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I beat bulimia... So Can You

by Christina
(Boston)

My bulimia started around the age of 12. I remember before it became serious I had two bulimic moments that I was able to just brush off my shoulders. The first time I was at my grandparents house and I ate a ton of mashed potatoes.. I felt disgustingly fat and throwing it up seemed like such a simple, easy way out of this fat feeling. So I went to the bathroom and threw it up. That was the end of it. I told my mom and made a big thing about it but it just blew over. Another time I ate an entire bag of reese's and threw it up .. and this was probably a couple years after my first binge. Anyway.. I was on the phone with my friends that night and I told them about it and this kid was like "Why would you do that? You still get all the fat and calories anyway..." As I was telling them I was looking at my stomache from the side in the mirror thinking about what a great job I had done.. then, in an instant, my thoughts were "Shit, he's right."

That was the end of it that night.. then somewhere, somehow.. it resurfaced with a vengeance. I was at school and I had eaten some french fries and all I wanted to do was get it out of my system! I got up without telling my friends and went to the bathroom to puke it out. While I was trying one of my friends had tip-toed into the bathroom, heard me, left and grabbed the rest of my friends, so when I came out of the stall they were all standing there.. watching me. It was horrible. They all stopped being my friends and told my boyfriend at the time about it so he broke up with me. They spread rumors, everyone hated me and I was so lonely.. which only made it worse.

I worked out every night, ate whatever the hell I wanted, and felt so unbelievably good. I was on top of the world. I could stuff my face with food, and look thinner the next day. Most of the stories I read talk about gaining weight, but I got myself down to X pounds... I wanted to lose more. I didn't even have to stick my fingers down my throat. I pushed on my stomach, and eventually all I had to do was bend over and it would come out. I threw up anywhere..

It got really bad.

I had a trash bag in my room FILLED with throw up.. it was bags upon bags just to make sure it would not leak. My room stunk. It was time to get rid of the bag.. It must have been 200 pounds. I couldn't even lift it. It was the morning trash had to be taken out and it needed to go. I woke up my sister and told her really quickly what had happened. She jumped out of bed and came to help me. We lifted the bag into a laundry basket, got it down my hallway, then the basket pierced the bag and it spilled everywhere! I ran outside and grabbed a trash barrel, and my sister helped me.. with her own HANDS.. pick up the puke. We made it outside with the bag and dragged it to the curb. After I took a shower I watched from the window to watch the garbage men take it. They didn't. They had attempted to lift it, couldn't, and then left it.. I was stuck. I had to tell.

My mom's dad had passed away around that time. This was so selfish of me.. I thought to myself "Well, since she's so upset about my grandfathers passing, she can't be mad at me for this." I told her and she was speechless. I hated myself for it. I didn't know what to do. I sat there with her at the kitchen table. I remember the look on her face and the questions she asked me.. I had never seen my mom so sad. I never told my dad because he was a crazy, scary alcoholic, but he did manage to find out. And completely made it seem like nothing. He cleaned my room for me one day while I was at school. I came into my room and immediately started to cry. All my bags of throw up, containers, empty food bags .. gone. He came into my room and told me he understood it was a phase and that it's something everyone goes through. I wanted to slap him. He had NO idea what I was going through and how mortified I was.

I started high school and convinced everyone that my boney body was not bulimic and that I was strong enough to recover all by myself. Wrong. I was incredibly sneaky and an unbelievable liar. I impressed and scared myself at the same time. I can lie myself through anything.

Four years later, after I graduated I decided it was time to get healthy. I picked up a vegan diet and worked out everyday. It was great.. No binging or purging, I looked great and I was happy and healthy. I had a few slip ups here and there, but who doesn't during recovery? Well, this was no recovery. Three months later I slipped back into my hole and it was worse than ever. I was extremely depressed, packed on more weight, I hated everything about myself, I wasn't pretty or skinny, I felt dumb and convinced myself that my boyfriend was the person I was supposed to be with forever and that I could not do any better. And I hated being with him. It was the relationship where people would look at me and say "What the hell is she doing with him..." But that's not what I saw.

I spent most of my time sleeping so I couldn't eat or think about eating. My boyfriend at the time convinced my mom I needed help. I got into therapy and here I am, six months later.. clean. I haven't had one slip up in six months. I found out how to not carry the pain of others, I got out of the annoying, boring relationship I was in for five years and now I'm with someone who takes me to a level of happiness that I didn't know was possible, and I quit the jobs that made me miserable and now I'm at a place where I enjoy working. Carrying the pain of others was the main cause of my bulimia. I carried the pain of my crazy father. I felt bad for him cus his alcoholism is indeed a sickness and addiction, so I know how he feels. I have two brothers and a sister.. my dad used to beat up my brother and I, verbally, physically and emotionally, but I still forgave him after everytime. No one else would.. So when he wasn't being crazy he always came to me. I was the mediator in the family. Growing up around him I was also scared to speak up for myself. I held in all my pain and emotions. Today I now know how to let go of his sadness and speak up for myself. And it's powerful.

School was also a trigger for my bulimia. I was at a place I hated. Full of eyes.. In school and to this day I still think that people are judging me and critizing everything about me. I care way too much about what people think.. I also freak out when I feel "dumb". So being at a place where full of people and where I was prone to feel dumb, I needed something to escape to.. and there was my friend Bulimia. Always there waiting for me with open friggan arms.. I stopped going to school, maybe I will go back one of these days.. but for now it's not in my plans. I am much happier without it.

This story isn't even a fraction of what I had to go through in my life to get where I am today, but FINALLY, after EIGHT years, I have found happiness and health, and everyday I get better and better. I hope my story will be inspirational to someone. You all can do it :)

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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