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Is this really happening?

by Katie
(South Carolina)

As a child, I was always very thin. I have a twin sister who has always been larger than me. My whole childhood, I was always being told how thin I was and how people were jealous of my body. I took great pride in these compliments, as I was a shy kid with low self-esteem. When I was 13, I was diagnosed with depression. I had begun living a daily cycle of school, eating, and laying on the couch until time for bed, and then repeat that cycle daily. I was miserable, and I was noticeably gaining weight throughout my waist (I was also in puberty, which did not help). I was embarrassed of my body. I noticed that nobody was calling me skinny anymore, and nobody was complimenting my body like they used to. I was ashamed to wear anything form-fitting. This continued on until I was about 15 years old, and I just couldn't take it anymore. I began to starve myself and counting calories down to the amount of calories in each piece of gum I chewed. I had no energy whatsoever, and I started having to go home sick regularly because I would pass out in school. My parents noticed and began monitoring my eating until I had somewhat recovered. I started exercising regularly and eating a healthier diet. But all of that changed after a few months when I realized that I felt like I was gaining weight. I thought I had run out of options, and I was obsessive over my stomach and the way it looked. Still age 15, I became a "party girl." I went off the deep end with drinking and smoking pot. I turned into an awful person that fought with everyone, including my parents and my siblings, and I would sneak out regularly to party. Having to go home from parties and trick my mom and stepdad into thinking I was sober meant that I had to take preventative methods to sober up, which included forcing myself to puke up all of the alcohol I had consumed. When I would get up in the morning, I would feel thinner. I realized that puking helped me lose weight. Now, I have never been the "binge an purge" type. I would throw up after every meal, no matter how small. The feeling of any food in my stomach was sickening. People have begun complimenting my body again and telling me how skinny I am, and I am feeding off of these compliments. I am 18 and in college now, and it is extremely difficult to hide bulimia from two roommates and three suitemates, all sharing one bathroom. I decided to lie and tell them that I have a condition that causes me to get sick often, just in case any of them ever heard me throwing up. This is the lie that they continue to believe to this day. The reason I decided to write this story is because last night, I was hospitalized for dehydration. I had just thrown up what little I had had for dinner - a Clif bar and a handful of fruit snacks - before walking to my evening class. While walking there, I nearly passed out, but I didn't pay it any attention as it is a common feeling for me. This feeling, though, lasted for hours, until I finally had actually passed out in front of some girls. I was taken to the emergency room and treated for dehydration, but I refused to tell anyone that I had thrown up. My roommate even asked me if I had held down my dinner, and I told her that I had. I never thought I would get this deep into bulimia. I thought I would be able to stop when I got my ideal body, but I realize now that I will probably never be fully satisfied with the way I look. I have told one person about my bulimia, but I have kind of put it on the back burner with that person because I do not want him to feel the need to carry my burden. I realize more and more each day that I need help, and I hope that one day I will find the courage to get the help that I need before it's too late. Because nothing scares me more than the thought of my mama having to bury her baby because of a disease she didn't know that I had. Thanks for letting me rant.

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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