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food body mind ecstasy and hell (and bulimia)

by tracy
(london)

Where to start... I have been denying to myself that I am still a sufferer for the last 4 years at least, only because I binge far less than ever and have had longer spells of not purging.

But I know for a fact that I am lying mostly to myself and that I am certainly in no way healed and that I've buried my head in the sand about taking action for recovery.

I am 37 years old and my bulimia started when I was about 14. initially I didnt purge - I just binged. and binged and binged and bigned.

I got fatter and spottier and felt uglier and all the time that this was happening I guess that I developed a stronger and stronger fantasty life - where in it, I was actually this undiscovered beauty - maybe a princess, maybe a hollywood star, maybe an artist - I dunno, but it certainly wasn't the me that was living my life that was the real person.

In truth, I was insecure, sometimes obnoxious, very sensitive, often painfully shy, self recriminating, very scared to open up, strained with my mother swinging between people pleasing and fury with her for not being better for me.

Anyway, I started to take laxatives after a trip to the states where a kooky but qutie skinny girl had told me that it worked (she also confessed to vomiting).

A few years later I guess, the vomiting began. And it was all fine, I threw up, I took laxatives and it was my secret and I really enoyed it.

All until my big sister who was training to be a medical doctor realised and alerted my mother.....and I was exposed - it was so humiliating, and I just got angry and defensive - how dare they try to control me - or judge me - leave me alone.

And so they did. Then college came, and alcohol and drugs.......and starvation. Wow it was amazing - a blissful high, I was losing weight every living second. I could literally feel the fat burning off.

I was getting lots of male attention

I had discovered some kind of secret - how come I had never discovered it before?

But then the girls who were sharing with me noticed something was up - they were concerned. But I couldnt admit anything.

I came home in the summer and my mother took me to a psychiatrist who gave me antidperessnts.

I went back to school and tried to carry on getting thinner and thinner - drinking way too much assuming it was all normal behaviour.

Then to another specialist - an ed one. Then after a summer back at home, the binging and purging was out of control......and then too some of the weight crept back - not too much, but too much and too fast for me - and then I ballooned when I got back to school..

So much so that I coudlnt go to lectures, I was so embarassed that everyone could see - that everyone would know. I coudldn't study, I just ate and ate all day and puked, sometimes in the shower, sometimes in dustbins at night, sometimes in bags to hide it.....and drank alcohol at night.

I admitted defeat - I couldn't keep up with my psychology degree. I flunked.

I came home - I went into a 6 week residential program at a psych hospital with in my view, the most uncaring, selfish, miunderstanding of nurses and doctors. I hated it and them and I just wanted back to my old life, to being skinny, to having fun at university.

People stopped staying in touch.......I spent the next three years in anger, shame, pain and humiliation.

I finsihed my degree in my hometown. I lived on my own, I binged and I purged and I ate laxatives by the box load, I drank, occassionally took drugs.......had a counsellor and exercised. I even ran a marathon.

Then I found an amazing psychoanalyst. He helped a lot, but I had to seem him a lot. I couldn't work, my parents were funding everything. I resented my friends for their normal lives - starting to get jobs and leave home etc. I was being helped but although I got mentally a little better, I was still bingeing and purging.

5 years later I met my husband - we had a blast, drinking, taking drugs - I told him everything. He was very compassionate but couldn't change me.

5 years on, and I have been much better at times, I still don't know how to work. I know have a transferred binge drinking problem, I am still on anti depressants, I have a beautiful 4 yr old boy, I am in many ways light years away from the girl who pukied up to 15 times a day.

But the scars are there.....and I continue to binge and purge or drink and purge.

I don't believe I can get better - this disease has such a grip on me, its the only way of life I know.

I am so scared to work but we need money - but I feel so worthless I can't bear to apply for jobs - I worry about my son.

I wish I knew what to do

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


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