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Support for the lads please!

by Giovanni
(Manchester, UK)

Hi Shaye and hi to everyone else.

I would like to ask if there are any guys using this site? I'm aware that there is a proportion of men amongst bulimia sufferers, which is probably greater than gathered data suggests. However, I've never been able to find a "voice" from another guy. I would like to make an appeal for some words of encouragement, be them from a male or female source, and for pointers to any stories of recovery that have come in from men.

This site is really the very best I've found... and I've been searching for a long time, for somewhere that provides working support and feasible steps to bulimia recovery.

Following steps similar to those described by you, Shaye, I hit bulimia on the head for a good couple of years, following two years of hell, which started when I was 15. During my initial recovery, I focused on only positive thoughts about myself, threw myself into moving house and getting excellent grades at school, and allowed myself a bit of what I fancied, without fetishing it as "bad" food. When bulmimia reared its ugly head again, at age 19, I considered it a three-month blip, and went into remission for another two years. I'm almost 24 now, and I have been newly caught up with bulimia for over a year now. If I don't purge through vomiting, I do it through exercise.

The diathesis for this latest "round"? I have always suffered from what doctors term IBS. This includes constant bloating and impactions that occur several times a year. Not content to be leading this life anymore, I conducted some online research and decided to try an anti-candida diet.

Word of warning, to everyone. I really feel that even for a bulimia sufferer who considers themselves to be "recovered", it is not a good idea to embark on any sort of restrictive regime. Ditching grains, sugar and most sources of fruit, I certainly found the bloat to disappear... but within two weeks, I had my first, full-on binge, and I got back on the bulimia rollercoaster.

That was back in March 2010, and long story short, I am still caught up in that familiar cycle of eating very restrictively for most of a day, or sometimes several consecutive days—before submitting to a binge, which is often followed by a purge. My digestive system is whacked, to the point that I sometimes go for colonics just to restore peristalsis. Even this activity feels like it is purging, and I feel incredibly guilty and "phoney" as I hand over my £50 or £60... knowing full well that I will have binged-purged in a matter of days, only to return to the same state of constipation. I ocasionally use laxatives, not because I kid myself that I will "lose weight", but because I am so anxious to move the mass of waste that sits firmly in my lower abdomen.

Please, guys, can anyone offer me an initial first step? I am not looking for a flash recovery these days: rather, I am looking for sustainable recovery. Despite my honesty regarding my condition to friends, they can't seem to rid themselves of the self-assured and extremely capable image of myself that I have constructed over the years—and so they don't know how to support me.

Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated. I have already managed to ruin the start to weekend, and my blood sugar is all over the place... but I am determined to have a good Saturday and Sunday.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program