WARNING: POTENTIAL TO OFFEND/ UPSET (unintentionally)
*Parts of this post are truly graphic and may be disturbing to read. I talk frankly about some occurrences that took place when I suffered from Bulimia Nervosa 14 years ago. Please do not read if you may be uncomfortable with the behaviours that go along with this illness, I do not mean any offence or upset to anyone at all*
I wanted to share this as it's something that I experienced during my early ED days that was far worse to me personally, than any of the current ED stuff I battle with. I noticed, when reading through a few blogs out there, how much I can relate to the struggles and sheer hell of Bulimia, even though now, thank God, I got through the worst of that particular avenue of ED.
I find it particularly uncomfortable to talk about this, one of the main reasons being the guilt and disgust I felt toward myself when I engaged in this behaviour (it was FAR beyond my control so maybe 'behavior' isn't the right word here), the total lack of other peoples understanding of 'why one would do this to oneself 'and the utter lack of control that goes along with it- in fact- to me- I have never been so un-in control ever of anything than the way I was when I was 17 and suffered from Bulimia.
To briefly let you know the picture- my main issues now and for the past several years, have been with anorexia and under-eating or restrictive eating, with occasional bursts of purging while restricting.
(Very occasionally, out & out binges followed by purging, usually alcohol related and usually late at night and usually- a one off.)
I was hospitalized as a teenager twice within the same year, first for re-feeding/ anorexia treatment and then several months later, for full blown Bulimia Nervosa.
When I say full-blown, I MEAN full blown. I’m talking from morning til night bingeing (not just at mealtimes) and purging, several times a day-EVERY DAY. Using all the money I could find to spend on binge food, including draining my bank accounts, all my wages, unable to hold down a job for very long, alcohol abuse, suicide attempts, self-harm, severe depression, burst blood vessels in my eye, vomiting into bags in my room for fear of being caught (I lived at home with my parents), vomiting into anything- anywhere. It was worse than hell and the suicide attempts were real- I couldn’t stop this illness- even from fear of instant death due to the physical strain but I couldn’t bear to live with it and had no way out due to the intense fear of being fat.
I won’t drag on with this- it hit an all time rock-bottom at that point and I DID come through it enough to get back to living safely, and although still heavily ED loaded, I was through the other side of the B word hell cycle.
The events that followed over the next ten years were, all in all, positive and exiting and enabled me to end up, in a very roundabout long long story sort of way, married with a son.
This post was also sparked off in relation to something my husband said to me. As I mentioned before, the return of the full-on ED a few years ago (when I went back to hospital for treatment) is based around restriction and the anorexia issues and not really much involvement as regards Bulimia.
However, I mentioned to him last week, when we were discussing the last couple of years in relation to ED & recovery, that there had been a few incidents where I had purged food or blatantly binged, especially late at night when we’d been out drinking and then gone to the chip shop at 3am blah blah ….. and he was shocked… and hurt that he didn’t know. There is so much more detail I could go into here- but the bottom line is this:
I never set out to do this.
I rarely do it.
It is the one thing that, when it strikes, it’s usually unexpected, is totally out of control- I feel desperate and there can be no apparent trigger for it and often, no way to stop it.
It is very SECRET and very upsetting and leaves me hurting physically and mentally for days following, including a severe but short-lived heavy, black depression.
I'm sure many people can relate to these feelings and how much power they hold over us. This is also one of the main reasons I decided to limit my alcohol intake drastically. Alcohol numbs feelings... and accelerates them, ED wise. It changes the whole perspective and throws me into a place where ED is dangerous and wild. Not always….. but has done, enough times that I need to be very, very aware and careful always- even after months and months of hard work, eating well, not drinking too much etc. it can just bite and very hard.
I believe it’s something that I find hard to tell anyone when it does happen and find it emotionally draining for days after it too. I guess what I’m trying to communicate is that it’s quite easy to talk about if I have or haven’t eaten enough or if I’ve been not doing enough exercise or if I feel sad or down or scared but find it difficult to come to terms with if I’ve had a ‘purge’ incident.
So that’s my take on that. I hope this all ok to share, it’s like the ‘Silent Evil’ part of my ED that, although is very rare and occasional, is still something that I have to deal with and be aware of every day, along with the other stuff I talk about here.
Stay well, stay safe, keep on lovin YOU.
Thanks for reading. Xx