Bulimia Sufferers…you have the floor.

I received a few requests to write about bulimia. The reason I haven't focused on bulimia up until this point, is because I do not have a personal history with the disease.

Here's where I need your help.

I think it will be beneficial and educational for everyone to hear your personal struggle with bulimia, a few questions to ponder;

1) Tell us the sequence of events that lead up to the first time you purged.

2) What recovery efforts have you made, and what advice do you have for other sufferers?

3) What would you say to someone who has just started purging and is headed down the bulimia path?

I look forward to reading your stories, and I am sorry I have not addressed bulimia more specifically up until now. As I said, I don't have a personal history with the disease – and that is because I tried purging only once in my life and I will never, ever do it again.

Here's my story;

I was about 17, back home from Paris. I was an insane workout fanatic, and master restrict-er, so it was a rare occasion that I would allow myself to overeat. I had watched my model friendsthrow up their cakes and pastries for years but I had never had the urge to do it myself.

On this day, I found myself eating some graham crackers, and before I knew it I ate the whole package (1 package of the 3 contained in a box- not a whole box). In my eating disordered mind, this was the end of the world, I was a failure. I could already see that I was fatter, and I decided I would get rid of it.

Home alone, I had privacy, so I went into the downstairs bathroom and knelt at the blue ceramic toilet. Fingers down the throat first only made me gag. Tried again. Again. Again. Finally, out it came, a brown crusty mess.

The evil food was out, mission accomplished.

I was not prepared for the face I would see in the mirror as I looked up. Bloodshot eyes stared back at me as I wiped my nose and felt an unfamiliar soreness in my throat.

Right then and there I decided; I would never, ever purge again. And I never did.

The entire process completely freaked me out, and for me, it was just a hell of a lot easier not to eat.

Your turn.

And thank you, ahead of time, for sharing your story.

mamaV

xoxo

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23 Responses to Bulimia Sufferers…you have the floor.

  1. Chloe says:

    First off, let me say that I really enjoy your blog. It is a fresh voice in a stale society. I’m nineteen, I’ve been bulimic for two and a half years, anorexic for two years prior to my bulimia, and have have a disordered body image since about grade school. Though my body has been physically affected, neither of my parents or family have attributed changes to an eating disorder. I’m in college several states away from home, and from all outward appearances, am a pretty, healthy, if not slender, smart, dedicated student, good friend, loving sister and daughter. Privately I use binging and purging to release my stress. School and my parents expectations cause me a lot of stress. In the last year I have begun seeing a counselor at my school. She is the most amazing help I’ve ever had. Though I still binge and purge occasionally, I am far removed from previous behaviors. I am coming to terms with my self, inside and out. I know it will be a lifelong pursuit.
    As far as the first time I binged, I went down that road when starving myself became too obvious. I clearly remember the first time I binged. It was after I had lasagna for dinner with my family. I was so mad at myself for consuming that dish of simple carbs and fat, as I saw it. I knew it would instantly make me fat and I had to purge it up. It was not fun. I was crying, and finished by basically collapsing on the floor. It scares me how much removed I am from this experience in my current binge attitude. I can induce vomiting with seemingly no effort now. It’s a talent I used to wish for like a godsend. I still wonder though, whether part of me is still sobbing on the bathroom floor everytime I make myself sick.

  2. Sarah says:

    1) Tell us the sequence of events that lead up to the first time you purged.
    I remember when I was in the 5th grade, driving to Reno with my family to meet up with my aunt, her husband, and my cousins. We all went to a restaurant and then my aunt and I went to the bathroom after we ate. After I got back my mom pulled me aside and asked if I had heard my aunt throwing up in the bathroom. I asked if she was sick, and my mom told me that she wasn’t sick, but that she did it to control her weight. That was what sparked the downward spiral. I don’t remember at all the first time I threw up, which I think is really strange. The first time I remember recognizing that I had thrown up before was in the 8th grade when I told me friend that I had done it before. At that time, it wasnt that big of a deal, I had maybe done it in the 7th grade as well. Like I said though, I don’t rememberr the time line very well at all.
    2) What recovery efforts have you made, and what advice do you have for other sufferers?
    I went to a counselor and was put on anti depressents, I dont take the anti depressants anymore and dont go to the counselor. I have heard that once you suffer from an eating disorder, you are forever tainted, and will always struggle with your disorder. I do not feel like this is true for me. I feel like I am fully recovered and don’t have to look back or struggle with that anymore.
    3) What would you say to someone who has just started purging and is headed down the bulimia path?
    stop. get help, now. or you will look back in two years, be the same size, and not remember anything else about that time. and you will get addicted. it’s like a drug.

  3. D says:

    Hello Mama,
    I also enjoy your weblog very very much. It is a refreshing look into this crazy (media) fed world that is obsessed with weight and looks. I have always been very insecure about myself, this started in the beginning of middle school – i had almost no friends and (ofcourse) sought for reasons to blame myself and was desperately trying to figure out what was wrong with me.
    At the age of 11 or 12, I am not quite sure, needless to say my self esteem was very very low and I was a very insecure little girl. I started eating to find relief in day to day stresses which I myself, created for myself. It is hard to explain, but I was so convinced that there was something wrong with me, that nowadays I feel like if only I was able to let go a little bit more – maybe I would have done better back then and still now. Ofcourse I gained weight and I hated it.. I saw myself as an utter and complete loser for being even LESS – after all, now I was fat, also! At that point I did not purge. I am bulimic in the sense that I go through cycles of extreme restricting to mayor binges, with occasional purging.
    The very first time I must have been 14 and during that year I did it quite often. It was triggered by looking in the mirror putting on my bathingsuit to go to the beach. It was after a few weeks of binging and I was disgusted with what I saw in the mirror, especially after being skinnier only a few weeks earlier. I hated the cycle of gaining and losing weight, I would fluctuate up to unhealthy gains of sometimes 20lbs in a few weeks.
    I stopped for a few years, had still eating disordered behaviours, mainly restricting and picked up purging around the age of 18. I have tried very very hard to shake off my disordered behaviours, but found this to be impossible without acknowledging and finding help for my disordered thoughts about myself. They are very much linked, this all started and is still about how I feel about myself.
    I have had psychiatric help for a short while, but my insurance refused to pay so unfortunately I could not go as much in depth as I would have wanted. Turned out i had EDNOS – leaning towards Bulimia as well as body dismorphic disorder. I can go on and on telling about myself but I wont.
    What I would like to say to people that have just started is STOP. Seek help. There is no way back once you step foot in this world of deceipt, it will take a very long time to remove yourself from this, unfortunately there is a big chance you do not even want to since you will be blinded by the disease.

  4. Kay says:

    I was sixteen and thrown into the world of modeling without an idea of the hell that would be inflected upon me. I didn’t get my period for two years. At the height of my problem I was renting my own apartment in New York City, the east village, I would go on my casting, go to the gym and lock myself in my tiny studio apt binging and purging all night long. Weekends when I wasn’t working the cycle continued over and over. The pressure to be perfect to get the Prada adds ate at my soul until I was nothing. I was suppose to be everyone’s hero and was failing them all. I was nothing but an object, objectified until the point where I dreamt of dying. I would wake up in the middle of the night at write suicide letters. I found myself walking through the hustle and bustle of NYC rubbing my index finger across my finger as if it were a knife.
    This lasted two years up until the age of 18. I quit after my soul could cling to life no more. After I mustered the courage to leave the model world I stayed in NYC and found myself getting into a great deal of trouble. I’m lucky to be alive today. I lost my innocence in NYC and my parents got my a ticket home when I had a complete break down and confessed I was borderline about to hurt myself. The day prior I found myself hanging over my friends balcony. I made them promise to find me a therapist. The cycle continues when I got home I saw a therapist once, but feel my parents were/are in denial. Thus far I have gone a month without purging, relapsed over the weekend and am now back on track. I find myself crying at 1 am pleading with God to forgive me and spare my life. I am and will beat this because If I have made it through all this shit God has something planned for me. I am worth something and want to truly live and experience the world. I love myself, which is the hardest thing to say.
    Advice to anyone entering the HELL of BULIMIA. STOP NOW!!!! To this day I would give my life to prevent someone from going through this hell. It starts out harmless even making you happy, but it will still your soul, your identity, you. I beg you with every ounce of my being to STOP.

  5. Samantha says:

    Dear MamaVISION,
    This is why your site is so important, not only to young girls like myself, but to society as a whole:
    WARNING: GRAPHIC AND POTENTIALLY TRIGGARING
    I remember trying to purge many times, but not being able to rid myself of the food I had consumed just seconds before. Being the type A personality that I am, this failure drove me insane. I started researching “how to purge” and found tips, tricks and advice. Ah, the Internet and its nasty little secrets. After learning from the best, I ate ice cream with milk and cookies and peanut butter and hot cocoa and candies and chocolates and basically anything with sugar listed as the first three ingredients. I don’t think I breathed the entire time. I might have choked, coughed a bit, and kept right on going. I was in heaven because I thought I had found a magical solution for my sweet tooth and my hip jiggle. I was about 5 pounds “overweight” – now, my hipbones protrude and leave marks when they rub against my jeans. I remember that girl who stuck her fingers (wet with water and coated with Vasaline, nails trimmed, band-aids on the knuckles) down her throat. The tickling motion I’d read about worked like a charm. The whole she-bang took about 5 minutes. This was the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
    Flash forward two years. I have just “binged” on some fat free cottage cheese and Kashi Go-Lean cereal in an effort to calm the hunger pains. After hitting the gym for 2 hours, I didn’t eat dinner, but I don’t allow myself to eat after 8 PM. My diarrhea is so bad from yesterday’s fiber abuse that I don’t dare use my “emergency” stash of prunes or laxative teas. I put my hair in a bun, slap on a headband; grab my face wash, towel and mouthwash and head to the bathroom. I can feel my throat swell and hands shake before I reach the door. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
    I have been a NCAA division 1 college athlete, model, chunky middle schooler and everything in between. I can’t run away from my diseases. I was an over-exercising, laxative manipulating, binge, restricting, purging, body-destroying mess.
    My loving parents, boyfriend, brother, best friends, roommates, study partners, boss, internship team and RA have and will have no idea. If you keep your life perfect looking, you will look perfect. The past is the past – you can recover.
    I stopped every single destructive, deadly, wasteful, degrading, insane, unbalanced and disrespectful behavior about a year ago. I have spent every second of this year rebuilding – muscle, joint tissue, saliva glands, knuckle tissue, hair, tooth enamel, menstrual regularity, heartbeat regularity, hunger regularity, bowel movement regularity, acid reflux regularity. I want to be regular so bad it hurts. Ironically, I start this as an attempt to be normal. And I made myself a freak.
    The natural bodily functions that I was born with, I have stripped away. I was my own abusive lover, my own negligent parent. If I saw myself, I would have alerted the authorities or called Child Protective Services. I look like hell, felt like hell and acted like hell. I was given everything and I flushed it away. With helpful and informative sites like this one, I am working to rebuild everything I destroyed. It is possible.
    I am actually starting to feel like the perfect girl I projected for so long. I am filling out the hologram, stepping into those shoes. You’ve been told to seek help with your disease already, but I’ll tell you again. Get help. I beg you from the bottom of my imperfect but mercifully still beating heart.

  6. Christine says:

    my mom has been bulemic since she was 14. She is now 64. When I was about 3? I realized my mother threw up all the time and nobody talked about it. I thought she was sick and going to die and nobody was telling me because they didn’t want me to worry.
    I was told a lot that I ate too much and I was fat.
    When I was 14 I had a concert and the night before I couldn’t fit into my dress skirt. Something to do with puberty, bigger hips, all that…
    I was already restricting and over exercising. I was horrified by the changes in my body.
    There was also a lot of abuse which I will not go into.
    Since my mother controlled her weight and ate every thing she wanted, I figured I could throw up too. I skipped food all day, ate dinner then threw it up.
    Kept at it in varying degrees for years, through college and early marriage. Started therapy for various issues.
    For me the trigger currently is anger. I was not allowed to be angry so I learned to bury my feelings. By eating (not even necessarily binging) I squashed feelings down and then by throwing up I got rid of them. After throwing up I would feel numb and “spaced out”. I also have a history of dissociation but it was not as extreme as that. But definitely numb.
    I have remained bulemic despite therapy, but went from an extreme of 3-4-5 times a day to once every couple of months.
    I was in my late 30s when my first tooth cracked into four pieces. I’ve lost a couple more since then. This is party from erosion of stomach acid and partly because I still grind my teeth at night and I didn’t know I was supposed to be wearing a bite guard all those years because of that.
    I’ve given up trying to be perfect, now recognizing myself as terribly mediocre at best.
    I’m trying to be healthy so I don’t screw up MY kids.

  7. Araea says:

    First, let me say that Samantha your story is a compelling truth and that once you fully(whatever that means)”recover”, you should write a book on the reality of this ed hell.
    As for me I am quite similar to MamaV in that I only ever purged once and am a master at restricition and over exercise. However, the one time I purged was after eating a minute amount of crab pretzel. Worst thing to purge! My Aunt was over for dinner and I was home from my first semester at college and she had been growing suspicious of my ever declining weight. So, I felt I had to eat. Low and behold I ate, but then went to the bathroom and purged rather easily, which I think is what ultimately scared me. Also, the reason I never did it again was when I went back out to be with my family, my Aunt knew and never said anything, which blew my mind!
    Anyway, I hope all of you find your own strength to overcome this battle and thought everyone’s post was interesting.

  8. Jxx says:

    I don’t purge because it hurts way to much after I prefer not to eat. That is nicer and the pain isn’t in my mouth.

  9. mamaV says:

    Hi Everyone: I wanted to tell you I am reading each and every word of your stories.
    You are so courageous for sharing, and I hope your stories will encourage and/or help other sufferers. I don’t know why I have not delved into this subject sooner (I am kicking myself!)
    The common thread I am seeing is that bulimia starts with the pure and simple feeling that one is fat. Influence from mothers/aunts and female role models are apparent. This is very different from classic anorexia, which sometimes starts due to the need to control combined with genetic susceptibility.
    It doesn’t matter how many stories I read about eating disorders, they all make me cry. When expressed in this open forum, the reality comes through so crystal clear that the pain jumps from the page.
    Anyway, keep the stories coming and I will follow up with more questions for those of you who have posted. Let’s look at this as an open door to perhaps a new road to recovery.
    Love
    mV
    xoxo

  10. Kristen says:

    Like some of the others who have commented, I don’t remember the first time I purged. I’ve been bulimic for over 10 years, but didn’t come to terms with it until about 3 years ago.
    I was overweight for most of my life. I also have this weird ability to regurgitate my food after just about everything I eat (sorry, I don’t want to gross anyone out). I never knew this was abnormal because it is something that I’ve been able to do for as long as I can remember. Because I was overweight and purged my food “naturally,” I never considered myself to be bulimic.
    But I always binged and purged, especially when no one was home. I’d eat whatever I felt like, purge, and start all over again. Sometimes I’d do this 5-10 times a day. I’ve always had self-image issues and was depressed.I still have trouble pinpointing any other cause of my eating disorder other than hating the fact I was fat.
    In October of 2007 I was purging everything I ate. I had a dull, constant headache for weeks at a time. It was affecting my job, my relationships, and my physical health. I decided to go to Princeton University Hospital’s Eating Disorder Program. The doctors there evaluated me and wanted to admit me as an inpatient. My insurance company denied the recommendation because I wasn’t underweight (I was actually at a normal weight by then, no longer overweight). I was admitted as an intensive outpatient for seven weeks. I was in the eating disorder ward from 8:30am until 6:30pm. I had daily therapy and group therapy sessions, as well as all my meals provided (we had to pick our meals based on our exchanges).
    I’ve been doing much better since I was discharged. I’ve been going to therapy since December of 2007. When I was admitted I was originally put on 60mg of Cymbalta, but now I’m down to 20mg. I still have days where I slip up, but overall I’m doing so much better. It was very hard to admit that I had an eating disorder since I didn’t fit the mold. But after spending so much time with the other girls in the unit, I realized that we shared the same thoughts, concerns, fears, and challenges.
    For someone that has just started purging, I’d ask them to reach out. You’d be amazed at how many people are going through the same struggle. We all look so different, and when we look at others, we don’t see what’s going on inside their head and their body. Most of the time it’s not as pleasant as the outside package looks. Eating disorders are all about secrets, and as hard as it is, the more we speak about what we’re going through, the more help we’ll receive.

  11. gabi says:

    mine started when i was 14. however when i was about 6 i “found” my gag reflexes and actually loved making myself gag…youd have though that woulda been a warning.
    anyway so i was 14 yet again bunking of school to gorge in piza and all the food i wasnt allowed to eat cos my mum said i was to fat and she was obsessed with nutrition. however i overdid it and i had seen a show on bulimia so i tried it. and from that moment i was screwed. by the time i was eighteen all i did was binge and purge up to 60 times a day. ive been through a lot of trauma (rape, sxual abuse, mother has attempted suicide 4 times) ive been in treatment, i was given 5 months to live. im now in a relapse and well basically ive given up. i just pray for the day when this ends; whether it be through recovery or through dying either way this is my path for now. iv fucked up my body and its my own fault.
    anyone who has strted it i would show them the true hell of bulimia. what it really does to you. and then tell them to get help to deal with whats going on. hwever for some people thats not enough. day i was told i had 5 months to live i cheered myself up by going on a massive binge purge; i bought myself all my faveroute ice cream, chocolate everthing and i didnt stop till i passed out.

  12. Amber says:

    I have read all of these entree’s and i am touched, disturbed, sad but proud of the courage displayed on this blog.
    I started to restrict and use dieet piils in highschool and cont. to binge and purge for many years. After a breakup i became very depressed and made the decision to loose weight. I stopped eating. No more purging! No more headaches, heart palpitations, throat sores, lost teeth! I dropped 30 pounds, lost my period, isolated, became an insomniac and worked out 3 hours a day.
    I ended up having a panic attack and was sent to the hospital. I vowed to stop this crazyness.
    It worked…it was two years until about a month ago, i ate 3 bowls of cereal *after restricting all day*..and i purged it. After all the therapy, all the self help books, discussions with family, support and journaling i started the cycle all over again.
    As i read and write this blog i am stopping the cycle before it becomes out of control again. I have worked too hard to let this disease take over my life again. I am in Grad School, have a wonderful man, friends and family. I owe this to myself. I need to stay true to my recovery.
    If you are in a similar situation i urge you get real with this. Please seek help, reach out, believe in the power of YOU.
    This is a disease, but it can be combated. You can do this, i can do this.

  13. .C. says:

    I do not classify myself as a Bulimic, but rather EDNOS. I am not very good at purging. Sometimes I think it’s lucky I’m not, or a really bad cycle would have been started. The others who have posted on this thread know what I mean.
    At any rate, I do binge, but I remain at a normal weight because of forcing myself to exercise and/or restrict. It’s a cyclic thing, which I think is very typical of Bulimia. When I was at my lowest weight I was pretty much just restrictive. The other day though I fasted all day, then binged and purged some of it up.
    I honestly wish I could just return to the way I was – when I was at my lowest, I mean; restricting so much – but I’m just not as good at it anymore. I have more fear of hunger. And since I don’t see immediate effects it seems like I’m starving myself and making myself do things I don’t want to for no or too little result. I hate my body. I hate that my life used to be so much better when I was thinner, but I’m unwilling to give up food…
    As for the first time I purged, I don’t honestly remember it either. I remember thinking for a long time that I didn’t have an eating disorder, and people who throw up their food definitely do, so I wouldn’t. But I tried it, and I have done it a few times. Mostly I just try to purge and fail. I loathe this. I only wish to be so thin I fade away and never have to look at all this pain again.
    .C.

  14. Emily says:

    1) The very first time I purged, I was barely 13, in the 7th grade. I had been severely restricting calories, and after coming home from a track practice I was so hungry I ate a bowl of cereal and some cookies. That is when I panicked and did not even think twice about trying to get it back up. I was not very successful and decided it was much easier to just not eat. Fast forward through highschool, competitvely running, and re-attempting to purge every now and then to the winter of my 2nd year at college. I am on the collegiate cross country and track and field teams. I run the distance events, and am team captain. I get injured and have suddenly lost my identity as a runner. I begin to panic about weight gain from lack of being able to run, and spiral into a pattern of purging. (I soon after am diagnosed as EDNOS…not bulimic because I never ate enough to be considered “binging”).
    2) I made numerous recovery attempts by calling the school center, seeing various professionals, and confiding in those close to me who I thought might be of support. None of these worked as I had hoped and I did not connect with any of the counselors I saw. I also never told my parents in college–I did not feel they were capable of giving me the right kind of help (they reacted with punishment in high school). Finally, I found a counselor at a neighboring university that significantly helped me figure things out. I only saw her for 2 months once a week, though, and struggled awhile after. However, I have been mostly ED-behavior free for 15 months. I think the thing that helped me most was the support from my fiance, my best friend, and writing in my journal. It’s still a never-ending mind game, but I rarely act on it anymore.
    3) What I know is that I read all of these stories before, during, and after I was deep into my eating disorder. At times, they would scare me, but the overwhelming power of the mind telling you, “you are the fattest person on the earth” and “How could you possibly eat that much? You are a failure” … wins when you’re in that mind set. You have to discover recovery on your own, possibly with some guidance, but if there’s is any ounce of willpower in your body you have got to STOP NOW. Otherwise, you risk death. No really, you could die tomorrow. You are not invincible.

  15. Katharine says:

    Hey Mama,
    found your blog on youtube then decided to come on here and read some more. I hate that despite the fact that i recognize and understand what your saying, I can’t stop.
    In grade 9 I quit figure skating. 12 years of morning practices and personal training gone down the tube, as I was going away to boarding school the next year. I was always used to eating whatever whenever and still not being able to pinch any fat off of my 5’11 frame.
    However, when I quit the weight came. I’d eat like a pig but not purge, on the walk home from school I’d think about purging but never do it. I remember I ate these fundraising chocolate bars. I was disgusted but I couldn’t stop. Then one day i just did it, pink toothbrush…I did okay but not great. I got better and better at it, and when it came time for my boyfriends grade 12 prom at the end of the year, my had been too small dress was too big and i was satisfied and keptin going.
    I’m not in grade 12 and I still do it. I can go a month without and then if something negative happens or w/e I get back into it. It mirrors my emotions in a sense. I don’t believe in pro ana/mia..it’s rather silly.
    To anyone thinking of getting into this, I’d reccomend just…don’t. It’s addictive and sometimes when you’re bent over puking out the dinner your mom spend 2 hours cooking for you or a 100$ meal from a restaurant puke covered hands coughing up nasty shit…you’ll realize how awful this makes you feel and the guilt…
    I wish I could stop, but my body image is more important to me. I’m so used to being perfect in any other facet of life as well as having modelling opportunities to let myself go.
    It would be nice to stop, I wish I could go to McDonalds without scoping out the bathroom scene first, but for now I just can’t.

  16. Aron Tinai says:

    This first time I purged I was 13.
    I didn’t even know what eating disorders were. After school I would go to the basement where my mother kept all the dry foods and would eat them. One day I felt too full and got nauseous. After I naturally threw up, I thought “well that wasn’t bad I can do this myself.”
    It wasn’t until two years later in health class that I actually found out there was a name for it. Of course I didn’t tell anyone, fearing now that people would think I was weird because I had this “disease.”
    This is why I don’t buy the “socially constructed” part of eating disorders. Myself and many people I have talked to online share the same story…that they started doing this without the desire to become skinny and control their weight.
    I am now 21 and have not made any significant strides to recover. I have always been very self motivated, so I graduated early and have already had a demanding job for sometime. Bulimia is still my coping mechanism, although it is significantly less severe than my high school or college days. I believe this to be simple maturity because I have not made any effort ever to meet with a nutritionist or therapist.
    I hope that this will one day not be a part of my life, but right now it is as normal as brushing my teeth.
    In short, I am unapologetic for my actions.

  17. Amber says:

    Hi Aron,
    I read your story (above). I understand your view point . ED’s are a socially constructed phenomenon, and it is in reality just a label that identifies actions and gives it a name. Who is to say Ana/Mia or EDNOS are so bad?
    With moderation, most things do not become problematic. Unfortunatley, with Bullima it becomes more then a once in a while ‘too full, so i barf’ situation. I also have a graduate degree, and maintain a very productive life. But, the scars of Bullima / Ana are not behind me. I am almost 30 years old and let me say that what i thought was ‘controlled’ became totally overwhelming very quickly.
    I know you feel this is ‘normal’ for you, but i hope you understand the thin line you are walking. I was there, and before i knew it i had minor heart failure, lost my period and spent time in the hospital.
    All the best to you, and all the others on this Blog.

  18. lasolita says:

    wow, some of these stories are more accurate than ‘my own’ recollection… And confronting and comforting at the same time
    I don’t know where the whole body image problem started, I was a skinny child, grew bigger when adolescence started, started working out loads (but eating normally) and then suddenly, I ‘fell ill’. It came with the realization of two things, two years before my first purging session: I realized 1. it is so easy to lose control, for example over the amount I went to the gym (only thing you have to do is ‘let go’) and 2. if I don’t work out I’ll become fat. Both thoughts freaked me out. This fear grew over the summer and by the time my last year in highschool started, I switched to barely going to the gym and barely eating. After 2 months someone I thought was a good friend said she thought I had anorexia and should go see a doctor. Because my best friend’s sister had anorexia I took this very seriously, so talked to my best friend and the doctor. They didn’t see anything. I felt like a morron and went back, in fear of anorexia, to eating a bit too much.
    After I completed highschool I took a gapyear and met this beautiful girl with big blue eyes, beautiful brown hair and perfectly proportioned body. We travelled together for a month, one month in which I started hating myself for being so fat, ugly and introvert. As far as I didn’t already. No need to mention I was like a shadow and all guys only saw her. One night not long after I’d returned, my family had a barbeque and I had eaten a lot (except for meat, I’ve been vegetarian for ages). I suddenly had the ultimately compulsive urge to get that food out of my system. And so I did with a bit, but not all too much effort. I remember thinking “I purged once, does that mean I am sick now?”
    I’ve been struggling with this problem for 4, almost 5 years now. The past year has been good, but I am clearly not fully recovered if you know what I mean.
    Nno one in my environment knows. I have hated myself for secretely being such a weak person. They think I’m much stronger than this and I know my dad would not get it and think I’m pathetic. I have also resented myself because I always thought anorexics at least had the strength not to eat. Bulimics are so weak for always failing to restrict.
    I also haven’t seen a councelor for this yet. I don’t see how I could get a good councilor at a free clinic and if there’s anything that would ruin me, it’s being diagnosed with some kind of psychological disorder I need pills for.
    So if it comes down to giving advice to others like me, I couldn’t. It’s hard to imagine everyone would want to go through this all alone.
    Despite everything, even though I cannot seem to find any love for myself, I do see so much beauty in the world and adore the people around me. And all these people and all these beautiful skies, birds or even alleyways make life worth living. No, make life amazing.
    Maybe, if there is any advise I could give to someone just ‘starting’ with this self mutilation (because it is that, you don’t want to know): please ask yourself if there is ANYONE in your surroundings you feel you can talk to now that it isn’t yet an integral part of you? Because once you’ve done in more than twice, you’ve got it I think.
    But also: if you think you are weak- Try to prove yourself wrong: why not prove you are strong to yourself? The times I do that, it gives me such a good feeling and it can last me a very long time. Proving to yourself that you are not weak will launch you into an upward instead of a downward spiral. And I truely think everyone has the strength in them to be a positive force in this world.
    And if you still hate yourself too much, please look into the world. There is always something else to be strong for in this world. There is always beauty and always love, if only you keep your eyes open and pointed towards the sky, not the toiletseat.
    Not long after I came back

  19. lasolita says:

    DUH, just to specify this sentence:
    And all these people and all these beautiful skies, birds or even alleyways make life worth living. No, make life amazing.
    I mean all this beauty doesn’t only make life worth living, but makes the whole experience of living so amazing!
    Just to be sure 😉 and thank you mamaV

  20. UnseenTears says:

    I know this is kinda an old blog but I thought I would respond anyways.
    First off, I would like to say that I was one of the girls off CB that had her picture stolen during the whole FoPA thing. I was actually an admin on the boards up until recently. I am now apart of http://www.webiteback.com which I highly recommend to all you pro-ana (“pro-reality”!) girls out there. At least check it out.
    To answer your questions….
    1) Tell us the sequence of events that lead up to the first time you purged.
    I was about 10 or 11. I grew up in a really chaotic environment, my mom was a heavy alocholic when I was younger. I was the mom, I took care of my mom and my brother from even when I was younger. I got good grades, I did everything I possibly could to get my moms attention. I dont remember how I had distorted body images, I’m guessing since the TV was my best friend I got it from there, but I remember the first time I thought I was fat. I got my school pictures back and I had hated how my had done my hair and the outfit she made me wear. (My bangs were all blown out and hair sprayed up, very 80’s) And I was like wow. And from that moment on I hated my body. Even in kindergarden I wouldnt go to school in pants, I had to wear a dress because “I had to be pretty and make friends” I woulda done anything for a friend. When I was about 10 or 11 I got REALLY SICK. And I lost ALOT of weight. I didnt like throwing up all the time, not being able to eat, having a fever, etc. But when it was over I got some comments about how I had lost my “baby” fat. I put two and two together, and here I am 22 still doing it. Though, its become much more complicated then just losing weight now, and really I dont know if it was truly about weight.
    2) What recovery efforts have you made, and what advice do you have for other sufferers?
    For a long time I was dead set against recovery. I was apart of CB, and not ready to leave anytime soon. I had been forced hospitalized a few times in my early teen years, where I put on the weight and was released where I would just lose it all over again. I’m still a firm believer that you cant force recovery on anyone, if anything it makes it worse. I know people who have killed themselves after being tube feed and shit. But for about the last year or so I’ve been really focused on not being sick anymore. I’m tired of abusing laxatives and shitting myself. I’m tired of always be hungry. I’m tired of migraines, and fucked up teeth. I’m tired of always being cold and living in the doctors officer because my white blood cell count is so damn low. The list goes on. This is not a pretty disease, and it was easier to think it was a life style choice for a long time then a disease. A disease made me feel like I couldn’t get better, a life style choice made me feel like I still had the power. Crazy thinking, I know, but really thats what I thought.
    3) What would you say to someone who has just started purging and is headed down the bulimia path?
    Please stop. It feels great now, but the window of time where you’re not that sick from it and look “good” is so short lived and not worth it. If you can stop now please do, and if you do, hell even if you dont, check yourself into counseling, talk to your parents, a friend, a recovery website like http://www.webiteback.com, anything, to get some support. Its like a drug, you dont just get to stop, you’ll have cravings and its a WE program, you cant do this alone, and YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.

  21. MAI says:

    1) Tell us the sequence of events that lead up to the first time you purged.
    The first time i purged, it was different then most. I had binge eaten like crazy in the summer, exteme dieted and was wannerexic for a month or two, and then let my self lose. I felt like a failure, i felt imperfect, i felt depressed and alone. And i felt there was no actual thing wrong with me, apart from i was slightly overweight. I wanted a problem. So i’d been shoving my finger down my throat for months before, but only gaging. No food coming up. THe first time i gagged, i can’t remember what i ate, i just remember being freaked out. thinking OMG i’m bulilmic, its the end of the world ! there were red spots all over my face, broken blood vessels, and i thought everyone would know. I remember thinking ill never do it again. But i did, and it was just routine, i’d eat dinner, jump in the shower and purge. It felt good, even if my throat was sore. even if i had spots on my face. And then i started to purge after every meal. It was such a power high. Then when on a rowing trip to tenesse, i binged like crazy, gained 5lbs in 6 days, while doing extensive rowing workouts. and the next week, our week off. PURGE FRENZY, i weighed myself before and after to make sure it was really all gone. And i found it fun. I began to like the purging more than the binging.
    2) What recovery efforts have you made, and what advice do you have for other sufferers?
    I had stopped cold turkey for 3 weeks, and then i got sick of binging and purged. It feels better when you dont think its hurting you. i have seen a physch about it, and i’m having a hard time not binging. it’s really either one or the other for me. i liked purging more, it felt good after. i dont’ like it anymore though. but i want it to help like it used to. Pretty much i am one going down that road soo i dont have any advice
    i’m working this out as i go, i think your fucked as soon as you do it once, and like it.
    3) What would you say to someone who has just started purging and is headed down the bulimia path?
    Pretty much i am one going down that road soo i dont have any advice
    i’m working this out as i go, i think your fucked as soon as you do it once, and like it.

  22. Sarah says:

    i know this is a very old blog and perhaps no one will readbut imnot too sure that is the real reason that im ‘sharing my story’.
    the first time i purged,it took me a while to think it&imnoteven too sure it was definately my 1st time, but i do remember an early time. At that period in my life i was self harming and restricting probably getting about 300ccals a day, i was so young it seems so strange that my life centred around cutting and eating.I was 13 and my brother who must have been about 18 was soon to be leaving for uni, our family life has always been difficult but towards my mid teens me and my brother really startedto get on; i was upset and i cant remember why, it would be no suprise if i had just looked in the mirror, i found that very hard sometimes.but my mother is a caterer and she brought some chocolate brownie home and i ate one slice and then more and more and more, just shoving mouth full after mouthfull,ran upstaiirs and threw it up, with a lot of coughing and effort due to my inexperience, and thats when my brother walked in. 3 years later my bulimia has developed to a 3times a day habbit,but in my 3 years of depression and eatdisorders that is the one time that someone caught me, and its heartbreaking because it is perhaps then that something could have been done to stop me. like most people some days are bad and some days are really bad and others are bareable. I managed to stop my self harm after a particulalrly bad relapse which resulted in stitches, however my bulimia has increased the scars on my knuckles constant rash around my eyes swollen neck and continuous sore throat are proof of that. I hate myself and this sick cycle just makes it worse.
    2) What recovery efforts have you made, and what advice do you have for other sufferers? Recovery efforts, i’ve tried but it seems to go from one addiction to the next; restricting, bulimia, vutting, drugs, alchohol. i guess i have never really made a proper effort to get help, because i dont want anyone’s help, ive been through it all with self harm, all the ‘professionals’ all the worried looks from paretns tteachers and friends. i jsut cant facce it again. ive managed to ease up on my bulimia at times, but i cling to it, its like a really old dirty cuddly toy, which you know is dusgusting but you keep because at the end of the day its yours and you know its there and it stable. thats what this is; dirty and foul and disgusting, but looking in the mirror after a session and looking down at my sick covered fingers and swolllen eyes,i know its reall its there and its mine.
    3) What would you say to someone who has just started purging and is headed down the bulimia path? To someone who has just started purging; it seems pretty good right now to be sick and drop that 1lb that ypou put on by eating a few too many choclate bars, but after time it isnt something that you control its something that controls you. everytime you eat, everytime you go into a bathroom. a constant struggle every day having to see other people be round other people who arent repulsed when they look in the mirror, its then when you realise that its gone to far, adn the worst thing is it’ll be too late. If you can, stop. The thing is with purging you can try and call it a one time thing or perhaps it is, perhaps you are ttrying to lose a little bit of weigfht, but trust me the self laothing and hatred and messed up mind that comes with is just not worth anything in this world.

  23. My sister suffer bulimia and I want to help her but I don’t know how can I do for her.Brian N. Giddens

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