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I've heard that the worst part of recovery is not knowing whether or not you want to recover. And I can't explain how true that is.

I can't say exactly how this all started because I honestly don't have any idea. How a simple diet became a chaotic mess of, essentially, self-hate - no matter how much I hate admitting it. Eating disorders feed off of self-hate. It's how they manage to control our lives.

Well, anyway, I'm 17. About a year ago I had decided to lose some weight. Nothing major. Just a teenager looking to shed a few pounds for summer. Typical, right? I always thought so. I started with cutting out carbs, and it was working. I felt lighter and cleaner all through my body. The pounds were shedding. And before I knew it, it became an obsession. No basic carbs, like bread and pasta, became "xg of carbs in that bar? Never eating a granola bar ever again". And just like that more and more foods became forbidden. Bread, pasta, cereal, milk, non-diet juices, peanut butter, jelly, ice cream, pastries and desserts, cookies, crackers, chocolate, candy, the damn list never ended. I wouldn't eat out at restaurants anymore, or in front of people. i'd workout for 4-5 hours a day. I would wake up to a breakfat of black coffee and walk for around an hour in the blazing sun. id come home to an hour of pilates and a whole ab routine. id shower and then when my mother got home we'd go to the gym and id workout for another two hours and come home to the same pilates and abs routine and most days id go on another night-walk after my dinner which was either nothing or a plain salad of simply lettuce and carrots with black pepper. I didn't even notice these things as abnormal. I was losing weight and my scale was all I could see.

Two months after this insanity I broke. Just one night. When everyone went to bed I had just one single m & m. And then it was like i shut off. Before I knew it, all my forbidden foods and caloric restrictions were nesting in my tummy, my small, shrunken, protesting in horror, tummy. And it was like my brain already knew it: just throw up. And I did. It was hard and disgusting and I hated myself for it. But I came out with an empty little stomach again. I didn't think I'd give into such a feeling again, but for the next week I starved, binged, purged and starved some more. And I was just maintaining my weight. But I was disgusted and spent an entire night awake once because my body reused to sleep without that binge. But I didn't want to puke anymore, so I just lived with the horror.
Now what changed everything was a few weeks later when my family and I went to cancun. I was drinking on an empty stomach alld at every day for 8 days. When I ate, I through up, when I didn't eat, I threw up. I was a complete mess. The day before we left I got into a jet skiing accident. And when I came back I could barely walk. I still forced myself to the gym, injuring myself more with every step. When my doctor said I couldn't work out, I freaked. "I'm big on my weight" was all I said, laughing to seem normal. He told me it was okay, they have someone in physical therapy monitor my diet and my weight to make sure I was healthy. I felt like I was having a heart attack. Wtf. Just no. I immediately turned down the physical anything, swearing up and down to stay away from the gym. And my mom would do well to make sure I did. We all knew that.

Since I couldn't workout, and honestly, physically I was incapable of moving a muscle, my diet took a real toll. For a whole month I didn't eat anything more than a hundred calories a day. A lot of fasting and water only days. Unil I broke again. It's so overwhelming to even think about. I just couldn't do it anymore. All this no eating lost me x pounds over the course of 2 and a half months, really. (The first 2 months I was losing weight, the third I was puking and maintaining and then that last moth I maintained/lost) and then my body broke. My mind role. Idk. I was just done. I fell into this horrible cycle of starve binge purge. And I've been at it since. I any stop thinking about losing weight though ie gained. I can't stop praying to go back to my days of restriction. Even though now, after convincing myself for a whole year that every thing I was doing was normal and every teenage girl did it, I know all this Dallas under the world of eating disorders, I still want to go back to not eating. I hate binging. I hate losing control. I hate purging. I feel disgusting. Idk when I started hating myself so much. I used to believe I was beautiful. Worth the space I took up in the world. Idk what changed.

I wish I could just stop binging and purging. Recovery is so difficult, I both envy and congratulate each and every one of the lucky people who were able to achieve it<3 and my empathy is with all the ones still struggling. I know it isn't easy, so I hope you're all doing a lot better than me. I've only been stuck here for a year, I can't imagine what all you strong, amazing people have gone through. Hearing this website owner's 10 year struggle makes me realize how so many have you been struggling for god knows how long, and you've made it this far. Your body wants to live, and you should let it. You're all strong and it's not just that you "can" recover - its that you honestly DESERVE it.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program