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My Bulimia Story... living with it

by Melanie
(Sydney, Australia)

Living with it ...

To escape hospitalisation, I put on a marginal amount of weight and committed to psychotherapy and anti depressants. I also started a new job, uni and met some new friends. Things improved. People thought because I put on weight and progressed beyond the morbid phase of the illness that I had recovered. A part of me did recover – I could function again and while I wasn’t crippled by the disease anymore - part of it stayed. The underlining thought patterns lingered and influenced my behaviour. Whilst I was displaying signs of having recovered the truth was I couldn’t shake the desire to be thin or escape some of the negative thoughts that I had about certain types of food. My other problem was that my interest in food had been reignited. I might have recovered from chronic depression co morbid with anorexia but I was still bulimic and terrified of giving it up. This is when I started ‘living with it’
For the last 9 ½ years I have been ‘living with it’ In a way I went underground - during this time I have spent this time riding the waves of bulimia, sometimes it seems to subside and other times its terrible. You’re like a functioning drug addict. Your well enough and unaffected enough to go to work, have relationships, perform normal tasks – hell you even believe that your ok. But it’s still there, in the back of your mind, rearing its ugly head once a day – once a week. Its inconsistent – sometimes it’s bad sometimes it’s ok. You live with it. You are living with it.

I would wait for people to leave the house and go crazy binging, Easter, birthday parties and Christmas time were nightmares – temptation everywhere. I would steal my sisters Easter eggs and – im sure they knew what was going on but didn’t want to believe it.
I would engage in this kind of behaviour for many reasons; boredom, sadness, stress, happiness, or even just for something to do – I would do it for any or reason or none at all and that has made understanding why I did it so hard. Over the years I have felt so many emotions about this as well; I have felt sad, depressed, hopeless, desperate, happy, stressed, hopeful, determined, angry, hungry, tired, jealous and lost, disconcerted from my mind, disconnected from my body, there are times that I have felt utterly INSANE.

I have seen several councillors over the years and addressed other issues in my life but always danced around this. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I had a problem – I just didn’t think it was that big of a deal anymore. In a way I had resided to the fact that I was stuck living with it – I couldn’t imagine a life without it. To be honest I was terrified of living without it. What if I got fat? How will enjoy food and be thin? How can I eat all that I want to eat and not want to throw up? I won’t be able to do it. I don’t want to do it. How could I do it???

In a strange way I have lived with this for so long now that it has been a companion to me, at times a shitty one, at times something that I am more than comfortable living with. I had resided to comfortably coexisting with it and I didn’t think that it was having any affect on me anymore until recently….

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program