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funny how falling feels like flying (for a little while)

by Christina

I don't really know how to write this so I'll just try and write whatever comes into my mind. I'm really ashamed of that and I've never told anyone that much about my secret...

It's not really a story to get courage or hope from because I haven't really achieved anything yet in my fight against bulimia. But I hope it can help someone - maybe the thoughts about the future like "You have to decide: Recovery - or suffering for the rest of your like" can help somebody - it was that thought which made me decide for revovery. Sorry for spelling or grammar mistakes - I'm from Germany ;)

I'm 15 years old and I don't really remember how long I've been bulimic. I don't know WHY either. In many bulimia cases, a pressure for success is a reason. It's never been like that in my family. .

At first, I think I was 12 years old, it started with vomiting on purpose because I felt sick - I was ill and I felt sick so I decided to try to get rid of my food because I thought it might help against the pain in my stomach. It worked but it was disgusting. I never thought about using this trick for losing weight but I was already in a stage when I felt too fat.

It was in January 2008, when I was on a skiing vacation with my class from school. I've had too much for dinner so I went upstairs to our bathroom and I managed to get rid of everything I had eaten (I had done it several times before). But one of my classmates had followed me to the room and so she heard me vomiting and called the teacher! But I simply said I was sick. I don't know if she believed me but she never talked about it again so I guess my lie had worked. When I realized that hiding it was so easy, I finally had an idea: "If I watch out and do it just sometimes, I won't get bulimic but it's a good trick to keep myself from getting fat..."
I did it like that for some months, my parents never realized since I used to vomit during taking a shower - they couldn't hear it.

After some months, I didn't do it anymore. I thought I was done with that shit. It was ok, I was content with my look.

Then had my confirmation. I wanted to be beautiful and the dress which I had picked was a little too small so I did a vegetable and cabbage soup diet but it wasn't enough so I remembered about the purging trick and did it again. It worked but soon after my confirmation I had the weight back that I had before the diet...But I didn't mind. I wasn't fat at all, I was totally normal so I just continued eating normally, doing sports etc.

In Fall 2009, I guess it was the beginning of September, I had eaten too much at a barbecue party so I went to the toilet to get rid of the food. And the day after, it happened again. And the day after that day, it happened again. And so on. Soon I said to myself when I was eating too much "Hey, whatever, you can eat as much as you want, you won't get fat from it" so I started to eat with the intention of spilling it out again.

And I guess this was that moment when I decided "for" bulimia. This idea of eating with an INTENTION to vomit afterwards, that was the big mistake.

I lost about Xkg in 4 weeks. I was happy and I felt beautiful - I got compliments and one girl even called me 'too skinny' and I loved that!

I WAS SO HAPPY, so proud of my new look (even although I wasn't proud of the way I had achieved it). I had had a slender figure before so there was really a difference visible by a loss of Xkg.

But one day, a friend of mine realized that something was wrong and she didn't stop asking me what was wrong and suddenly I burst out in tears and told her everything. She said "Either you go to see a therapist or I'll tell your parents"...I went to the therapist. Talking to the therapist didn't help me at all - because ONE talking session probably doesn't help much and I couldn't stand the therapist from the first second I saw her. Don't know why, I just didn't like her. She told me to eat. The only thing that mattered is that I keep the food inside. I guess I took that too literally - Christmas came and the Christmas cookies came and after Christmas, I had gained 7 or 8 kg! I hated myself for that but I swore myself to never vomit on purpose again. (Apparently, I wasn't really addicted yet because otherwise I couldn't have stopped that easily...)

In April or May 2010, I told my two best friends about it. They had been pissed because I always talked about other people's weight and they said I was obsessed with that topic. So I explained to them and they were shocked but offered me their help.

I also told my mother but she didn't do anything except blaming herself and controlling me all the time. Some weeks later, she was sick of that and just yelled at me because my eating behavior was annoying her so much. What else should she have done? She was overwhelmed with my behavior.

In February 2011, it got really bad again. I've been playing in a Musical and I wanted to do it perfectly. The choreographer who I admired very much, had never said I wasn't good enough but I wanted to prove to her that I was the best of the group. But I wasn't...someday, we went to her studio for a dance lesson and I did so badly that day so I got paniced I'd mess it up at the premiere. Since I had been hungry for ages, I ate a bread with cheese when I came home and when I took the first bite, I knew I would go to the toilet afterwards. So I ate more and more and got rid of all of it. I kept doing this every evening until the premiere of our Musical and I realized that it had become a valve to let my fear and negative emotions out. It wasn't about weight anymore - it was about feeling better after puking. It was about feeling empty, and 'empty' was a good feeling. It was like a relief.

It got better and it got worse, better and worse and so on. It came and went in waves...but it was always about feeling better, not about weight. When I had had a fight with my parents, or a bad mark in school or any other negative thing, I went back to binging & vomiting.

In May 2011, my best friend was worried because she had the suspicion that I was in a bulimic phase (I felt sick after eating and I often felt dizzy) she asked our theater director to talk to me, to give me "a kick in the ass" to make me "wake up" and search for help. That might sound weird but we used to have a very close relation to our director. During the time before the premiere, we used to see her so many hours a day - I used to talk to her more than to my mother (and frankly I also trust her more than my own mother, that's crazy but it's just she knows so much about me and she's changed my whole life with that talk).

I was afraid of the talk but it wasn't as terrible as expected (But it was the most embarrassing talk I've ever had in my whole life!) She was very sensitive and caring but also told me that there was just option A and option B: A is making a change and recovering and B is going on like I did before, still vomiting in 20 years when I have children, when I'm at work, when I have a serious relationship, when I have a family...always. She said, I had to make a decision. She said, people with self-respect don't kneel down in front of a toilet and stick their finger into their throat until they're bleeding. She said, it was so sad that I hated myself enough to do that. These words were hard, really - but it worked!

And that was the moment when I realized: THERE IS JUST A AND B, I have to decide. And I want to CHANGE something. I had never thought that a simple talk could change so much but it did. I will do my best for recovery - for the people who care about me, for my two best friends who love me and worry about my health, for my future and...for myself.

There are some things and people that keep me moving on - and, a TIP FOR YOU, maybe it can help you, too: I have filled a rescue box with some things which distract me when I know I'm close to binging: I open the box and look at the things. Inside that box, there are letters from friends and a letter to myself which tells me to stay strong and keep fighting, a vanilla scent candle because vanilla scent can stop a sudden appetite, a cigarette (in case I don't have any others anymore; sometimes smoking works to keep me from binging), chewing gum, a list of activities for distraction (jogging, other sports, shopping, calling a friend etc.) and lots of photos of the people I love. I've read about many people who also have such a box and I can really recommend it. It has helped me several times.


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Article by Shaye Boddington
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