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My Circle of Doubt

by Esage

As of now, I can see that the root of my problem began when I was young. I was a chubby kid, but not obese, until the years of restricted outside play and poor diet caught up to me which then caused me to fit into that overweight demographic.

I would be teased a lot by family and kids my age as I gained the weight in the ignorance of childhood(my mother would even scorn my being overweight while she had mood-swing spells). It never occurred to me that my mother was on drugs until I was 11 years old, while visiting family out of state to attend my mother's father's funeral. That revelation explained a lot but I still was too young and naïve to realize it. I just cried at the news because my mother was crying.

Although my mother was a loving mother, her substance dependence got in the way of proper parenting. I would stay inside while my cousins could go outside and play. My cousins were trouble-makers, so my mother didn't want me to go out of the yard with them. Many a time she would be in her room while I watched television or found some way to bide my time as a child would normally do. She would send me to the restaurant down the street to buy fast-food for us to eat more often than she should have. I would always get the grilled cheese special or chili-cheese fries.

As I grew into adolescence the teasing for me being chubby and wearing glasses took it's toll on me in spite of my outward stoicism. I adopted an anti-social demeanor and spent most of my time in my room playing video-games or using the computer. I was generally depressed and ate less while spending more time whisking away my sorrows playing video games online for a whole summer before I began high-school. My peak weight was X in middle-school while only standing little less than 5'4" (I would often even steal from the lunch-line although I had PE class just afterwards). Before the end of my 8th grade year my mom was scheduled to attend a rehabilitation center for her substance abuse; although she never went, the prospect of her leaving made me emotional.

It wasn't until I was in high-school that I began losing weight which was a mixture of puberty and me locking myself away in my room not eating as much as before; I was more transfixed with the social interactions I had with people on my online games. My mom would often condemn me for it and I would cry more often then not in silence. You could say a shed X pounds over a summer from tears alone.

One day my mom told me how she used to throw her food up and that now sometimes it would regurgitate automatically, I never took much more thought to it other that it being a normal thing that SHE had done(spitting food into a napkin and then throwing it out). It didn't change me at the time (or so I though), but what I didn't know is that it was the first seed planted in my brain that caused me to even think of resorting to that. I even had a health class my first year of high-school that taught us of eating disorders and that didn't phase me either; I always just expected to grow out of my "baby fat".

Fast forward to my junior year of high-school, I was no longer the chubby kid that entered high-school, but I did have some meat on me that made me feel uncomfortable, but I still had not resorted to self-induced regurgitation. I moved to another city with my mother's cousin so she could actually got to a rehab center, but she still never went although I made the move to my cousin's. I made friends with my neighbor quite-fast since we both were into similar musical subculture. I started going out with his girlfriend's friend; she was very slim. Once day she revealed to me that she would throw up, I still didn't think too hard on it. After her and I broke up I adopted a vegetarian diet because I was tired of being forced to eat what my cousin's wife made for dinner(which emphasized meat). After school, I would often go to the park to drink beer instead of staying in to have the unappetizing dinner she provided. In spite of all of this, I was always one to get my work for school done way before I had my fun, I could say I can thank my OCD for that, but I'm not here to talk about OCD and neuroticism.

Up to that point, two times I have been confronted with people that resorted to vomiting and yet I still had no urge to do so in spite of my being picked on for being chubby before that time, and although I wasn't skinny I was no longer that fat kid(but in my mind I still saw myself as chubbier than I should be... 'if it weren't for my misguided diet as a child', I would often think to myself).

My cousin kicked me out of the house for drinking and taking a poisonous plant. I was back to living with my mom, Then I started to date a girl who was vegetarian as well, and one day while we were hanging out she made a comment that suggested she would throw up(this girl was older than me, so I looked up to her in a way, I was only 16 and she was 19). It wasn't until after her and I broke up that I first began to throw up my own meals, and it felt good to have that control over my weight, so much more easier than just dieting and waiting longer for the results. I would start to exercise and barf up all that seemed unhealthy to me. It became a minor habit.

Let us speed up to date, I am 21 years old now and I am 5'6" with a weight of X, my lowest being X. Being X scared me so I gave myself the freedom to gain a little cushion weight so as not to alert anyone, but even that hasn't stopped people from suspecting. I've had a female friend who I lived with once that shared the same binge-purge problem. Her and I had a kinship that I've felt with no one else. And the both of us have tried multiple times to kick the habit, but what I realize now is that depression and emotional instability is what the real tic is in which causes me to binge-purge.

I have thrown up and starved myself after failed relationships and emotionally traumatic arguments. From the surface, people would think I was a normal person with a slim figure. But I have harbored inside me, repressed emotions that date back to when I was a child and those are what fuel my self-destructive habits. I would say the peak of it was when I nearly killed myself by slitting my wrist with a broken bottle glass shard. I was hospitalized and sent to the mental hospital. Although I tried telling the doctors about my bulimia, they didn't even listen to me about it and just diagnosed me as 5152 (harmful to self) without even giving a thought to what I was trying to confess, they ignored my plea for help.

The whole time I stood at the mental hospital I did not binge and I actually felt good about it. I liked the order of things; how we had set meal times which made it hard for me to stray and overeat. I realized My problem was having control and being at the hospital, all of the control was in their hands. It was a love/hate thing for me in that aspect only.

Sometimes when I'm with friends I feel irritated and frustrated that I am forced to eat the same crap that they do in order to put up a normal façade for them which then resorts me to falling back into purging. The only time I am able to keep my illness at bay is when I have a healthy exercise and diet routine... but once it is broken I fall back into that spiral. The only people to have noticed my "illness" are those who can relate or have suffered from it aswell. I still try to kick the habit, but sometimes at the end of the day I fall back into it and fall asleep with an empty stomach with minimal sustenance for overnight digestion.

Telling my story on here has made me feel somewhat better about it, as if I am taking a step into recovery. But even just before I wrote this I had thrown up-not because I wanted to but because now it sometimes comes up by itself-and even if I eat healthy food it even comes up by itself. It seems like now my stomach can only take in a little at a time lest it exceeds the threshold of keeping it down. Also, just recently I have noticed my hearing is a little shot, which must undoubtedly stem from throwing up more than 3 times a day when I fall into the habit.

I know my body is being destroyed by my habits and I tell myself I can stop, but it is harder to actually not succumb when I am not in healthy mode. I abhor gatherings that deal with food, because I feel pressured to eat what everyone else is eating in order to hide my eating disorder. I can go on and on, but I feel I have said enough to convey my message. I only wrote this to vent the frustration with myself and to get my mind off of purging again. I will try once again to kick the habit. Wish me luck, please.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program