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food-my drug

by angie

Dear shaye

I discovered your website a few days ago after yet another binge/purge session. Feeling desperate and disgusted as always, i started googling bulimia with the hope of just finding SOMETHING that might be able to help me and i found your wonderful website :) i have spent the past few days reading your story, everybodys else's stories and trying to dig really deep within myself to find exactly what im feeling and be able to put it into words. I've been stuffing my negative feelings away with food and then chukking them down the toilet (or in the bushes, packets, bowls, the kitchen sink etc..) for so long now i sometimes think ive forgotten how to deal with my emotions at all! yesterday i was upset about something-normally i would have gone straight to the fridge but i was back on your website and it helped to distract me for a bit.i downloaded your 10 points for recovery to read later in the evening, all the while grappling with myself about how a good binge/purge would make me feel so much better!and then i got home and something amazing happened-i started crying! i havent done that in soooo long and even though i was upset, it felt so damn good all at the same time. i didnt b/p, read your advice and felt so inspired. reading your story, as well as all the others and realising im not alone has really helped me to feel more at peace. i had a stepmother who would at times force feed me to the point of throwing up (then make me eat it!) so i guess from a young age i lost the ability to know when i had had enough and therefore over ate quite regularly. when i hit my teens i had body issues, i was bigger than most of my friends and it bothered me. i had a friend(who was a guy)who definately went down the road of anorexia and it was devastating to watch-i definately didn't want to do that to myself-or my family/friends either!i had weight fluctuations from a few radical dieting sessions but i always went back to the food-it filled the void i was feeling from living in a broken and loveless family.i was regularly told how stupid, selfish and useless i was-that i really was just a burden, a mistake and not worth the air that i breathed.i had my stepmother, who most definately was overweight, tell me regularly i was fat-in fact the only one time i ever recall her telling me she was proud of me was after another radical weight loss session!!but i went back to the food and the weight came back.the first time i threw up was just after my 19th birthday-i remember it as clear as day. i recall watching a documentry about bulimia and after baking my brother a birthday cake and scoffing nearly half of the batter and icing, i thought id give the purging a try. it was painful and traumatic....but i felt exceptionally empowered. i finally felt like i was in control of SOMETHING in my life. it just got worse from there. i went on to train as a chef. all that food really spun me out at the best of times but i still managed to graduate top of my class!!i will be 31 in a couple of weeks time and bulimia is still very much a part of my life. im still cheffing and have actually managed to make a pretty successful career out of it. cooking and seeing other people enjoy my creations brings me much joy and i really hope that one day soon i will truly be able to share in that joy instead of just pretending all the time. i have had a few times when ive gone without b/p for weeks at a time and im a different person-the type of person i really want to be. full of life, with a smile for everyone and a genuine spring in my step. no constant heartburn, no aching throat and teeth, no shakiness and headaches, no feeling of being completely alone in this big bad world or paranoia that someone will discover my dirty secret. i have days where the shame is over whelming- ive shop lifted food, stolen money from employers, stolen food from friends homes, dug food out of dustbins and spent goodness knows how many hours of my life with my head in the toilet. i think the pain of my past and the shame is what keeps on driving me back to bulimia and im hoping that by just typing this out and continuing to share my stories and other peoples experiences through your website is what i need in order to put the past behind me and be able to forgive myself and learn to love myself again. im tired of pushing people away and feeling like i dont belong because of my secret. ive been watching lots of clips about others peoples battles with bulimia and i feel nothing but sympathy for them-i want to reach out and hug them and tell them everything will be okay, so why cant i be that kind to myself?? i resolve to take one day at a time and to be proud for each step that i take. ive managed to keep it down to mostly just one b/p session a day-5 to 6pm are definitely the worst times for me. i resolve to accept that people will love me for who i am and not what size my jeans are. my whole life ive had a family that obsesses about weight. i want to be able to ignore their views and know im still good enough. im lucky to say that i have some pretty amazing friends:)one of them knows about my bulimia but i dont want anyone else to know. im not looking for pity and i dont want to have to explain why i do what i do to them. as i said earlier, ive had a friend go through anorexia and although i was glad to be there to support him, i dont want to deal my own problem that way. i feel i will benefit more if i can just say what im feeling to someone who understands and can relate. so, today is (almost-its only 5.15)my 3rd b/p free day in about 6 months. feeling good, this essay of mine has left me a bit tearful-but in a good way:) one day at a biggest fear is never having bulimia to turn to in times of pain again,its been such a big part of my life-forever is a long time but hopefully with patience, positive thoughts and perseverance i can be "normal"again one day and able to face my feelings head on. free of this obsession with food all the a drug addict who lives only for their next fix. thanks Shaye, for making me cry, i really appreciate it so much;-P may it be the start of a beautiful journey for me. x

Shaye Says

Hi Angie!

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with me and future readers! I know this journey is a roller coaster - but i swear that hanging in there and working through the emotions is worth it! Freedom is amazing - and you deserve it :)

Feeling your feelings is an important part of healing. Try to see your feelings as a messenger - trying to give you hints on what's not working in your life. Use these hints to change your life for the better. If we keep pushing away the messenger - we never get that message :)

Keep up your awesome work precious girl - and as I say to the girls in The Bulimia Recovery Program I run almost every day... "When you slip up - be loving and kind towards yourself. Forgive yourself and hop back on board! If you don't give up - you will succeed!"


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program