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Being Bulimic: The Dark Secret I hid From the Love Of My Life...

I'm sitting here at my boyfriend, Toms house... Remembering my bulimic days.... I'm having a cup of peppermint tea and 2 pieces of toast. I'm having fun - even though I'm all alone. I'm feeling relaxed.

But... I remember a time when I couldn't possibly relax here. Especially when I was left alone.

bulimic nightmare
Some of the food I could
always find in Tom's pantry

You see... His pantry is the type that both terrifies and excites bulimic people! It's stuffed to the brim with buns, biscuits, chocolates, sweets, chips, spreads and so on.

When I was left alone here, I'd be in the pantry in a flash. I felt at ease binging because there was SO much food... It was unlikely my binge would be noticed. I'd eat and eat and eat... My brain would flick off and I would chow down everything in sight.

I'd phone Tom from time to time to see if he was on his way home. To know if I could eat more, or if I should throw up without delay. Of course I'd make up some other excuse - I miss you, I love you, I just wanted to say hi.

Once my binge was over, I'd quickly go and throw up. I'd rinse my mouth out, brush my teeth and wipe my face... Then walk away as though I had never done anything out of the ordinary.

I was exhausted... My heart was pounding, my throat was burning... But - I hid it all. I was fine.

When Tom arrived back home - he was none the wiser. I'd have a meal waiting for him, a movie to watch and a blanket to snuggle on the couch.

I was the perfect girlfriend... With a very dark secret.

 

When Tom Discovered I was Bulimic

My worst nightmare was Tom discovering my bulimia. He was my breath of fresh air, he was the absolute love of my life. Tom thought I was perfect - and I wanted it to stay that way.

That's why when he said this to me one day...

Shaye, do you sometimes throw up after you eat?

My life felt as though it was falling apart. I felt as though I was made of ice and somebody had put a blow torch on me.

I had no other choice but to tell him the truth. Of course I only gave him the most basic of my bulimia info... I spared him from the details and the true degree of my illness!

I told him I threw up about once a day. The truth was about 15 times that amount!

Tom wasn't angry or disappointed... He just felt sad for me.

Tom knew my secret... But, guess what?

 

Opening Up About My Bulimia Made Our Relationship Even Stronger!

bulimic nightmare
Tom and me (above) Our relationship
is now stronger than ever!

Funnily enough, when Tom learnt I was bulimic, it was a turning point in our relationship. I slowly began to open up to him. Our relationship became deeper and more real.

Tom said that he used to feel I was hiding something from him, that the Shaye he knew wasn't 100% real. He couldn't have been more right...

My life was an act - a constant and exhausting attempt to hide my bulimia.

Once I stopped acting, I could slowly let the real me shine through. I had forgotten who I was when I was bulimic... But, as I began to recover and open up about my illness, the old Shaye started coming back...

And, I learnt to love myself again. Cheesy but true!

 

Opening Up About Being Bulimic Saved My Life

Gradually I realized that people wouldn't hate me if I was bulimic. I realized that I could open up to people I trusted - and they would still respect me. I realized that people aren't as judgmental and as critical as I'd grown to believe.

The more I talked about my bulimic experience, the more I felt able to conquer it...

I began to understand that bulimia was not everything about my life... It was but a small part of my life...

A small part that I could beat.

And... I did beat bulimia!

 

4 years Bulimia Free!

Tom discovered my bulimic secret 5 years ago. A year later I had fully recovered. Now, 4 years down the track I am still 100% free of bulimia. I don't binge and I don't purge.

Eating normally now comes naturally.

Never allow yourself to think that bulimia is a lifelong illness. It's not! You can make a complete recovery from bulimia - just as I did. I am more certain of that than anything!

 

My Challenge to You...

Sharing your story is an important part of recovery. So...

My challenge for you is to share your bulimic story in a letter to somebody you trust.

BUT, before you do that...

 

Break the ice by sharing it online... A practice draft of what you'll write in your letter...

It doesn't have to be perfect... Just try to get the main points out. What you want people to know, how you feel, what your fears are...

I'll comment on it and give you any pointers or advice I can think of.

You may not realize it yet - but this will be an important step in your bulimia recovery...

Bulimia Letters Other Visitors Have Written...

Click below to see letters from other visitors to this page...

this is so hard to open up about 
I've been overweight my whole life. at 17 I became bulimic and lost X lbs within a course of a year. I got a boyfriend an moved in with him. he was physically …

Mark I'm bulimic 
Dear Mark, We met only 2 weeks ago but I feel I've known you a lifetime. You are 48, I am 43 and we are talking about having a life together and starting …

Time to love myself 
I don't really remember how and why it started. I was 18 and it was a few months before high-school graduation. I remember it was a time when nothing I …

I just don't know 
Hi, Shaye! Okay, I've been debating about putting anything on here for quite some time now. I never thought of my bulimia as a big deal, I thought that …

Like a junkie who needs her drugs 
I am 37 years old and I have been bulimic for 23 years. I bought my first laxatives at 14. I stopped using for a short time between 17 and 19 and used …

Wasting me, dear universe 
I don't remember the first time I purged, it's all a blur of struggle starting around when I was 15 or 14, I'm 18 now... I have also been dealing with …

Enough. 
I am a thirty six year old wife and mother. I am so ashamed that bulimia has been part of my life for so long. I began at a very young age, I don't remember …

A Letter To My Mother 
Mom, My problem with food never went away. The things you did in an attempt to help me did nothing but worsen my disorder, and now I'm stuck dealing with …

I'm Bulimic  
Hi. I'm 16 years old, and I've been bulimic for about a year now. It started because I just wanted to lose weight but I managed to recover myself after …

Mum dad, I need your help 
I can remember the day my eating disorder began like it was yesterday, it was a couple of weeks after I came back from holiday and I had gained a lot of …

Mommy, I'm kind of ill 
I don't really know what I have. You'll probably laugh at me when I say this, but I'm kind of scared to die. I don't know if I should tell you. I'm not …

Help me. 
I almost feel like being born as a female is a curse. The way were expected to look and what is considered beautiful puts so much pressure on every girl …

My Secret 
I don't think I've ever felt comfortable in my own skin. Ever since elementary days I've compared myself to others. I always felt the need to work towards …

23 years of marriage  
I need help and some guidance. After a great date night with my wife of 23 years ( which we needed) When we came home, she was telling me she was feeling …

new country new beginnings 
dear reader, I am levnik a 21 year old male bulimic, it all began when i was in the fifth grade, I gained a considerable amount of weight because of …

Cheating? 
I read Janet's information (bulimic for 30 years) - and can very much relate. I am about there - 42 years old next week. I can remember hiding food young. …

Lets put our hands together and overcome this together 
I already know that you are aware that I have struggled with my weight my entire life but I don't think you understand the extent to where these demons …

To Someone Who Cares 
I am a seventeen year old senior that has recently fallen into binging and purging. Why? Because everything else in my life is ridiculous. My sister and …

I'm Never Doing This Again 
"I'm Never Doing This Again. I'm not. I Promise. I just want it to go away". That's what I'd tell my self every time I ran to the bathroom. But three …

Relapsed for the last time I hope!! 
I'm 29yrs old and this truly is the darkest secret that I've been living with... It's awful I first started b/p when I was 13yrs old and after about a …

my sad demon 
Hi.. I´m a danish, 36 years old girl. This is big for me to write about my disease. I have been bulimic for about 20 years and I feel like two persons. …

I'm falling apart  
Dear my family, I'm sorry that I have let something so terrible take over my life. I have an eating disorder that is slowly killing me and I don't know …

My Secret 
I'm 23 years old and I've been bulimic for 6 years now, and it feels like for ever. There have been periods with in those 6 years that I stopped the vicious …

Why I've been hiding 
I feel like everything else in my life is out of control and the only thing I can control is my eating, but I can't not eat and then I feel so guilty when …

Click here to write your own.

Dear Tom 
I have a secret. Many secrets. When I don't come over because I have stuff to get done it is almost always because I have time alone and want to binge …

I'm Egyptian and bulimic!!!!!!!! 
I'm 21, I've been bulimic for 4 years and it's just impossibble for me to tell anyone about my eating disorder simply because no one will understand :( …

Someone who truly cares for me 
Shaye and friends, I have been bulimic for more than 10 years.....It all started when I was 14 as I had been dieting for more than a year. I was a chubby …

Dear Perfection 
Dear perfection, dear carelessness, dear AnaMia, I have done all this for you. I used to think being skinny will make me perfect, which will make me …

living a lie - bulimia 
I had always been a thick girl. I was averaging X in a 5"5 body. I had my concerns with my weight but never really made a ordeal over it. I joined the …

Time to be honest about bulimia 
This letter is almost a prelude for what I might (and certainly should) say to my mother. I suffered from bulimia 3 years ago, for about a year, before …

Scared I'm going to die and leave my child behind.... 
I have been bulimic for about 8 or 9 years now. I remember the first time I threw up, I had only eaten beans on toast but I felt just a little bit too …

Dear Stranger 
I don't think I could tell anyone I'm Bulimic. I relate to a great deal of what I've read here and I've known for some time that I'm no longer in control. …

Words I Can't Say  
Mom and Dad, I know you love me even though I guess we don't show it as much as we should. I know I'm your "perfect" child. I get good grades, I …

Struggling with Recovery 
I became bulimic at 17 (6 years ago). I went through phases of binging and purging throughout the years, some worse than others. Driving was a time …

a wife, mother, grandmother should know better... 
Dear EVERYONE, I am embarrassed, ashamed and sad. I have been using laxatives in pill form, but now in "herbal tea" form. Each time I over eat and feel …

About nine weeks free of binging or purging  
Hi! I feel absolutely amazing. Basically since my Mum found out I was bulimic and so I feel I can talk to someone, I haven't had any bulimic urge. …

I am trying to handle this alone. 
I have not binged/purged in 7 weeks and I am very proud. But the weight gain is taking all my joy for living away. My boyfriend can sense something is …

some day soon 
Hi all, I have jst been reading all your stories and I think your all amazing and extreamly strong people. I too am Bulimic and have been for 20 …

MY BULIMIA STORY 
I started and deleted the first sentence of this story a multiple times. That's the problem with me - beginnings are always difficult. I never know how …

Please help im a bulimic... 
Its been 10yrs from now since i've lost my weight. im bulimic. i am sad an i regret why i'm like this. since i was a child im overweight my classmates …

Meghans Bulimia Story 
I'm so sorry, Meredith, Ellen, Alex... and others who try to get close to me, I am bulimic, and I feel like you probably have a feeling that I am. …

Dear Loved Ones... 
Everything that Glitters is not Gold, and I for one am an example of that... For the past 4-5 years now, since I've lost my weight, I have been fighting …

bulimia took away my passion..... 
Hi I am 20 years old and from the uk. I have been suffering from bulimia since I was 16. I have always danced since the age of 4 and at 15 I realised …

BABY.....I AM BULIMIC! 
Baby....I am so sorry..I have lived a lie....I have a secret life....I have been living with bulimia for 13years...It has robbed me of so much, dented …

My letter to dad telling him I'm bulimic.  
I've written this letter out and I'm going to give it to my dad tonight. To my amazing Dad. I know I'm you're little girl and you think I'm strong …

I need help with bulimia 
Katie, I've been bulimic off and on for almost 8 years. I can't keep the secret anymore and don't want to scare you away or make you feel responsible …

I'm Bulimic 
I became bulimic at the age of 13. It all started as a way of being able to eat anything I want and still being thin to a normal everyday routine.

honey, im bulimic 
I know I can recover because I have before. But I need help getting to that place. I am in a vicious twirling cycle that I cant get out of by myself. I …

Dear someone who doesn’t know me, 
I'm 22, I'm a women and I'm bulimic. It's been roughly two years now since this thing began to emerge and I was positive it would have passed by now. Not …

Click here to write your own.

I still need your support 
Mom, Dad, Friends, Boyfriend, Most of you know the bare basics of this disease that haunted me for over 7 years. I've been able to control my episodes …

I've been bulimic since 3rd grade 
Hello my name is Shannon and I have been bulimic since third grade. I am now 48 and still struggling. I am so lonely and in need of a friend. I have a …

I think you know 
I eat until I'm sick. I use laxatives and sit around stuffed and angry and sad and emotional. I starve until I can't take it anymore and then I binge again. …

Hi, I'm Lindsay and I am bulimic! 
Wow. I finally said it. I am 32, married, a registered nurse with a great life and ample education to "know better". I have been bulimic for 18 years! …

I'm suffering from bulimia 
I feel that I can't even admit that to myself, let alone anyone else. I've been slowly taking small steps towards recovery, followed by larger steps back. …

mom, you were right 
hi mama, i know you'd had your suspicions before and even wrote me a letter to confront me about my eating issues about 2-3 years ago. And although after …

For when I recover 
Dear mom, I am writing you this because I don't want to tell you in person, pathetic right? You always wonder if I'm bulimic or starving myself, …

Mom, I'm bulimic. 
I know now why I'm so tired all the time. I hate that I'm doing this to myself. I want to be happy and healthy. I started this because I wanted a flat …

Here it goes again 
It's hard to explain. I started with cutting at 14, then that magically was cured but only ended up switching to anorexia. After about 3 years of anorexia, …

I began, I slipped up once, and then again... 
I just feel like I'm totally lost. I was anorexic for three years, but I always had binge urges without purging. I've tried laxatives too, but they didn't …

I don't want to feel vulnerable, but yes, I am bulimic 
I was chubby all my life until I graduated from high school and lost X kg (aprox. X pounds). When I lost weight, everyone treated me differently. Before …

It's not just about food 
I don't know how to control my urges to binge and purge; I use exercise as a way of making me feel good and happy, but sometimes I get the same adrenalin …

what BULIMIA is really like...... 
Bulimia is not what you see in the movies.... you wont eat a burger and purge in 20 seconds.... Let me tell you (EVERYBODY) what it is really like... …

Bulimia, Family, Friends and Exam stress  
I am 18 years old and have been bulimic for 4 years. I have kept it a secret for a very long time but recently told my closest friends which lead to telling …

almost 2 years wasted 
The summer before 8th grade my friend told me that sometimes when she felt full she just threw up to make the food go away. she was and is a model. even …

My addiction 
Hi everyone, I am 30 years old and I am a bulimic since I was 16. I have had years that I didn´t B/P, years that a B/P only a little (like twice a month)and …

Mum and dad I'm bulimic... 
It's been happening a while now for at least 1 1/2 years maybe more, I just don't know I feel sick and I hurt all the time. I've told Kate and she's trying …

Dear..... 
I have been bulimic for just under 2 years, I think. Its on and off, it started when I decided I wanted to lose weight. I wasn't even big, but i did it …

Ready for Freedom 
I stumbled upon this site because I'm desperate to be better. I mostly recovered from Bulimia almost a year ago but a stressful semester has sent me into …

The Hidden Truth of my Weightloss 
Mom, I'm bulimic, and I know you know it. You try to bring it up to me all the time, and I just yell at you. I just want to be skinny! I thought when I …

Dear friends 
My disease has only consumed my life for 4 months but I need to tell someone. 4 months ago I began purging. It is scaring me and ruining my swimming, friendships, …

alex but mom is speaking for him 
My son alex has had 18 surgerys since birth he just turned 18 in february he was born with imperrate anus and was diagnosis psychosis last year along with …

will I ever got out of my bulimic black hole :( 
Hi I been bulimic for just under a year it all started a week before my 21st birthday and I nearly killed myslef I'm in uk and started to have blackouts …

Skater girl  
I'm now 20 years old and have been suffering for builima for the past two years =[ I'm a competitive figure skater as well as a dancer in training and …

My Love- 
I want you to know just how unstable I am! I want to shout at you sometimes! To ask me questions and confront me when I have 6 convenience store charges …

Click here to write your own.

Junkie...esay...drunk...sure...but bulimia? no way 
I can admit to having been a drunk,a junkie, a self harmer. No shame. I paid my dues. But I can't imagine ever being able to admit what I do after I eat. …

My body hurts :( 
I've been bulimic for about 5 or 6 years now, after recovering from anorexia of about 2 years. I'm starting to feel the effects of longterm binging and …

Dear Jeremy. 
Dear Jeremy, I've got something to tell you. I haven't told mom and dad yet, I'm too scared. I don't know why I'm telling you first, it just seems easier, …

Bulimia - My best and worst enemy 
I stopped throwing up about 1.5 years ago. I was 15 when I started and 21 when I stopped. It wasn't everyday. More like 1-2 times a week. My parents …

No one understands 
Im a 21 years old girl I have been bulimic for several months now I hit rock bottom when all I thought about was eating and throwing up I didn't care about …

Dad, I still purge. 
We sat at the dinner table the other day and I told you I had gotten sick the night before. You became alarmed and said you didn't purge did you? I could …

Dear me 
stop doing it to yourself. why you become angry and anxious when u're hungry? why you purge (ten minutes ago) after jumbo pizza, big milka with nougat …

Future boyfriend  
I am 24 years old and have been bulimic for ten years now. My life was good untill I moved to the US as a twelve year old. because of not knowing the english …

Dr im bulimic 
Dear Dr Carter, im writing this letter because im exhausted, as usual everyday as I have been telling you. I have been researching everyday ways of …

Dear Shaye and Friends 
Hi, I never thought I'd be writing a letter like this, although I once wrote a similar one to my consultant after receiving treatment about ten years …

43 years old still struggling 
I cant remember not being a binge purger. My memory is a blur of binges and purges. As long as my daughter never finds out or my parents, siblings, co-workers …

Daddy, Help Me 
Dad, I love you, and I don't want to disappoint you anymore than I already have in my life, but I need to tell you something, and I need your help. I've …

To You... I Am bulimic... 
I am bulimic for nearly nine years... Started with dieting. Very clearly remember first time it happened. Christmas time, full table of delicious treats. …

To whoever will listen 
I'm 17 from London, I'm kinda a cliche, idk I kinda like the way I look like I'm fine with it I guess... But it's putting on weight and going back to how …

Mom, I'm Bulimic 
Hi...I'm Lindsay. I'm sixteen years old and I have been bulimic for five years. I was bullied to the extent I would cry until my mother would let me stay …

Hi mom 
I'm bulimic. I throw up my food sometimes, not often but still sometimes I do. I, not sure why. I just cant stop myself from eating sometimes and I just …

Ashamed and still fat 
I'm a 44 year old woman who first started bulimia about 13 years ago. I've always been overweight and had tried everything I could and just couldn't lose …

i dont want to die :,( 
Hi Shaye... Im still not ready...more struggling with opening up. but I wanted to write you a quick note - expressing my thankfulness to you! You have …

steve im bulimic 
hun i know u think i have serious food control issues. the truth is every time you leave the house and im alone. i binge and purge then get rid of the …

Mom Im sorry 
MOM I WISH ONE OF US HAD THE STRENGTH TO FACE EACH OTHER. I KNOW YOU KNOW THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME, I CAN SEE THE WORRY IN YOUR EYES AND HOW YOUR …

not quite so perfect 
I took the stage with a wide grin and winning attitude. I had done it, I was elected for my position as a state officer, I was perfect, I had the grades, …

Dear Me, accept that you need help again 
Dear Camila, I know how hard it is for you not to be perfect. I know it is hard to have the feeling that you don't control every situation and that …

Ehi, I still do it 
I started it 9 years ago. At the end of a normal and followed by doctors diet. I just could not stop eating what I denied my self for so long (not that …

it's not your fault 
To my best friend: I love you. You're beautiful and you're a size X and now you have a modeling opportunity, but that's not why you're my best friend. …

Heart of the Bulimic 
I've never been an open person, but bulimia made me even more closed... It all started one day when I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was …

Click here to write your own.

Jen, I'm bulimic. 
I've always had disordered eating, since I'm a perfectionist and would fluctuate between intense self discipline to completely out of control. The throwing …

My secret 
I have been bulimic for the past five years. Although it doesn't happen on a daily basis, whenever I get into the cycle, it takes a while to get out of …

Dear Shaye, I am a recovering bulimic.. (or I thought I was) 
.. and I actually thought I had fully recovered. And then it hit me again completely left-fielded. Is that the right way of saying that in English? I was …

its screwing up my life 
Im a 20 year old girl who is suffering from bulimia for about 7 years (but it became worse in the last 1 and a half year). I cried so much today, as I …

Mike, I need you to know this..... 
How can I tell you that at 58 years old and a year into our relationship that I am Bulimic. It has improved vastly since you moved in as I haven't had …

Chris, I'm bulimic 
Chris, I love you so much. I never believed I would be or deserved to be loved by someone as wonderful as you. You are everything I value in another human …

I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy.  
Dear Fran, You are the closest person to me in my life, my best friend and i consider you a sister. I trust you with anything and everything, and there's …

Dear Mum, 
Dear Mum, I'm sorry that I'm not brave enough to say this to your face. I'm sorry that I even have to write this letter. I wish things were different. …

Mum, bulimia won't let me go 
The thought of you finding out is too embarrassing to me but i'm exhausted of throwing up/fasting after huge binges but most of all i'm tired of the lies. …

Dad, Its me... 
I've been your dearest daughter for the past 22 years but for the past 5 years i've been hiding an alien version of me that seems to be taking over more …

I just felt sad.. and I hope I'm recovered 
I have been bulimic for almost 9 years. I never new what bulimia or anorexia means. It just started when I was 20 and traveled abroad for work (for 7 months). …

Tom, I'm Bulimic (letter written in Russian) 
Дорогой Том, Я пишу тебе потому что мне некому написать больше. Мой друг не такой понимающий, он знает, что у меня булимия, но у него нет достаточно понимания …

Ruler of my life 
I have been off and on with my bulimia since i was grade six, which is four years today, I'm a grade ten girl that had a horrible start to a middle school …

Please don't be mad. 
I want to write you this letter to tell you something huge. A really big secret that I've kept from everybody for a while. I'm bulimic. I make myself throw …

I am Bulimic 
I know when I became Bulimic, I didn't really know what was happening to me but I know exactly where and when it all started. I am now 30 going on 31 and …

to my listeners 
“What’s wrong?” I hear from behind Mommy’s asking me My face turns ghostly white “Nothing, just leave me be” I walk down the hallway Close the bathroom …

Dear Fred, I'm Bulimic 
Hi. I know it's been a while since I talked to you directly. It seems as though I only ever do when I'm in need of you, when I can't go to anyone, …

I'm So Sorry I Never Told You Mom 
I know when you read this Mom, you'll tell me I shouldn't be sorry for these things, they're not my fault, that I'm fine the way I am, but I need to say …

Dear Boobear  
This is the hardest and most embarrassing thing in the world to admit. However, your suspicions were right. I know you asked my mother a couple of months …

I purge to fill a void. 
I always feel lonely. More so now than before. I usually stick to restricting, but these days I'm so busy that I don't need to. So other than work, there …

im bulimic but i fnd it hard to tell anyone 
i remember when it first started and now i find it hard to remember what i was like before hand. it was 2 years ago. my partner at the time went overseas …

Should I tell? 
To Someone, I don't know how to start or wether anyone will read this, or indeed wether getting this out will help... Sometimes I feel so alone, I cry …

the bulimia keeps getting worse...  
My first "binge and purge" took place at an all you can eat buffet. I enjoyed ALL the restaurant had to offer and then headed right to the bathroom. My …

To everyone I care about and love, I'm Bulimic 
5 years ago is were this disorder took over my life. I suffered chronically from the nightmare of Bulimia. From being only 56 kg originally, bulimia took …

Click here to write your own.

 

 

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community


The Bulimia Recovery Program