Sunday, June 09, 2013
I was writing this for my "Recovering from Eating Disorders", but I thought it would be more beneficial for me if I wrote it here instead (and maybe help even one person)
I am a recovering bulimic (and somewhat anorexic) person. I have struggled with this since I was 18, and I am now 61, and still struggle with it now. After all a person needs food to live. I turned to food because it helped me feel good, for it would not hurt me (would not abuse me physically, tell me I was worthless, I could never do anything right, tell me I was so stupid, compare me to others, yell at me, or call me names).
After feeling guilty, because I thought I caused the problems and telling myself "if only" I would have done this or said that, it never would have happened. So I would turn to food, eat, and eat until I made myself sick. It was the only way I knew how to cope with all of the hurts. Then I would purge, actually thinking I was throwing away my problems by throwing up. But then I would feel guilty, because I realized I did it again (the eating and purging) so it would start all over again. I even took laxatives, and fluid pills trying to lose, trying to get thin, because I thought if I did I would be perfect, thinking if I was, no one could ever tell me all those terrible things.
When I was 35, I was finally able to admit to others and to myself that I even had this problem, because I thought I was "hiding" it really well. But not hiding it from my neighbor good enough. One day, she noticed how yellow I was getting, so she took me to the hospital to get checked. Eventually the Dr. told me that my potassium level was so low, I could have eventually killed myself. He put me in the hospital, and finally I had to tell others what was going on.
Boy did I feel like a failure, disappointing my friends, loved ones, except my husband at the time. While I was in the hospital, he came to tell me that he didn't love me like a wife, but as a sister, especially after this, and because I could not give him his own children. I cannot describe how I felt, except feeling "if only" I could have kids, he would still stay with me. After getting a divorce, this vicious cycle with food went on and on for many years. Finally I went to a clinic in CA. and finally realized what a terrible problem I had. The clinic helped a lot, but a lot of it was work I could only do. I had to learn different ways to cope with things so I would not turn to food.
Even now, after years and years, I still fight off the temptations. When I am feeling down and depressed, I want to turn to food for comfort, but I know if I do, it would be the worst thing I could do to myself. So I struggle with it each and everyday. When I feel down or depressed about something, I have had to learn how to deal with it differently, and that is still very hard at times. It would be much easier to deal with it by turning to food. Because after all, doesn't food make me feel better?
Member Comments About This Blog Post
You are a courageous overcomer. You have sincerely learned to take care of yourself and be one of the most caring people I have met on Spark. I had difficulties in my family and felt similarly to how you did. I had also dealt with many other issues over the years and still am a Work In Progress. The Lord has blessed me with some good friends and I have a safe place to live. I haven't totally gone public but I have let others in. I wish you all the best as you live out your recovery and beyond, and on to your destiny!!! I have been in treatment for ED many years now and have tried to deal with the consequences of the food over and over, but I feel like this time is different. Thank God. I feel finally like things are beginning too change!!!! Thank you for being a part of that change for me!
124 days ago
You wrote this blog the week I joined SP!
I'm glad your neighbor wasn't fooled at got you the immediate help that you needed. I know how hard it is to go through therapy to get to the root of the problem...and know that it really never ends, just lays low for the times when you are already feeling weak and defeated.
It's amazing that you are happy and healthy now and such an encouraging presence here on SP!! Thanks for sharing!
280 days ago
Wow, Barb, I Give you all the courage and strength it must have been to write this. I can understand because I went through alot of abuse, name calling,etc., and though I wasn't bulimic or anorexic, I am a recovering alcoholic and I love food too. Thanks for sharing your story.
534 days ago
WOW!!! Amazing!!!! You are Awesome. Thank you for sharing this with us. I have issues with food too. It's so encouraging to read someone who has had so many struggles, and come through it. I'm proud of you.
1436 days ago
You are a strong woman!!!! You've been through a lot and now you are here! You are safe and appreciated here! You can help yourself by helping others here! You are valued here!
I appreciate your candor and it made me realize that, even though mine wasn't a "full blown ED, I still had issues with food. I ate for comfort and would binge if "I blew it for the day."
Your honesty gives a new insight on how to continue supporting my daughter and I thank you for it. Anytime you need to talk, you know how to reach me. I check SP daily and will always respond.
1444 days ago
You are an overcomer. It took courage to share this, but all of us are friends, and we are cheering you on.
So sorry about how your husband did you, that is the pits.
Never blame yourself, sweetie. Now you have over a 100 of children.
I just bet you can hardly wait to get back to school.
1452 days ago
thank you so much for sharing :) I know how hard it is. I am so proud of how far you've come.
1454 days ago
I couldn't agree with you more, the food NEVER helps.
Be gentle with yourself on your journey.
1460 days ago
I never thought to find anyone remotely in my age group with not only a similar life story/ED, but also someone whose problem has persisted as long. I celebrated my 30th anniversary of mine in May of this year.
Thank you for sharing such a powerful story and in my own case, such a meaningful one.
1462 days ago
Hi Barb, I glad you share your story. It sound like you are on the right track. Keep up the good work.
1466 days ago
I'm sorry to read about your struggles. My history is somewhat similar to your own so I have some idea what you're going through.
1467 days ago
Wow, what a powerful story to share. You are a wonderful person, don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Have a great weekend!
1469 days ago
1470 days ago
I'm with Lisa, you are much better off without your ex!
What you wrote: "... a lot of it was work I could only do. I had to learn different ways to cope with things so I would not turn to food. " is oh so true to many of us! Whether you be bullimic, anorexic or not.
Thanks for sharing Barb.
1472 days ago
You are an amazing woman Barb! I too suffered Bulimia for 10 years of my life and anorexia for 3 years, that was the hardest time in my life! But I thank God I have overcome those two demons, but it is the liking myself part I work on constantly. It was never about the food, it was about myself. I didn't accept who I was and that was the problem, often when we don't have a healthy nourishing self-concept we will turn to addiction of some form or another to try and compensate for emotions we haven't learned to accept. Our emotions are part of us but they don't have to rule us. You are a woman full of courage, caring and truly inspiring!
1473 days ago
What an open and honest blog! I'm sure it isn't the easiest thing to be so open and honest but I really commend you for doing so. Everyone has to deal with daily struggles and I hope people can read this and know that they are not alone. You are not alone. Thank you for sharing such a personal thing!
1473 days ago
Thank you for sharing this!
1474 days ago
What a truly honest blog this is. I applaud you for confronting this head on. I have known a few people who were anorexic, but no one who ever admitted to being bulimic. I suspect it is much more widespread than most will admit. I admire your courage in putting this out for all of us to read.
1475 days ago
Thank you for sharing what is a personal struggle. We all have our struggles. I am a binge eater. I go for several days or even weeks, think I have it under control and then slip - BIG TIME. Hopefully, your blog will help you and others.
1475 days ago
Like you, I have tried to be perfect since I was twelve. There was a time when I could not eat in public. I would go without in front of people and then pig out when no one was watching. It must have been horrible for you to have to purge after you binged. But you are learning new ways, healthy ways to deal with food. Little by little. When you feel the urge to pig out, drink some water. That has been my saving grace. That and knowing that no wonder pill will get me to my goal weight. I am 83 lbs. overweight. I used to be 100. I celebrate the little things because that's all I have. Congratulations to you for sharing your story. I hope in a way that makes you feel better, even better than eating a whole pie.
1475 days ago
I'm glad that you can express yourself and come to terms with your condition. We all struggle one way or the other and I am not trying to trivialize the depths of your situation but I do feel that we all go through some sort of situation that cause us to behave the way we do toward food. Yours is Bulimic and I don't have a name for mine but I keep eating at times I'm in control and other times it gets to me, my appetite is way out of control but like you I am pressing on and I am personally learning to lean on God more. All the best to you
1475 days ago
I had no idea. Thank you so much for sharing that. You are amazing. I'm so sorry anyone ever hurt you. You deserve all good things! You are one of the best people I've met!
I felt the way our society treats women without children. I didn't get pregnant until I was 33. I cannot tell you how many times I cried over somebody saying to me,' WHY don't you have kids???" Like it was an accusation.
I personally think you are better off without that husband! Any GOOD man would have looked for a solution with you if it really was that important to him!
I have struggled with enough self harming problems to understand your guilt & shame, but please know that it is just part of who you have become! You have become a caring, giving, loving, trusting and wonderful woman because of or despite this.
I love you and so do many others!!! Stay blessed, my love!
1475 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.