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My binge partner betrays me...

by Gemma
(Denton, TX, USA)

I was taking a shower today when my boyfriend asked, "Where are those 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies?"

I had eaten both boxes as well as an entire loaf of bread with cheese, a bowl of cereal, leftover chinese takeout, yogurt, a tub of ice cream, 3 family-size bags of chips, and several different kinds of ice cream bars. I ate everything in his apartment before throwing up twice, using suppositories to make myself go, and then exercising for an hour.

Many times, I have to go to the store to buy replacement food for his apartment. But, I'll eat the replacement food while driving back. Once I get to his place, I have to throw up and go to the store again to get more replacement food. It's humiliating.

But I can't stop once I start to eat. I always think, "Well, you already ate a cookie and are planning to vomit, so you might as well just enjoy more food before vomiting and then have a good purge and start over again."

Even though I know intellectually that my logic makes no sense, in the heat of the moment, I can talk myself into ANYTHING. I can't stop.

"You have a problem," he said when I got out of the shower. "You ate a total of 5 boxes of cookies. I didn't even get to have any," he finished.

His comment was surprising to me only because he already knows that I binge eat and throw up and go running until my feet bleed. He does it too, though not to the extent that I do.

In fact, I overate at a party once, and he stood guard outside the bathroom for me while I threw up. So, I was kind of surprised that he was saying I had a problem when he himself had confessed to having a nasty binge and purge the day before.

We have a code name for what we do - we call it "a meeting with John" or "talking to John" since "John" is another word for "toilet" here.

I've been bulimic for almost 15 years, but I've only seriously been trying to stop for about 2 years now. Before that, I embraced my eating disorder and what it gave me - a slimmer body, confidence, compliments, boyfriends, looking good in clothes, having more fun shopping, etc.

I actively sought new ways to "get better" at my disease. Now, I just really want to stop. I'm sick of my behavior, yet I keep doing it.

I thought I would get better once I dealt with all my issues. I worked through a lot of tough emotions in the past year - my mother disowning me because I quit nursing school in favor of a master's degree in journalism, moving to a different city to start my master's degree, finding a job to support myself, adjusting to life in a new and strange city, etc.

I thought I would never survive on my own, but I am doing well in my master's program, have two excellent-paying jobs that allow me to take care of myself, and I feel okay about my mother and our differing opinions. I enjoy the people I work with, I like my classmates, I have a boyfriend who understands my condition, and I like my friends - my life is so much fuller and happier than it was before. I feel secure in my identity and in my life choices. I am proud of what I've accomplished. But I STILL binge and purge.

I keep keep overeating and throwing up. I thought that once I was emotionally happy, I would stop. Yet, I haven't.

I feel like maybe I am just addicted to food.

Once I start eating, I keep going. I think about food all the time. I sometimes dream about eating and feel relieved to wake up having enjoyed food in a dream without actually eating it.

If I don't throw up, I fear I will just binge and then I'll just get fat and have binge-eating disorder instead of bulimia. I know this because that's what happened to me a couple months ago when I forced myself to stop throwing up for awhile during a recovery attempt. I couldn't stop the binge part, only the purge, and then I gained 10 pounds.

So I started fasting, vomiting, and exercising twice a day again to lose the weight I gained.

I won't lie - it feels great to have the weight coming off again. It feels good.

Well, it felt good until today, when I went off my fast and ate something and then fell into that rut of thinking, "You have to throw it up, so just eat more, enjoy the binge and then throw up." It happened to me twice today.

I feel like a failure - a failure for going off my fast today and a failure for having gained so much in the first place during that stupid recovery attempt. I want to fast again and feel clean. I feel happy that way, but I wish I didn't. I wish I could be happy doing normal stuff.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
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