My Take on Bulimia Nervosa
If you googled Bulimia Nervosa you will see an answer somehow that looks like this…
Bulimia (or bulimia nervosa) is a serious mental illness. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, or background. People with bulimia are caught in a cycle of eating large quantities of food (called bingeing), and then trying to compensate for that overeating by vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or exercising excessively (called purging). Treatment at the earliest possible opportunity gives the best chance for a rapid and sustained recovery from bulimia.
So it’s quite safe to say that reading that statement when you just don’t feel too great about yourself at that present moment that now you’re dealing with the box you’ve been placed in that you have a serious mental illness.
There doesn’t seem to be any grey area’s either side of that box.
I’m in no way disputing that statement above but what I’m saying is the grey area’s either side needs to be there in black and white. To give those who suffer in silence a light, some guidance, because there’s no identification or information apart from what you see.
I’m turning 49 in July and decided that its time to face the demon that was within and haunted me from the about the age of 12 and can safely say was my 3rd wheel right through until my late 30’s. I also thought that if I shared this then maybe just maybe there’s someone that reads this and realises or recognises that they fit the grey area’s and removes the loneliness and isolation that it causes.
At the age of 12, was I really that fat kid that I saw in the mirror?? I was led to believe that I was by the cruel name-calling I endured for as long as I could practically remember!! I look back on photo’s mmm can’t really see it. But back then it was there, I’m sure it was, after all, why would I be taunted about it 24/7. I was tall, yes for my age. I was 5ft 9ins from actually about 13. Which funnily enough I remained that height, not getting any taller! So yup never got trousers to fit because there was just never any that would fit correctly. Unless of course you wanted the fashionable camel toe!! Even at that age, I knew that I didn’t need any further reason to stand out.
I had been quoted the ugly duckling from a family member’s friend, who quite openly said ‘oh don’t worry your turn into a swan when you’re older’. Great got everything going for me, oh, and of course just to add to the recipe of disaster, the great teenage spots. Fabulous!!
So we put this all in the mixing bowl and what do we get. We get some type of eating disorder that doesn’t fit the bill of full-blown Bulimia. In fact, to this day what do I call it? Does it need a name, who knows? Do I need to label myself after all these years?
So my story of whatever the hell was this goes a bit like this. I would go without eating sometimes for the whole day, just maybe have an apple. My life was already taunted enough about supposedly being overweight, why would I add to that!! It didn’t get noticed that I would eat my dinner in my bedroom. If I was so so ok and the day wasn’t too bad then the dinner remained inside for digestion. If however, the day was particularly difficult then yes I would take myself off to the bathroom and remove it. I would get a great sense of achievement that I was in control. There would be times when I would do this non-stop for a couple of weeks and then another time I could go for a whole month and not do it. I would actually feel my teeth move within the gums, my skin looked shocking. I would want to just stay in my room and hideaway. I felt lonely the majority of the time. So you see I didn’t binge then go get rid of it. Yes, I lost weight, but did that stop any of the tauntings. Of course it didn’t. How did I hide this you may ask. You get very clever, you learn for instance putting fingers down the throat causes teeth marks on your fingers, so your more careful. You ensure the toilet is spotless before you leave so as not to leave evidence. The list can go on but I’ll leave that there.
I for one did not resonate with the Bulimia Nervosa and I certainly didn’t feel I had a mental illness. I had no one to talk about this to and quite frankly at times felt ashamed of it all, so I just may of not anyhow. Yet weirdly though I felt I had this under control. So this juggling act shared or should I say dominated my young days, sailed with me through my twenties. My first marriage was at the tender age of 19 and I went onto having my eldest at twenty. I lost my first child in a miscarriage and did wonder back then if I was perhaps a little kinder to myself would this of necessarily happened. Although the work I do now days has allowed different thinking. Three wonderful girls by the age of thirty, yet still haunted. Even more secretive more so than ever as I didn’t want the girls to witness.
When I did open up eventually, to someone I thought I could trust I just got told ‘stop being so stupid, get a grip of yourself, and just stop doing it.’ I did try and time would pass and I would think, yeh got a grip of this! Then a disagreement with ex-husband and cruel words and I would hit the toilet bowl like an alcoholic would grasp the bottle. No blame being thrown here may I just add because he was in the dark as much as everyone else was. This was my secret and I fully own it rather than pointing a finger.
My mid-thirties, divorced, three children to bring up and starting a business. Responsibilities that took the steering wheel of this demon, however, shadowed me and taunted me just as those kids did when I was young. I will be honest with you I genuinely don’t know why one day I
woke up and decided enough was enough, but I did. I took each day as it came. There was good and there were bloody awful. It wasn’t long before I realised that a month had passed and I hadn’t kissed Percy Porcelain. As a month would lead to two, three it got easier. I would have a relapse here and there but I dusted my knees down and started again. I’m happily remarried now, and we have two fabulous granddaughters that are my sunshine, my little reminders that life is for celebrating!
So do I do it now? Nope! Do I ever get the urge? Yep now and again! Why you may ask? For example something as innocent as trying something on in the changing room, the mirror does you no justice, it looks shit what you’ve tried on, I feel shit and like magic, poof old memory pops up like a meerkat. Only this time I don’t engage with it or give it the energy to fuel up and start doing its war dance. I’m not a hero by any means in the fight against a type of eating disorder, and I’m not advocating that it’s easy by no means. I’m just giving you my account of it, my personal reflection of an eating disorder that perhaps just didn’t meet all the criteria you read in google, textbooks, and even health practices and so it becomes the elephant in the room.
Love and light to all you beautiful people out there, yes I do smile a lot and no that’s not hiding the shadow anymore. I am genuinely a very happy individual that has just traveled as like many others out there, a path dodging some shit xxx