging in school and throwing up... 2 weeks before prelims I woke up and the swelling in my legs and ankles and face was the worst I've experienced... my parents were very worried and took me to a doctor, the doctor already knew why this was happening, I don't if those are bulimia symptoms but he refered us to a doctor in lenmed hospital (my hometown). When we got to the hospital I was anxious and nervous, I just wanted to go home! As the psychiatrist spoke, I knew what was coming. And BAM!! My secret was out! I was in tears, my mum was aswell, my dad was in a shellshock mode... I was booked in for 2 weeks of hospital treatment and phsychiatric sessions. I was put on anti-depressants which my mum flushed down the toilet as she doesn't believe in anti-depressants. I missed my trials, got home all depressed and in denial of what I'd just been through. My secret, my big secret to being thin, the secret that helped be be noticed was out! My family all knew, somehow word got out and extended family knew I was a mental case with an eating disorder. The shame, the embarrasment, the all built up in me :( but the first day of getting back home I pretended to eat normal and be normal but was still throwing up... I don't think I was very discreet and inside I think I was howling for attention. So my bulimia continued, getting worse as the days went by... I was just soo hungry but I couldn't handle food being in me... I remember times when I was soo afraid to throw up in the bathroom in case they heard, I would throw up in an empty container and in the morning I would take it and flush it when every1 was sick is that:( I feel like such a pig, but I'm not actually :( this thing is a horrible disease that I wish no-one would ever have to go through! In the years before I turned 18, I would binge and purge 6 to 7 times a day. The years up until a few days ago, I started prolonging my binges so I only threw up 3times a day, for breakfast, lunch and supper. I would start binging and go on for 2 hours until I was soo full I threw up after lunch.

I could almost pop and sometimes I couldn't even move because it was soo painful :(

Last year I finally decided that enough is enough and decided that I wanted to stop, but it was like my mind and body were in constant battle! I went for 1 OA meeting and even went for 2 therapy sessions, but I gave in to this monstor! I went weak thinking I can never recover and it to hard. I was lazy and tired to fight it.

Today, as I type this... I never ever thought I could keep down anything!! But I sit here and I can tell you, keeping down breakfast and lunch for about 2 weeks now is awesome! I slipped a few times at breakfast and lunch but yesterday and today as gone really well soo far. Yes, I do get those horrid thoughts but I'm working on making my mind strong. I do get these feelings of anger and anxiousness aswell but I try and I'm trying to allow them to come and and then leave. I don't need to act on them, they're only thoughts :)

I just want to say, Shaye thankyou, from the bottom of my heart, I thankyou for this amazing site and all your help. Your story and many others has made me see that if I just keep trying, I can eventually be free of bulimia just like you. You're an inspiration and a motivation for soo many. Thankyou:)

Shew, so that was me and my story and I just want to say that a story of success is based on never giving up, I hope and pray that all you guys who are suffering never give up trying. We all deserve happiness:)

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program