The Rocky Road of Recovery
I have been bulimic for 14 years. I have recently started having terrible panic attacks and dizzy spells. For the last 3 months I felt like I was going to die. I stopped 50% of my drinking and went from b/p about 5-10 times a day to only 0-2 times a day. I work at a restaurant so it is very hard to stare at food and be allowed a free meal during my shift without b/p. I don't want to quit my job but its the worst place for a bulimic. My coworkers always ask how I'm so skinny and eat so much. I lie of course, we're good at that.
With a clear mind without being hungover everyday it is a lot easier to feel the effects of bulimia. I feel drained and tired after a b/p now and try to avoid my triggers. I feel as though I am in recovery taking it one day at a time. My job is the only place I'm truly struggling. I can go days without especially when my husband and I have off from work together. When its our time I can be happy and normal. He knows I had a past problem with bulimia but nothing about the present. He is convinced alcohol was the problem.
The bloating is disgusting. I feel huge and uncomfortable. My dehydration was terrible between binge drinking and b/p constantly. I have been drinking 1/2 gallon of smart water which has electrolytes. After the first week I gained X pounds! On nights when we do drink alcohol i force my self to drink a bottle of water before bed so i don't get too dehydrated in the morning. I feel disgusting and fat all the time. I try not to weigh myself but use a tape measure for my waist. It helps me distinguish that its all in my head and water weight was much needed.
I am terrified that I really messed up my body. My right kidney aches just about everyday, my heartbeat is irregular, dizzy spells, anxiety and panic attacks. The last straw was after I ended a shift at the restaurant, I was driving home after about 5 b/p during my shift when I began sweating, dizziness, it felt like i couldn't swallow or breathe. My body was so empty and with out electrolytes i would put myself into a full blown panic attack and feel like i was going to blackout (while driving) because i was so empty. I somehow made it to wawa and bought a banana and poweraide (its 1230am on friday night) I got into my car and devoured it in 2 bites and chugged the poweraide. I was trembling, sweating and my heart was racing. I called my husband and sat in the parking lot talking to him waiting for the banana and electrolytes to calm my system down. He kept offering to pick me up but i knew id be fine soon. Hearing the fear in his voice brought me to tears. When i got home he wouldn't leave my side, he held me in bed all night mumbling i love you throughout the night.
The fear i put him through and love i feel from him has helped me start putting my life back together. I never realized that hurting myself would effect someone who means the world to me so much. I feel disgusting and fat and bloated, i complain about my body and not peeing enough. He tells me I'm beautiful and if my body needed pounds of water to be healthy then so be it. He has started cracking down on me and asking what i drank and ate making sure I'm on track. its helpful to me knowing its out of love not being annoyed with me.
Its been 3 weeks now, I have lost weight and most of the bloat. Probiotics, gerd medication, st johns wort and apple cider vinegar are a daily thing for me now. I am healthier then I've ever been in 14 years, but far from cured. One day at a time I am becoming stronger, a few slip ups at work but I'm proud of what i accomplished in a few weeks. I never could have done this alone and am grateful to have this gift for a second chance at life.
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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community