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We Need Help

by John

I don't like publicizing my eating disorder- but if it may help somebody..I'm all for it. Well my name is John, I'm 18 now, and I developed anorexia nervosa when I was 13. The first day of school, I didn't have time for breakfast, and a kid stole my lunch, so I didnt eat until supper time: and found it wasn't that hard. Soon I just stopped eating supper, and if I had to, I'd throw up. Because I was so overweight, I looked great for about a year, then after that mark people said i started getting scary skinny. So I threw myself into working out, and got a decent looking body...but going into grade 9, I was 99lbs, and 5'6". Over the school years I did grow taller, but my weight always stayed under 100. I moved out of my house at 16, into a friends place, so everything became easier. This year though, I moved into my apartment the day I turned 18....thats where everything went downhill. I was taking heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, barbiturates, ecstasy, marijuana, and smoking at the time, so I didn't feel-or remember- to eat. I got to the point where my heart just quit, luckily I was in the hospital at a needle drop-off at the time. That's when I went to a rehab facility, initially for drugs, but for my eating disorder as well. But there really is no treatment centers dedicated to men-at least that I know about. But this one worked fine...but instead of coming out of there with a decent body, I came out fat. So that shit just wouldn't fly, so I did thousands, yes, literally 3000 sit ups twice a day.... Completely ripped in two weeks. But then after that happened, I was actually happy with myself, so I started eating everyday and just working out mildly. Thats where I am now, 5'9" and 172lbs. But my story isn't over....In my title, I have "we". My friend Eric is 15, and has been suffering from bulimia since he was 14. He was never chubby to begin with, not at all. But when he came out to his parents as gay, they freaked out, so he went into a depression, and began hating himself...sounds pretty familiar for everyone. But I don't know the details of then, only of now. A few days ago, he showed up on my doorstep, begging for help. Of course I let him in...I mean, cmon. He was heavily bruised and bleeding...both of us being victims of child abuse, he didn't even need to tell me. So it was decided he'd stay with me. I knew he had some type of problem with eating, but I didn't know it was an eating disorder. I found out soon enough, I know the signs...and he's been eating everyday, but throwing up all three meals. If he doesn't, he says he feels really uncomfortable. I've tried get him to stop, but he can't, and I know myself it's hard dropping it. But now he wants to stop- and he can't. He tries holding down food, and it comes up anyway. I'm not sure what do to...I don't have much experience with bulimia. I rarely threw up, and certainly not spontaneously...but I think, together we can help him get better. Problem is, I can feel myself slipping back into my old habits... I'm not sure what to fo. How can I help him if I can barely help myself? But then, how could I not?

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program