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Bulimia in university

by Elizabeth
(Victoria, BC, Canada)

I am a first year student living on campus in university, and I have bulimia. I've had it for about 7 months, was anorexic for a year before that. I'd improved over the summer a little, but going 5000km away from home completely my myself has caused some sort of a relapse, and I'm now b/ping almost every day, and on the days in between I'm fasting or restricting. I feel out of control.

I have a new therapist here and have made a few friends, but obviously I will not tell them about my eating disorder. I feel extremely alone and often depressed, as I feel 10000x more unlikeable with this secret, it stresses me out to no end, yet the stress causes me to b/p more.

I need more intensive help. My parents already want me to move back home (I've been away only a month and have moved several steps backwards) but I will not, I feel I need to give it a longer trial. What should I do? The city I live in is small, the hospital has no ED program and there is only one support group available in the city, for 19 years olds+, and I am 17. I feel stuck, not able to recover but also really wanting to stay out here and enjoy my university. What should I do - move home and get intensive treatment, or stay here and fight my way through? Any advice would be appreciated.

Shaye Says

Hi Elizabeth,

I am sorry to hear about your battles with anorexia and bulimia... I know how lonely they can feel - and yes, I totally get that they make you feel 10000x more unlikable as you say!

I just want to reassure you that you are not 10000x more unlikable at all - in fact I am sure you are a very likable person! When you are in the grips of an ED - you become your own worst critic... so take every negative thing you say to yourself with a grain of salt and ask yourself "Is that really true? What would somebody else say?" I am sure that most of the time you will find that you are being way too hard on yourself.

It's a tricky spot you are in right now - staying or going... I think the decision has to come from you and it has to come from the truest part of your heart. What do you think will be best for your recovery and you as a whole? Do you think you are able to work on recovery where you are? Will you be able to persistently try and stick to structured eating? It is so important that you nourish yourself and keep your heart healthy and safe to prevent electrolyte imbalances - do you think you are able to do that where you are now? If so - then maybe you could give it a good shot :) If not, then perhaps you could go back home and dedicate some time to real recovery... Then come back and start uni again when you are in a better position to be able to truly enjoy it.

But of course, the ultimate decision needs to come from the part of your heart which holds your best interests...

Let me know what you decide to do :)


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

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