I never speak about my eating disorder. The times I have ever opened up or wanted to open up, I have been pushed away, made to feel selfish or a joke. I’ve been stigmatized. People living with bulimia are not always underweight and in, some cases, are overweight. So to begin with, physically, you don’t always look ill.
My eating disorder began when a few comments led me to diet. I was 14. I started cutting out various foods and I was starting to worry about anything I ate. After a couple of days of this I was terribly hungry. I rushed into the kitchen started in the cupboards and ate all I could find, all my control was gone. This went on for a while until, one day, I can’t even remember how it came about, I purged. This starving, binging and purging cycle went on and still goes on now.
I turned to the internet
As time went on I was feeling sicker I didn’t want to bother my family at the time, they had other things going on so I turned to the internet. I found sites with pictures of emaciated woman being praised. The websites felt like a place to go for help. However now I see it was the opposite of help.
As I grew older and realised that this was an illness and not a diet anymore I moved from the ‘pro’ eating disorder sites to sites where support was given in helping recovery. Here I found a lot of lovely people all thinking alike, helping each other and sharing ways to get through the bad days.
I was starting to build up the courage to seek professional help
I was starting to build up the courage to go and seek professional help. Like on any site there was bullying. I received message from someone ‘Bulimia? That’s a first world problem, try telling a starving child in the third world how you are eating all this food and just vomiting it all up, such a waste, you are pathetic. Just get over it!’ This message threw me I felt so much guilt, shame, embarrassment how could I possibly go and get help? I am just pathetic!
Because of that message, despite all the support, I kept off the website. I really wanted help but didn’t want to go to the doctors so I spoke to my boyfriend at the time. We had been together for a while so I felt I could trust him. It took me a few weeks to get around to telling him. His reply was ‘that’s gross, how can you do that’. I then, instead of defending myself, just said that it was ‘actually better now don’t worry’. I was in desperate need of an outlet. I started writing journals but a family member found them and deemed me a joke. Another family member told me to stop or I will die and said nothing more of it. I told a close friend who just replied with ‘oh’ and that was the end of it.
Eventually I went to a doctor
All the people I loved and looked up to made me feel like a monster. The only people I was able to speak to and find support from were a few close friends from the eating disorder support site. It wasn’t enough. Negative thoughts were taking over every aspect of my life. Eventually I went to a doctor but I didn’t want to tell a receptionist so went to book an appointment with my doctor and pretended it was an ache in my leg. I was turned away and told the doctor would phone me. I was devastated. I had finally built up the courage to go to the doctors to be turned away.
I am currently in the process of trying to build up my courage of going back to the doctors.