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It rules my life, but I don't want it to take it from me.

by Paris

I've suffered from bulimia for over thirteen years.

I have always had a desire to be thinner. For me, being thin represents being strong and successful. I love my food, so by depriving myself of all of the foods that comfort me and make me happy, I'm strong. I'm in control of my life. I can feel emotionally stable as long as my diet is under control.

The problem is, like most bulimics, I starve too much. Then I end up eating something, such as an extra Riveta, and I am so filled with guilt and regret, that I go on a huge binge. And then throw it all up. Then binge again because my stomach begs for food after being sick. Once this happens, I can't regain control for three or four days.

When I have these horrible periods, I can't leave my house. My friends can't see me, or my boyfriend, because I can't let them see how weak I really am. I find myself disgusting because I know that I must look sick and in my mind I've gained so much weight. I feel horrific. I can't do anything constructive. I can't study or speak to my friends on the phone. I can't do anything other than let bulimia take hold of me, chew me up, spit me out, and then somehow I learn to pick myself up and make it go away for a few days. I'm going through one of those periods at the moment, and hoping Shaye's site can help me, as it once did in the past.

I read a story of a teacher on this website, who felt as though she had to be strong for everybody else. That is just like me. I'm the one everyone comes to help for; the one people forget to ask ''Are you okay?'' to, because they think I have all the answers. I'm also training to be a teacher. It seems relevant to me that people don't realise that it's actually the seemingly strong and successful people in life that are struggling with issues like eating disorders, and most people are none the wiser. And don't notice. I know bulimia is a secretive disorder, but it scares me more that we go unnoticed, most of the time.

My main fears are 1) dying and 2) losing all my teeth. I have already lost one large back molar to bulimia, and had the other three completely reconstructed with filling material because they were burned out of my mouth. I sometimes dream that all of my teeth fall out into the palm of my hand. I once shoved a toothbrush so far down my throat that I almost lost it and I truly thought I was going to choke to death.

I'm really scared of having a heart attack, too. When I'm led in bed at night, my heart beats so fast and I get really anxious, petrified I'll have a heart attack. I went to the doctors today and a nurse has given me some anti-anxiety tablets just to ease it for the time being.

I've tried therapy (two different therapists) and it really didn't help me. But reading Shaye's website one day about a year ago whilst I was at work, really hit home. I printed out the booklet and filled it all in and cried at how similar her story sounded to mine.

It makes me feel less lonely and less of a freak when I read other people's stories, so I thought I'd share mine too. I hate being bulimic and I just want to be normal. But I'm scared to gain weight.

It's such a sad life living with bulimia, but hopefully, we will all get better some day, and help each other to do so.

I'm not afraid to say my name because I want to be able to speak about my bulimia instead of pretending that it doesn't exist in my life. I do want to get better and if people who know me see my name on this website, then so be it, they should respect my bravery in such an embarrassing and shameful subject to me. I hope everyone can get better someday, this website is really helpful. (Thank you Shaye). xxxx



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

The Bulimia Recovery Program