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My Secret

I'm 23 years old and I've been bulimic for 6 years now, and it feels like for ever. There have been periods with in those 6 years that I stopped the vicious cycle for awhile, though I usually ate excessively during this time (which caused me to gain weight b/c I wasn't purging) or I barely ate anything at all. But for the past 2 years I've been binging and purging incessantly. It feels like there is nothing in my life but this disease. I'm completely addicted to food. Food is my best friend and my worst enemy. I use food when I'm sad or happy, anxious or scared. And I can't stop at just a little food. Once I get a taste I go all out. I get so excited when I start imagining a binge and purge episode. I think about what I'm going to eat, and what I'll eat after that, and after that.... I'm excited when I'm preparing the food, and when I start to eat it. But when I'm finished with the food, I begin to feel really scared. And all I can think is that I have to get the food out of me. I have a very specific routine where I'll binge, then I'll drink some water, and then I'll go into the bathroom at which point I wash my hands (before sticking them down my throat), then I keep the water on so that my mom won't hear me throw up (I live with her) or I'll pretend like I'm taking a shower. and then I bend over and throw up over and over again until it's all out. When I'm done my eyes are all puffy, and I have noticeable red spots on my face from broken blood vessels. The worst side effects are the swollen glands on my neck. They're practically always there and they look really gross. If I saw those on a person I would assume that they were bulimic. When I'm done I wash my face and swish some mouth wash, and then exit the bathroom like what i just did was completely normal. What's sad is that this is what's normal in my life. I wonder how many times I have completed this routine. I'm sure the number would be horrific. The hardest times are when I'm not alone, and I have to sneak off and get rid of the food. I've thrown up at work and at friends' houses, and no one has ever noticed. At least I hope they haven't. It's weird that I've gotten away with it for so long, because I would immediately recognize the signs in someone else. I've never ever told anyone about my bulimia b/c I don't think that someone who has never gone through it could understand. I'm totally ashamed. I know that it's disguising, but it feels like a part of me now. Like this is who I am. I never used to imagine having this disease all my life; I thought that I was in control. But now, 6 years later, It's getting harder for me to imagine a life bulimia free. How am I going to stop this? I'm always throwing up, but sometimes I eat a lot and I'm not somewhere where I can throw up, so I have to keep it inside. These are the times that I gain weight, and when that happens I totally freak out. I make sure that I starve myself for about a week so that I can lose the weight. Even when I'm starving myself I still purge about a twice a day. I always lose the weight, but I can never maintain it. I am 5' 1" and am usually anywhere from X pounds to X. All I want is to be thin! I feel like if I can just reach my goal weight then everything would be perfect (I would be perfect) But every time I lose the weight, I sabotage myself and gain it back. I'm constantly looking in the mirror, pinching my fat, examining every little area of my body (or big area rather). It makes me so unhappy to see all those things wrong with my body, and when I'm losing weight I feel happy; I feel like I'm accomplishing something. I want people to look at me and think "wow she's skinny". When I'm fat I feel completely uncomfortable! But half the time I am fat, and the other half of the time I'm just a little fat. I'm way too scared to tell anyone, but I know that I can't go on this way. I don't want to measure my self worth by the size of jeans that I can fit into. But this is all I know. I really do like myself; I think I'm cool and funny and smart. But I don't feel like I've ever accomplished anything real except for losing weight. Sometimes I feel like a recluse; like I'm hiding from everything and everyone. The truth is I AM A LIAR. I lie every day/ about my disease and who I really am. This disease has held me back in so many ways and I feel like I'm going to wake up one day, and I'm going to be an old woman and still have this disease. I really need help!

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program