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Where to start with bulimia recovery?

by lauren

I started throwing up when I was 16, i think. It was chocolate mousse and discovering that if I got it out of me, it wouldn't make me fat, was the MOST AMAZING THING EVER

My body wasn't ever perfect, I wasn't skinny. I'm not one of the girls whose stories start with 'i was actually really thin but i threw up anyway'. My entire family is overweight and it's considered offensive to not finish an entire plate, if not 2 or 3. I was made fun of at school for looking funny and, whilst very smart, I wasn't popular. After my initial introduction to bulimia, i decided it would be better to not eat at all and lost alot when i was 17. i started exercising during my second year of uni when i thought a more balanced approach would be best, as i was a massive yoyo dieter and would put on, or lose ALOT of weight quickly. but i could never fully get over the mia.

Years later (I'm about to turn 23) I'm still here. I managed to stay bulimic with no more than a few weeks break at a time this whole time, including finishing school, moving out and living with loads of different people, all of whom i've hidden it from, going travelling and keeping it up... even in places where the toilets are seriously the worst things, like india, cambodia... imagine having to excuse yourself from dinner in a rundown khmer shack outside phnom penh to throw up in the 'toilet' ie hole in a family's 'bathroom'..... uni, work, everywhere......... working next to an amazing food court having to start at all the incredibly tasty delicious looking food a few times a day.....
the lies i've told. the plans i've cancelled leading to the friends i've lost. the relationships that have ended. my current one is falling apart. he knows i'm hiding something, he thinks i'm cheating. I can't really tell him that all my time, lack of money, secrecy and wanting to be alone is all because i just want to sit around eating and throwing up all day.

i've tried to stop so so so so SO many times. doing things to MAKE myself stop. i'll exercise for three hours and then ruin it all by stopping at the supermarket on my way home for a binge! If i have just two hours alone after my boyfriend leaves and when i leave for work, i'll b/p. same as when i get home. i've almost lost jobs over it. to think the amount of fun times with friends i've had to cancel... 'had to'.... before I left australia for two years i left my OWN farewell party too early because i'd stopped being able to control the cookies and bbq stuff i was munching down, so i figured if i get home quick enough, I can turn it into a b/p... i made up some excuse about needing to finish packing...

the amount of people who think i have these horrible stomache illnesses and intolerances because of the lies i've told... the thousands if not more, dollars i've thrown into the toilet... the shower... bathtub... vases...plastic bags...
I've become a MASTER of lying, deceiving, pretending, hiding... going to different stores, making up reasons why i'd be buying an entire cake, 5 boxes of cookies etc... i've only ever told one person, my best friend, but she's in manchester and i'm on the other side of the world now, and i don't really have that support now. i think my mum suspected it but we're not close in any way, and I would never feel comfortable talking to her (or the rest of my family). My boyfriend wouldn't understand and would belittle me for it, if i were to tell him. i think so, anyway.

the end of last year it was getting out of hand again... i worked early and my boyfriend worked late so there was always at least 5 hours a night where I was free to b/p. we had different days off, too. I decided my new years resolution would be to STOP. I exercise 4 or so times a week and want to get back to the good body I had a couple years ago when I was throwing up at my LEAST, eating healthy, had glowing skin and wasn't always tired, worn out etc. the first few days of this year I was purging, but not binging. I would throw up normal food, but at least I wasn't having massive binges and then throwing up.

Some argue this is worse though, because it was salads, stir fry and the like coming up, not the usual cookies, pasta, mousse, caramel slices, bread bread bread butter ice cream..... etc.

anyway so a couple days ago i purged again, after work in the shopping centre

and then yesterday i had my first proper b/p at home

next week i've got 3 days off work, all of which are during the week and i will be alone. i do NOT want to spend them b/p ing.

For some reason it's only occurred to me now, to look up these kind of help sites. the only ones i've ever looked at were sites which aided bulimia.... advice on making throwing up easier, excuses to go to the bathroom, hide the physical signs... tips of which foods are best etc. but never help to actually stop. until now. and as silly as it is to say, it's amazing to read these stories and see that i'm not alone. Not that i ever considered myself to be special, it's just .. i don't know, comforting, i guess. to know that others have sunk to your depths, have done the same deceptive, horrible, physically and mentally dirty things... the emotional stress... the physical symptoms.

I really want to stop. I've overcome minor drug addictions including valium, cigarettes, briefly coke when i got it cheap and i've cut down drinking and weed. but this is one which i just can't seem to quit.

so this leads me back to my question... where to start?

Return to bulimia support groups.



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

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