When I Told My Boyfriend I was Bulimic
I'm a sophomore in college, and I've been bulimic since the summer of my freshman year of high school (so probably going on about 5 years now).
Over the years, I've had good and bad spouts of dealing with this disorder. Sometimes I don't throw up for a week, and other times I throw up 2-3 times in one day. I don't throw up to lose weight (though I really wish I could), but so that I don't GAIN weight. The hard thing is that I love food. The nice thing is that I'm a college athlete, so I'm almost always working out. This helps, except when I go and hurt myself (like tearing my ACL...TWICE) so that I can't exercise AT ALL. Its the worst feeling, and it totally escalated a lot of things.
One of the hardest things of all is that my family knows, and they don't help. My parents watch me like hawks, and ALWAYS accuse me of throwing up when I spend a long time in the bathroom or if I disappear after a meal. My Mom always wants to know whats going on, and I just don't open up to her. I lie. I tell her I'm doing fine. That things are going well, and that I'm handling it. Well, I'm not. Plain and simple. It scares the HELL out of me that I'm hurting myself this badly, that I could have a heart attack, that my teeth are rotting or that I can't go a day without speculating myself in the mirror. It rules my life, inside and out.
So needless to say, I went to a counselor. In high school, my parents forced me to go to our school counselor, but again I just lied and said I was doing fine. I'm not about to talk to a random person that I don't trust about something so personal and degrading. However, about a month ago I approached our sports psychiatrist at school and started talking more about it. It's helped, but not much. It's hard at school because I live off campus without a car, so a lot of the time I'm home ALONE. That and my family, friends, and boyfriend live 6 hours away. I have no close support group (obviously my friends and teammates), but no one I can really talk to. I try to limit my purging to once a day, and (in this depressing stage of my life - I'm having a rough time at college with everything this year) when I go a day or two without purging - I feel GREAT about myself. The difficult part is that I'm emotional - If I'm stressed, depressed, or upset, I think well this day can't get any worse, so I just binge and purge. Its not good, and it just stresses me out more. I hate how I feel, and I hate how it hurts and it is destroying me, inside and out.
What has begun to help me the most is my boyfriend. We've been dating for about a year now, and he's changed my life. We've got amazing chemistry, and I can see myself with him for a long time. I trust him completely, and I know he cares about me a lot. But telling him about this disgusting and unattractive quality that I have? Never.
However, one day I felt miserable and completely torn apart, so I just asked to talk to him about something. I let it out, and you know what? He didn't recoil in disgust or freak out. He just hugged me while I cried and has been there for me every step of the way. He doesn't poke and prod me for information... He LISTENS, and doesn't try to tell me how to get help or that I shouldn't be doing this. He knows I know this, and that I'm trying really hard to break away. In the past 5 years, I don't think I've ever accepted my body more than I have begun now. His constant compliments and support have made me begin to love my body more. Last night, he even grabbed me, pulled me to the mirror, stood behind me, and told me to tell him where I thought I was fat. He wouldn't hear of it, and he would just tell me how much he loved that part of my body, or how sexy I really am. His support is a gift from God that I am forever grateful for. Hes the one that I'm trying to get better for. It hurts me, but I know it hurts him just as much to see me hurting myself and being so depressed, I know no matter what, he's with me through it all, and I can finally start to see a light coming because of his love.
Do I have a really long way to go? OF COURSE (I wouldn't be on this website if I didn't think so). But I think that I've begun to take big steps (though slow of course) that I never had the courage to before. From getting help, talking about my problems, and (STARTING to .. slowly) love myself for who I am is MORE than I ever dreamed possible. It really helps (though you want to keep it bottled up..trust me thats who I am) to talk to someone about it. Open up and let them hear you speak. Don't let them be overbearing, and make sure they know that you know what you're doing is hurting you, but it's so much harder to "just stop". It doesn't have to be a boyfriend. It can be whoever you want it to be. Its just nice to be able to talk about it, not be judged or analyzed or accused, and just let out the pain. It's begun to help me in so many ways. I'm forever grateful.
3 months ago I wouldn't have been able to have had 3 pieces of dominos and some cheesy bread and not throw up. Now THAT is an accomplishment for me. Thanks Harry.
WOW... What an inspirational story! I got goose-bumps over and over!
I know how exciting it is when you begin to grasp bulimia recovery... When you can finally feel love and acceptance re-entering your life! It's AMAZING - and I am so excited that you're on that journey!
Bulimia recovery can be hard, painful and scary... You have to face all sorts of things that in the past - you've used food to deal with... But overriding every negative emotion is a feeling of relief... Because you know that no matter what you have to go through in recovery - it's better than living with bulimia.
Recovery is exciting - remember to take time out now and then to breathe deeply and remember the moments... Remember how it feels to finally begin loving yourself again.
You're boyfriend sounds amazing - I am so happy that he has come into your life. I think all bulimics can lean something from your relationship with him... That's not that they have to go out and try search for a boyfriend - but that they need to start spending time with people who make them feel good about themselves... People who make them feel happy and uplifted... These are the types of people who will help you love yourself again and find health and happiness.
I have one memory that stands out for me in my recovery... I was walking down the street, tears of happiness streaming from my eyes... A massive grin on my face... I had a warmth within my heart that I hadn't felt for so long. I focused on the moment - because I never wanted to forget it :)
I'd love for you to share more of your bulimia recovery experiences on my site when you have time... I know that others will gain inspiration from them :)
I hope that you have a fantastic day!