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Time to be honest about bulimia

by Joanne

This letter is almost a prelude for what I might (and certainly should) say to my mother. I suffered from bulimia 3 years ago, for about a year, before feeling that I was putting my life on hold and needed to make a change. I told a friend about my problem with bingeing and purging, and she moved me to tell my mum. This was one of the most powerful and effective moves I have ever made in my life. My mum was upset but she was also a wonderful support line and made me want to get better for her. It was also a huge breath of relief to finally be honest with someone and show the part of myself that I always spuriously hide. I like to project to everyone around me that food means nothing to me, that I eat whatever I fancy. Despite a year of therapy to see me through my bulimia (followed by 2 eating-disorder-free years), I am now back where I was.

It began - as it did before - with just a little diet, taking care of what I was eating. It worsened as I moved out of my family home to live in university halls, living alone. This meant that I wasn't forced to eat a nutritious meal with my parents every night, meant that I could eat salad instead, and meant that I could easily get away with making myself sick. Alongside the bulimia that has bullied me again for a good few months now is a habit where I chew up my food and spit it out. I buy lots of chocolate bars only to spit them out and have to find a secretive way of disposing of them. This is my greatest embarassment because I think I am alone in doing it, and because it is so wasteful and disgusting. I also told my mother that I was doing this 3 years ago. She was horrified but supportive.

The effects of my diet have meant that I have lost weight over the past few months and people have noticed. Whether they are concerned (mostly my family, and my ex-boyfriend) or paying me a compliment (actually I don't think this has happened) it makes me feel good when somebody acknowledges it. The thing that most terrifies me about the prospect of recovery is gaining weight. I love being as slim as I am, but if I am honest, I know that it is neither healthy nor sustainable.

The other thing that terrifies me is having to tell my mother. I don't want to upset her but I know that I need her so bad. I need my energy for life back and I need to feel carefree and normal.

I'm so glad I've found this blog. I'm also, so scared.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program