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Food or University?

by Weesa

So I've struggled with my weight for four years, starting with a strict diet that slipped into bulimia. It has gotten to the point where I am off to university in a year - maybe - if I can recover enough that my parents feel I am stable enough to live alone and be safe and take care of myself. I hate having the ultimatum, but I guess they meant it as 'motivation' for me to recover.

The weight thoughts started when I was little, I always wanted to know why everyone was so much smaller than me (not that I voiced this very much or ever). I genuinely believed that I was a chubby child, but I know now that I wasn't, I just saw everyone else different and saw myself larger than I was. I still see myself larger than I am, and that is why (partially) the starving started. Four years ago my friend struggled with severe anorexia, and I saw her almost die from it. I saw her recover and I saw all the tears and hardships that went with both and how terrifying it was for everyone around her. I got the idea that "I could lose some weight if I just cut back on portions and exercised a little more" but I took that a little out of hand, as I'd never had portion control issues - because there was never a problem to fix.

After a year of eating small meals and no snacks, I was starving - all the time - tired, cranky, and physically/emotionally drained. During this time my family had also moved across the country for my fathers job position, and I started at a school where everyone always criticized my weight/clothes/etc. I knew they were just being critical, but it made it's sting and I felt alone and depressed. This along with every adult around me and my parents crying so often, lead me to the shift in my eating patterns. At the end of the year I was also diagnosed with absence seizures - a form of epilepsy that I would have for life. I simply stopped and stared at miscellaneous times and never knew when/that it had happened. That made me feel like an even bigger freak and that I didn't even have control of my consciousness was pathetic - everyone does!!

I decided that I could eat the same 3 meals, no snacks, and I could eat granola bars at night as long as I threw them up afterwards so they wouldn't make me fat - it would help me sleep, people would stop bugging me, and all would be solved. There was SO much flawed with this thinking, I can't even list the problems, but I continued this ritual for 7 months until another year and a half had passed in total. My bulimia had started. In the middle of this timeframe I had my first boyfriend, who was incredibly sweet/loving/caring and who got me to recover from self harm, but knew nothing of my ED. I also had a boyfriend (after) who dated for 6 months and took advantage of me by spiking a drink and sexually assaulting me at a party - I broke up with him the next few days, but felt completely powerless about myself between the seizures/sexual assault and everyone being upset with me.

I started therapy for my original ED problems, but was hesitant to do anything, and quit after 3 sessions, my bulimia convinced me I needed it more than to recover. I had to change something so that my eating didnt wind me in the hospital because my parents (very loving) were "over worried" for me. I genuinely didn't see any problem. So instead of my night binges and starvation throughout the day, I changed my eating to being normal throughout the day (maybe slightly smaller), slight more exercise, and resist binging as much as possible. I had already gained X pounds from the binge/purge cycle since my lowest weight - I was NOT going to gain any more. I wanted to lose X pounds before school started. I got a job that kept me on my feet (waitressing/cooking) and found that this didn't trigger me too much - to my surprise, and it kept me busy.

The job actually made food look utterly unappealing, which helped, because then I had less of an urge to binge, but not for long. My brother (angel-to-dad) came home and I started receiving more harsh comments/ridicule like I always had when he had lived at home with us. This set me off again and instead of losing the X pounds, I GAINED X or X pounds - and I was disgusted with myself. I hated that weight, and I hated the binging. Another few months had passed and it was school time - which I took as my opportunity to skip lunches/breakfasts - when I safely could. This would help me lose the X pounds, it had to! At this point I was back to binging every day at least once or twice and purging whenever possible (when parents were gone) and I was depressed that everyone was still so much smaller than me - even though I was slightly underweight.

I continued the habit of eating 2 lunches a week and 3 to 5 breakfasts - small ones - for a year, and still no change in weight. I now am X lbs higher than my lowest weight and wish I could just lose those X pounds and get under my mark, but it's not happening. I enjoy exercise, it's not a chore, but really I don't know whether I want to recover or not. I know that it would be better for my health, happiness, and well-being if I recovered,but I'm not sure if I want to - I'm terrified of not having my bulimia to rely on, because it's one thing that's ALWAYS been there.

Thank you all for listening, I hope you are safe and find great support if you are seeking
God Bless xx.. Weesa.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program