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my bulimia story

by elizabeth

Hi everyone,

I just thought I'd share my story partly as its something that I've never officially faced up to, and I'm hoping that it might be cathartic to write it down, and also in case it strikes a chord with any other readers/ bulimia sufferers on this site.

I've always been able to bring up and regurgitate my food without having to stick my fingers down my throat, and it was during my early teenage years when I realised I could use this to help with dieting. It started off with eating biscuits etc and just throwing those up, but as soon as I got used to purging my food, it all started to spiral out of control and I started throwing up everything I ate, even salads and apples, as I felt so guilty that I was eating at all.

I think I developed quite a strange form of bulima, as my binges were not as extreme as they could have been or like those that I have read about. But obviously, when you start to develop any kind of 'relationship with food' caused by even normal diets, you start to lose all sense of control and I just used to try and throw up as much as possible at times. You start to develop unnatural habits of going to the toilet during courses, and often eating foods that are easier to throw up or that trigger vomiting. In my case, for example, I found that I could throw up chocolates, bread, carbohydrates, peanut butter really easily but not sugary icing or haribo candy.

The feelings after you have thrown up are just terrible: that disgust, self- hatred, guilt, acknowledgement of weakness. I felt so ashamed that I was eating all this lovely and even healthy food to throw it up when there are people starving in the world. But once you get into cycles it is so hard to break, and however hard I tried to stop, I just could never manage, as I think I was in denial about how the eating disorder was connected to other issues in all aspects of my life.

As well as the eating disorder, I also developed IBS and had constant symptoms of extreme bloating (which never helps with any body image problems!) and regular and painful stomach cramps. Im not sure whether it was a cause or effect of the bulimia but the only way not to get bloated was to eat nothing and thats when it all started to get much worse. My mum was incredibly strong and supportive and I think my relationship with her stopped my disorder from developing into anorexia but Ive never been able to actually admit to her that I have bulimia, I just vaguely mention digestive problems.

However now I have just had my 22nd birthday, and have finished uni, I feel now more than ever I have the time and the will power to finally get into a recovery program and face up to my problem, rather than pushing it to one side. I'm sure it will take a long time and many steps forward and backwards but writing this all down seems to be a good place to start.

Thankyou so much for writing the recovery program Shaye, and for sharing that and your time so generously. Your compassion and understanding is incredibly inspiring.

love x x x

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program