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Bulimia - my story
Member Name: xxfoxyredxx
Date: 28/06/09, updated on 12/06/12 (150 review reads)
My name is Melanie and I'm Bulimic. I'm 34 and I'm bulimic. I have an otherwise nice life, great friends and family and am reasonably smart and creative....yet still.... I'm bulimic. Like many!
For me it started 5 years ago. Yep late on in life. I'd been through an abusive relationship in which I almost died in and had been doing Weight-Watchers like hawk eye for a year in which I went from 16 stone to 12 stone and was a healthy size 14ish.
Me, well I'd been big since the age of about 12 years old. Till then I'd been scraggy as hell. I can pinpoint though when my relationship with food became unhealthy. Not only did my Granny die who had pretty much brought me up whilst my parents worked to bring home the bacon (so to speak lol) and I got lost in grief but no one realised and I'd always loved food and in my home I always had good food in my stomach and plenty of pocket money to spend as I desired so I spent it on rubbish! Also it was around that time I almost got raped by my friends Dad. I didn't but I got lucky!
By the time I left school at 16 years old I was 12 and half stone and size 16 and far bigger than any of my peers. I got the nickname of Blubber (from the famous Judy Bloom book) but don't think I was really bullied or anything like that it was just the odd comment but obviously it hurt me and made an impression and gave me low self esteem,something I realise more now than I did then.
I hated my weight with a passion but ignored it until when I was about 28 years old and I was said 16 stone. I met a guy (abusive ass) that loved me (ahem!) for who I was but I decided enough was enough and gave Weight-Watchers a go with his blessing and encouragement.
I found it easy peasy and it was really the first diet I ever properly followed to the letter. I never gave up and stuck firm to the plan and regularly lost 2-3lbs in a week and I was so busy doing the diet I never even realised when I became a gold member and hit my target weight of 12 and half stone!
I felt great about myself though but my relationship came to an end literally a couple of days after I became a gold member of Weight-Watchers and I ended up leaving my ex in London and moving back home to Coventry. This was hard in itself because I was used to running my own household and my own life but it was made even harder by the fact my Mum had met a guy and he had moved in. He's my Stepfather now but I felt lost and alone and sort of excluded from things really. I lost my on Dad (my best friend) to bowel cancer a few years prior to this and felt suddenly very alone in my on going grief about losing him.
I had lots of hassles with my ex too at this point. I was professionally stalked and all-sorts and my friends got death threats and I was terribly low and anxious all the time and not sleeping etc. Because I was low though the plaster was my folks saying get ready we going for a curry or out for a few drinks and stuff like that. I'd sit on the sofa and my now Step-Dad would ruffle me hair knowing I was upset and make us a BBQ to cheer me up and things like that. I was trapped by food and didn't know how to say no to it and really I didn't want to....it was a comfort to me.
I knew I should be doing the maintenance plan now for Weight Watchers and simply watching what I ate with the principles I had learnt from my diet. Instead...well I lost control, gorged and did gain a couple of pounds and I was terrified by it. I'd lie in bed knowing I was about to undo all my hard work but I didn't like to reject my parents food and at the end of the day I didn't want to either, it made me feel happy for a while.
The first few times I was sick I never had a label for it. Stupid, but I knew about Anorexia but not Bulimia. I knew I was doing wrong but I found I could be sociable, eat as much as I wanted and puke it back after-wards really well and no one would know but me. For me I was never (and am still not) a binger as such. I do have my moments when I can sit and eat my own body weight in crap but for me I'm ill after most things I eat regardless of what they are or the size of the portion nowadays.
People have this image of us lot bowled over the toilet with fingers down our throats. Silly image that is and I don't know anyone who behaves that way. When well practised at this illness no props are needed.
So I was being sick alot (up to 15 times a day). I felt rubbish and I was eating, sicking up, eating cos I was starving and lost focus....got lazy. Because of getting lazy I didn't clean up properly after being sick in the toilet and my Stepfather started to notice things (he had a sister who was anorexic). Then one day, and I'll never forget this I used to be sick in bins and bags if I couldn't get to the toilet cos I was I was being watched. I'd thrown up in my bedroom bin and tried to hide it to dispose of it later. In the meantime my Mum saw my dirty bin and yelled and screamed at me as she knew by this point I wasn't right and was terribly upset with me anyway. She picked up said plastic bin and it completely collapsed on the top of the stairs and the contents of my stomach went all over the carpet and up the skirting boards the lot. I knew then I wasn't right and I went to the Dr's with my Mum and told him my story. Even though I knew my behaviour with food wasn't right I still couldn't see it was so wrong either! I just wasn't thinking straight.
There and then I was diagnosed as Bulimic. I had to admit to the sick thing but also that I was taking a load of over the counter water retention tablets and stuffing myself silly with laxatives and diet pills (serious amounts but I won't divulge how much stuff I was taking just in case anyone picks up my ideas). Although I had these issues and was referred to a eating disorder clinic I was by this time 10 stone 10lbs which put in the middle of my healthy weight range.
The eating disorder day centre was hell for me. It was hell because I'm a sensitive person and I hated what I saw and heard from other people. I also felt not a good enough Bulimic cos compared to the size zeros (and skinnier) I felt humongous and like I had no right to be there at all. Was a bit at that point like a competition if I'm to be totally honest and it all really confused me and I was already in a mental state.
I started off having to commit to 2 hours a week and then it dropped to a year of hand holding of an hour of session with therapists and 12 other girls/women (we had no guys in our group) discussing our past and problems etc.
Everyone's experience is different going through this process but I can only speak for myself on this issue. I found it a total waste of my time. Most of the people quit the group and out of four of us who finished the course (I'm mates with them all) I have one friend dying in an eating disorder residential clinic (she's been in for 6 months now), my other mate is badly anorexic and heavily on drugs and the other..well she took off in the middle of the night and we don't know if shes ok then there's me...no better, worse if anything.
I finished the course, did all the homework, eating disorder plans, kept diaries the lot but I was no different...actually by the time I left I was then down to 9 stone 13lbs and the weigh in's every session were like Weight- Watchers to me all over again so I was pleased to be getting lighter each week of course as I was used to that.
When the course finished we were all regarded as successes simply for still being alive and following it all through to the end. I decided then to just continue the way I was really. I mean I was ok in my opinion and used to being this way by now. Sure tired and hungry I was but losing weight and feeling trim is good right?
Wrong. Move along a couple of years to today and how I am now I'm sat talking to you. Today I am 8 and half stone and losing fast and a size 6-8 at 5ft 10. If I go to 7 stone 13lbs I can be admitted to hospital without my consent. I have a bad spine, low B vitamins, am knackered all the time, cough up blood alot and have incredibly dangerously low potassium levels. I go through stages of sleeping for days to sleeping not at all. My bones crunch and click, I walk like an old lady and go through stages of malting hair like you wouldn't believe. Couple that with not being able to poo by myself!
I constantly feel ill, I have periods occasionally and when I do they hurt me so badly. I'm told I'll probably never have kids and lets face it probably just as well. I'm paranoid, argumentative and lost in this illness with no way out it feels at times. I get stressed and emotional easily, I get scared but most of all I don't feel well and shut myself away from people. I've been prodded, poked, analysed (I see a councillor every Wednesday for ages and judged by psychiatrists. I hate being seen naked or scantily clad and hate hugging people cos they make comments about my bones sticking in them.
People don't understand eating disorders yet they're so on the increase it's frightening. It's not fun, it's heartbreaking and I destroy people I care about every day when they look at me. Sometimes I feel so low I feel suicidal and it's scary because when your not eating and feel rubbish anyway life is so hard for you that it's hard to make decisions and see the wood from the trees at the best of times.
Help is limited and like people say there is only one person that can help you and that's yourself though it isn't easy at all because it's a habit. All my behaviour is and half the time I don't even think about my actions they simply are second nature to me.
There is some help out there and if you are suffering there is no need to suffer in silence with this. There is no real stigma to this illness any more as there used to be and just cos you admit to having an eating disorder doesn't mean your gonna get force fed whilst tied up or put in a mental institution either! Look at me I'm not lol.
Medication is available and I'm on a pill called Fluoxetine which is Prozac that is meant to help food stay put too which is only suitable really for recovering Bulimics (hence why I stopped taking mine recently and am about to restart taking them!). Talking about this is key. Men, women and kids alike are suffering in silence and while we do help that could be made available to us isn't being because the real statistics aren't out there.
Don't be ashamed, you are not alone, trust me on that and always bear in mind the success stories of recovery and hope that for yourself!
Summary: There is no need to suffer alone!
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