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Relapse again and you'll die.

by Gabi

"relapse again and you'll die". Thats what the Dr's told me (many of them) told me in my third admission to rehab abroad. I'm British and I had been sent back abroad as noone here could handle me anymore with my Bulimia (I was diagnosed as Anorexic subtype binge/purge), and drug induced mood swings. The final straw was my heart attack which I awoke from cursing G-d for not actually killing me, binging on some food, unhooking my drip and going to the loo and purging.

It started when I was 12, but I'm told my first taste of it was when I was about 6 or seven and i found myself having discovered my gag and loving the feeling so much I continued to make myself gag until i was sick. I went from being addicted to binging and purging to get rid of it, to completely addicted to purging and having to binge simply so I could purge. Binging became a burden to me, but it was needs must to feed the addiction of purging, and so drugs came in at the 16. I was tired all the time, so I was on uppers, then downers and so the cycle continued for many years. Laxatives started at aged 19 away at university. Standard 2 as instructed by the packet. Within a month I was 60. Within a year I was 100 of the strongest you could get, mixed with 500mls of lactulose plus 6 slabs of chocolate exlax. Purging up to 60 times a day. within those blissful years, I endured emotional abuse from family members, sexual abuse from family members and at school being attacked, raped, and my self abuse constant punching in the stomach as I was warped enough to think that would make me thin. When this started I was by no means thin, I was way overweight for my height and age, and by the time uni rolled round I was just in the normal range. It was until my mother tried to kill herself (which I found out was the fourth time) that the weight literally flew off, and within 3 months I went from high normal to seriously anorexic but with no health conditions (except for throwing up blood).

I was admitted to my first rehab here, it sucked and I broke all the rules and used throughout my month and half stay, and so was sent abroad after for 4 months. I was rotting from the inside out from as I had done damage from the laxatives but I didn't tell anyone. I just bought laxatives and used. I didn't tell anyone anything. I came home 3 stone heavier and one month later I was fully blown relapsed.

See I never intended to recover. I was intent on dying. I had made peace with that fact so it was ok. 2 months into my relapse my dietitian tried to get sectioned but the drs ignored her and I was rushed into hospital having collapsed on the train. I ate a banana, I left the hospital and threw up in the bushes. 3 months later rushed back in and same story. And still to no avail my dietitian still couldn't get me sectioned. See in my PCT you have to be dead to get help. Those are the rules.

Every purge would land me on the bathroom floor passed out, heartbeats skipping, taking 30 seconds inbetween each beat struggling to beat and G-d it was painful. I prayed for death. And then one night... I woke up in hospital aged 21 having had a heart attack.

I was sent back to rehab. This time I was coming for a year. And I fought it. But when I got there I had to undergo tests, and the results were bad. Too many to list, but here's a couple "tears throughout esophagus to the point you now have asphyxiation asthma" in other words vomit goes into my lungs due to "your stomach automatically vomits up food as you have reverse digestion" "your bowel will never work properly again" "torn stomach away from esophagus".... these were just a few amongst "relapse again and you'll die".

I'm not fully recovered. I go for about 6 months and then I have 2 weeks which are bad. But even just one day can result in a hospitalization for me but, getting 6 months for me is more than I ever thought was possible. So I gotta build on the 6 months. I'm 18 months from drugs next month (i relapsed on my year and year and half ago) and I'm 2 and half year clean from alcohol. For me its always going to the be the ED that brings me down. But I'm happier than Ive ever been, and refuse to let it destroy that. So there I chose not to let it bring me down.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program