Really, really rough time with bulimia right now. - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-25-2011, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone else? I know there have been threads for eating disorders before.

 

I have struggled with this since age 15. It goes away now for months at a time and just when I think I have it beat, here it comes.

 

I think I am at a normal weight (about 135, 5 foot 7); which is high for me and I think that's why I'm having so much trouble.

 

I never thought my eating disorder was body image-related (I've tended to be very skinny mostly). I've never been officially anorexic, but I've been below 100 pounds. When I get anxious, I FAST. Literally. Cannot eat. Body shuts down. I'm someone who eats either 14 servings of veggies a day, or all carbs/wheat. Usually this "balances out" over a couple of weeks, I think.

 

But right now I have decided I'm FAT. and UGLY. I really hope anyone struggling with weight can forgive me using the word fat like this. I know it's wrong and part of my illness. I don't apply it or even think it about anyone else. But right now I feel ashamed of my body and I want to PURGE SO BADLY. I am an active, relatively fit mom of one. We have no car, I have a dog and walk everywhere.

 

I am 43. My body is changing. I thought I was ready for the whole "wyse woman" stage. It seems as soon as I try to make ANY positive dietary changes (less meat and sugar, more veggies), or my pants feel tight or something, this latent BEAST rises up. I used to purge constantly, many times a day. How many YEARS can I be "almost better?" Does this happen for other addictions? No matter how long you're in remission, they can show up within hours without warning?

 

I want to purge my cake and ice cream RIGHT NOW.

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Old 06-30-2011, 11:20 PM
 
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Just wanted to send you a hug2.gif and say "keep on keepin' on"


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Old 07-01-2011, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I made it through without purging! Sometimes posting helps make me accountable and gets me through that rough moment, even if no one replies. It just amazes me how it can still come over me like that, when I think it's finally behind me. Thanks for the hug!

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Old 07-01-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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So glad to hear.  Way to stay strong, mama! Please post again if you think it might help.


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Old 12-25-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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Just wanted to bump this. How's it going for you? Is there anyone else out there?

 

I've been struggling with bulimia since 15 and I'm  now 22. It made more sense when I was 15... all unsure of myself, 5'2 and 150 lbs. But now I'm 113 lbs, and I'm a runner so I'm pretty toned. I'm really comfortable with myself and my life. Logically I know my body is perfect just the way it is. But something inside doesn't seem to click with my logic.

 

It's just like you said - I sometimes go months without purging at all and I think it's over. I finally stopped before we started TTC Feb 2010, and have been in the clear since then..... until about 2 months ago when it came back full force. For a few weeks I actually was purging every.single.thing I ate. 

 

To me it feels like every time I eat something I can see it sitting in my stomach. I can feel it. It's uncomfortable and unwelcome. Last week, I told DH about it. And I switched to a mostly-smoothie diet for the time being. 6 days without purging now.... why does it feel like being an addict? Anyway I came looking for a support thread because I'm desperately trying to keep my streak and not purge Christmas dinner. Was glad to find your post. Hope it has gotten better for you! 

 

 

P.S. Mine seems to get worse when I am trying to follow a vegan diet (for health reasons, not weight). My DH says it's because I am too strict and don't allow room for lapses. Do you struggle with moderation?


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Old 12-26-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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hug2.gif Anjsmama.  I hope you were able to make it through Christmas without purging.  And if you didn't, be gentle with yourself and start again today.  


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Old 01-20-2012, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi anjsmama:

 

How are you??????

 

I didnt' realize this thread was active, I'm so sorry. I would have replied. Please let us know how you are doing. If you want someone to check in with, I can be here now that I know you are posting.

 

For myself, I had to give up trying to "be" anything diet-wise. I found ANY restrictions triggered purging. Guilt set in so fast and then there it was, purging no matter how many months I'd been okay. Sometimes, especially after I've been in "remission" for long periods, this feels like a cop-out. Like I gave up the label "vegetarian," because it just prompted those guilt feelings and cravings. I figured, to put it bluntly, that vomiting up vegetarian food couldn't be better for animals/me/the planet than keeping down, say, chicken wings. But boy, does that sound messed up! I've had to accept it, though.

 

What I've decided for myself right now is that 90 percent better is better. If I tell friends, they are generally not very happy or convinced of this. There's something out there that gets people really upset with the idea of women purging. I once suggested to a male friend my theory that my binging and purging was no different than him or one of his friends going out, getting drunk and then throwing up. To my amazement, he was furious with this thinking. But how is it different?

 

So I've had it with milestones. I have no idea when the last time was I actually purged. I'm almost positive it hasn't been a year. Can you imagine? If I ever knew for certain I'd made it to my one-year anniversity of not throwing up, I'd have a big celebration with my friends. I'd feel guilty for everything I ate and I'd either need to be tied to a chair under 24 hour supervision for about 3 days, or I'd chuck it and have to start all over again. I don't know if this is remotely true for you, but the only "rule" that has ever made a difference to my bulimia is NO FOOD RESTRICTIONS. Ever. I draw the line at only 2 things: foie gras and veal. But I have no great desire to eat those things anyway. I would dearly love to get back to a plant-based diet, but how to get there without triggering IT I have absolutely no idea.

 

PS. I started bulimia at 15 years old, too. Maybe there's something about that age. I have now just turned 44. Unbelievable. For an update on me, I just posted about my current situation. I am still struggling to get back on track with food following surgery. It doesn't take much to throw that out of whack.

 

Here's to a healthy, happy new year for you especially. I hope you are doing okay. I'll be thinking about you.

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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Thank you both for responding! I did make it through Christmas, but just, just barely. It was awful. I drank a glass of wine to put myself to sleep to stop thinking about wanting to purge! 

 

I made it my 2012 resolution to not throw up. I broke it, but I lasted 12 days, and I still have only thrown up once. So I guess once in 20 days is a lot better than where I was 2 months ago, purging everything.

 

Carfreemama, I think your point about no food restrictions is really, really good. My SIL suggested I look at my food lifestyle as more of an 80/20 thing. Since I prefer a vegan lifestyle, she says I should eat in a vegan way 80 percent of the time and whatever I want, no strings attached, the other 20 percent. Which honestly makes really good sense to me, it's just that I don't seem capable of that kind of rational moderation when it comes to food. 

 

When I'm more focused on my running, I do better. Like right now, I'm in a good swing training for a marathon and each hard run accomplished feels good and the food doesn't feel so offensive because I know my body is working at a higher rate. I've actually gained 2 lbs (115 now) but I look fine, and I feel okay, at least much better than I did before. I'm finally sleeping again.

 

I still think about food a lot more than I would suspect is typical of a person without bulimia. Do you think about food all the time? When I'm grocery shopping, I feel like I could go home and eat one of everything I just bought! I'm a pretty good cook, and when I'm cooking I'm already thinking about what I could make for the next meal, snack, dessert, whatever. Supposedly, plant-based diets aren't supposed to be addicting the way carb and protein, fatty meat diets are. So.. how come I could eat a whole field of strawberries by myself in like an hour? 

 

I have been reading a book lately called Mom Energy (because I've been feeling so drained from recovering from this horrible "bender" I was on, so to speak)! It's really pretty excellent breaking down the exact ways our body uses nutrition and sleep and etc. When I think about things that way, I do really well. Like my body is a machine and I have to give it the right tune ups to work, so I can be a good mom and wife and runner like I want. And for awhile I do good. So much so that physicals show I am in perfect health (aside from some throat scarring) and my vitamin/mineral levels are very healthy. So then why does it always come back around to the bad eventually?

 

One of the hardest things to face is the mirror. When I'm in a downward spiral, I have really bad dark circles under my eyes. I mean, I know all moms have dark circles to some extent, from the stress and lack of sleep! But I'm 22, and I sometimes find they're practically black. They've gotten better here in the last 2 weeks or so and that makes me feel more encouraged. 

 

 

So far I'm back to most normal foods except I still can't eat any pasta or bread because it just feels like it never leaves my stomach and makes me totally sick. 

 

 

One of the toughest things for me is that like, bulimia is this one thing makes everyone assume you are insane. Alcoholic? That's OK, I'll take you to AA, you'll get better sweetie. Drugs, mental illnesses, almost anything can be accepted with an offer of support. But people think bulimia is just this shallow, easily controllable, stupid thing that girls do because it's fun? The way people around me talk about it (obviously unaware I have this problem) is so insulting and depressing. I don't fight with this because it's a good time! And I'm really not crazy, at least other facets of my life. I'm just glad my DH has been willing to be a listening shoulder without making me feel like I'm nuts. I dunno if I could have turned around this time without him. 


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Old 01-21-2012, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Glad to hear you made it, anjsmama. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this at just 22, and with children to think of! Hopefully, though, it won't have set in quite so deeply yet. I'm 44 and I have definitely had my ups and downs with it.

 

FTR, I DO suffer from mental illness and I can attest from that that you're right, it's a bigger stigma than almost anything else. That's why I've decided to "normalize" it by putting it in a class with other addictions or even indiscretions like the occasional bender with alcohol. I know that's probably a dangerous mindset, but has truly helped me take away some of its power. It's also why I don't count days since my last purge or resolve to never do it again. Not that I think it's bad to do that, just that for me I can't approach it that way. It's better for me not to know, not to keep track. If it were happening more often than every few months, then I would probably rethink that. Oh, and I had the throat scarring thing, too, and bad reflux. Acid indigestion for at least a few years after the really bad purging had stopped. Between 15-30, I would say I purged more days than not with maybe a few remissions in between (or not).

 

It's funny the similarities I see with you, me and other bulimics (the ones who will talk). I also love to cook and really enjoy food. I love to hold potlucks and dinner parties for friends and family. I am very social with food. Also, because I have always been on the thin side and active, like you, I have been able to eat whatever I want. What I'm running into now is that in my 40s, for the first time I'm gaining weight more easily. That is where my current challenge is coming from. I really don't want to be overweight and I realize I am not immune. I feel bad for saying that, since I live in an area with very high overweight/obesity including a lot of my friends and what does that say about my attitude towards them? I truly think THEY are beautiful, even though they complain about their weight. I did "come out" about bulimia years ago and that has helped tremendously. My close friends and family know my trigger foods and don't comment on my eating or not eating. I also will occasionally call one of them if I feel I'm going to purge, although mostly not. Posting is easier; I don't really want to involve them in this a lot.

 

I do think about food more than most people I think, yes. Although again, most of my friends struggle with food/weight issues in one way or another. Most of them just eat and accept the weight gain. I think the heart of my problem is that I can't do that. I have to get the food out. There were times the purging was so bad I would purge a glass of water, I just couldn't stand the sensation of something in my stomach. Now it seems, it's only when I feel I've overindulged or there's some other stressor in the background.

 

Right now, I'm trying to get back to eating normally after surgery. I should have guessed that would be a problem. Any little upset will generally make me unable to eat at all and this was a BIG upset. I was nauseous for weeks after the surgery and I had bowel issues, so I got turned off food completely. Once that happens with me, it's really hard to get back.

 

I have a supportive husband, too, but I try to keep the worst away from him. I don't know if that's good or not. I really hope you can keep talking about it and hopefully finding more support. Are there any friends you could trust with this? I think that will get better with time. Bulimia definitely doesn't have the "tragic romanticism" people (my age, at least) have associated with anorexia. It's about as un-glamorous an addiction as you could have, isn't it?

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Old 01-27-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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Carfreemama, awesome for posting and seeking out help. You too anjsmama. Have you ladies considered talking with a therapist about your feelings surrounding bulimia? I just met with a therapist for the first time in my life at the parenting center near my town and after just 4 sessions it helped me SO MUCH with SO MANY ISSUES. A good therapist can really help you see things you didn't see before, and from a different angle. You can find affordable sliding scale therapist and some health insurance companies offer a few sessions as part of benefits.

 


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Old 01-27-2012, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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youngspiritmom, I'm so glad you found a good therapist. It can really make a huge difference. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am a veteran of many kinds of therapy. Some of them have been incredibly helpful, maybe even life-saving and some of them have been downright harmful. The last therapist I saw was one of the best yet. I have tended to seek out therapy when I've needed it and have been moderately successful with it. I know it's been necessary. I wish it was more accessible and that there was more choice about who you see here (Canada), for how long and with what focus/modalities. Mental health here is really rationed and patchy, though I absolutely support our universal health care system. I just found out the last therapist I saw has a private practice and I am going to call to see how many sessions my private (extended) health benefits from work will cover. Especially in light of everything that's happened since I last saw her.

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Old 03-20-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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Carfreemama, I'm really wishing you well, and though our journeys are uniquely ours, I feel I can relate to you in so many ways. I hope you learn to accept that one doesn't need to never-slip up to be "recovered". The knowledge and understanding you have now of these old self-absuive patterns is much greater than that you would have had in the past, and that is an accomplishment in itself. With knowledge comes power. I noticed a post in which you exclaimed, "I made it through without purging!"- how wonderful. Celebrate the little accomplishments as they come.

 

I struggled myself with bulimia for years. I recognized this to be a huge mental hurdle for me going into pregnancy, and I really was hoping I'd up and be better forever with no slip-ups because I had a baby to depend on me who would look up to me and who would need a healthy momma. Experiencing pregnancy and motherhood has changed a lot for me, I look at myself differently, appreciate my body differently and have a new confidence in myself from my experience carrying my twins and bringing them into the world. This doesn't make me perfect though. Initially I expected a switch to flick and I'd never, ever, ever purge again. And I have. My boys are young, and there have been a few occasions, which is much better than the frequency of such instances in the past. I could beat myself up over this, though I have to consciously choose to perceive this as an accomplishment instead. Things are much, much better than they once were.

 

I hope you can find what works for you. I don't believe we all must walk around with problems, but it does seem to be the norm that many of us live our lives with some kind of monkey on our backs. If feeling obsessive and compulsive over food and purging is mine, than I really have it good. There is much worse. And real growth and renewal comes out of first recognizing one's limitations. For me I eat a fairly consistent, healthy, what some may consider bland, diet. I don't announce my problems to the world, though I will voice that it's best for my own mental clarity to avoid certain problematic foods so those I spend my time with are aware I don't find it enjoyable making an activity out of going out for desserts, for example. Sometimes I write little affirmations all over my house, "I love myself", "My body is a pillar or strength and beauty", "I honour my body"- these are things that help me stay focused on choosing a healthy way of living vs. self-abuse. Focusing on the positive rather than lamenting over the negative is ultimately what helps me make shifts for the better.

 

As someone who has rode the wave of life with an eating disorder, I appreciate you post. Old thoughts and patterns can come and go, and may we both enjoy the great positive shifts and tiny positive baby steps alike, whatever it is we're getting by on at the time. It certainly is a journey. And may yours be filled with as much self-love as you can possibly realize! This is important!

 

Cheers!


 

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Old 03-21-2012, 06:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmaraMonillas View Post

So glad to hear.  Way to stay strong, mama! Please post again if you think it might help.


I don't have bulemia, but I have some really gnarly anxiety and I find that posting totally helps.  When something is bothering me, taking the time to type it out then edit, then edit again. and again. and again. eventually makes me more comfortable with my thoughts and eventually I stop caring as much lol. 

 

anyway, my point is: If posting helps, post away!! there's always someone around to listen. (read. :))


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Old 03-21-2012, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Nice to see some fresh input, thanks to you both! And welcome, AndreaJay!

 

I don't think I've purged since I wrote that post. If I look back at the timeline, I think it's possible I may be coming up to my first-ever 1-year anniversary; or at least the first one I can remember or document!

 

It's been a powerful year. Since I wrote that post, I have had my left ovary and both tubes removed for a large cyst. No more babies, but no more anxiety over what this thing was, either. Unfortunately, the surgery also left me with a brand-new laparotomy scar and a little "shelf" over my formerly flat belly. I have lots of scars on my lower body (50%) from burns when I was little, so I didn't think this would bother me. But it did! It's taken some time to adjust to this new body-landscape, although I sailed through the surgery itself. No biggie, I'm just surprised at my own reaction, that it bothered me on a cosmetic level. So I've had some body image issues to work through. I've also gained a bit of weight (though my measurements haven't changed, so it may be psychological) from not being able to exercise for a while. But through all of this, I HAVE NOT PURGED!! There have been a couple of close calls, but I haven't done it.

 

I've also just had some very, very positive feedback from my bosses at work and now I have to sit down and look again at how I have no confidence in my own abilities and that I am really standing in my own way. Much to think about. It feels like something is shifting, if only I will let it. I suffer from anxiety, too, branditopolis; so much so I was on medication that really helped. It left me incredibly constipated, though, so I had to taper off it quickly (long story). I wonder how much anxiety and bulimia are tangled up for some of us. I agree with you, though AndreaJay, that this is not the worst baggage we could have to carry. That was so much my own breakthrough, realizing there's no finish line for this and I don't need to be "cured." There was a quote I read once that included the words "you are not broken..." I wish I could find it again. I loved it.

 

Branditopolis, if I can ever be there for you in your hour of need, please post or PM me. I start work at 4 a.m. (Nova Scotia time, whatever that is) and I understand what anxiety can do.

 

Thank you both, I so appreciate the love and positivity. What a relevation to understand I don't have to be "fixed" to be happy!!!

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Old 03-21-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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I'm so glad to hear you're doing so well, Carfreemama! Thanks for re-posting with the update on your life. You've obviously worked through a lot in the past while.

 

As much as I myself have made great progress, I have further releasing to do of some of these old mental hang-ups that I needn't carry with me. Once again, I appreciate you creating this thread. I've been caught in the trap of feeling bad over these feelings before- and stifling them down as a result is so toxic. Being honest and real about this is what helps me tremendously. I hope all who struggle with issues like these have a safe spot to go where they can be honest with themselves and others. 

 

Sending Nova-Scotian love back to you. All the best.


 

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Old 03-21-2012, 09:07 PM
 
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I'm so glad to hear you're doing so well, Carfreemama! Thanks for re-posting with the update on your life. You've obviously worked through a lot in the past while.

 

As much as I myself have made great progress, I have further releasing to do of some of these old mental hang-ups that I needn't carry with me. Once again, I appreciate you creating this thread. I've been caught in the trap of feeling bad over these feelings before- and stifling them down as a result is so toxic. Being honest and real about this is what helps me tremendously. I hope all who struggle with issues like these have a safe spot to go where they can be honest with themselves and others. 

 

Sending Nova-Scotian love back to you. All the best.


 

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Old 04-26-2012, 09:03 PM
 
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Hello ladies. Coming back to see how everyone is doing and send an update. I have been down on myself the past two days, thinking I haven't been doing so great... but now I'm glad I came to read this, because I'm clearly in a much better place than I was just a few months ago! 

 

I now make it most days without purging. I still lapse maybe once a week or so. Sometimes more frequent and sometimes two weeks or more without issue. Sometimes I go through with a binge, but manage to refrain from purging. I actually even think about food less than I used to. I think the warm weather is helping too... I'm spending a lot of time outside with my kids at the park and such, and food just doesn't seem so central anymore. I gained a few pounds.. up to 117 which is a pretty healthy weight for me, and I'm not feeling too bad at all about the few extra pounds. I do have bad days where I look in the mirror and wonder if I have whatever that disorder is where you see things that aren't real.. because I do notice every little change in my body.. but I seem to not be dwelling on it the way I have in the past.

 

I haven't gotten to therapy yet, but I have officially decided to GO to therapy, and talked to my DH about this plan too. Even when I'm feeling really great, I have that feeling that at any moment, I may start doing really badly again. So I think I need some professional support for that reason. 

 

I also recently moved, and my anxiety has gone way, way, way down since I got out of that terrifying apt complex. I think my anxiety level is closely related to my binge/purge problems. I feel safe, I feel like my kids are safe, I feel like for the most part.. things are going to be o.k. 

 

Carfreemama - Glad to read how great you are doing! I have been thinking about what you said about having a friend to talk to about this... and when I realized that no, I don't have a friend I can talk to about it... I realized how much I have withdrawn from my friends. I'm starting to branch out to playgroups and the gym and etc, just trying to make a connection. I feel like for a very long time I felt I had nothing to offer anyone because I was such a disaster... like I was letting the bulimia define me, define my worth. Now I feel like it's a very inconvenient problem I'm dealing with, but a relatively small part of me. More importantly, I'm a wife & mom, and I'm a nice, fun person. 


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Old 06-23-2012, 09:33 PM
 
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Anyone else? I'm struggling right now. Actually, weirdly, I'm doing well, but I'm struggling with it. Even though I haven't actually binged or purged now for a few weeks, food and weight and my body and this stupid problem are taking up a significant amount of my brain space.

 

I've finally decided to go the professional route and try like hell to kick this. I even saw a dentist, which was really hard for me.. I have lost 3 teeth already to this disorder, and I know the others are in bad shape. Thankfully, this guy was so kind and supportive and even told me he was proud of me for getting help now and trying to correct this. He offered to fix the damage and put bridges in the gaps, etc, get me back to zero so to speak in one appointment if i want to go with sedation. I am considering this. It might be helpful in my recovery just to be able to smile and not see how I've ruined my teeth with bulimia.

 

I saw a family practitioner and now I'm set up with a bunch of crap... he's worried about my bone density, low blood pressure, esophagus, stomach/gi tract ... seems to think there's a very good chance there's already significant damage so I'm going through diagnostics starting next week. I also, obviously, am sent up to see a counselor.. which I am very nervous about.

 

It suddenly feels very real. I feel like a person on a freaking TV show coming to this crucial point of getting help.. except on TV the person gets help magically in 6 weeks and it's taken me about 7 years to get to this step. I am just hoping beyond hoping that it's possible to get past this. I'm so tired of bulimia being such a big part of who I am. If I could turn off everything in my brain related to food, body image, etc.. I have a feeling it would be sort of peaceful being me. 


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Old 06-23-2012, 10:29 PM
 
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anjsmama, I don't know the beginning of what you're going through, but just wanted to offer you hug.gif and let you know that someone is reading. I think it is fantastic that you're getting the help you need. You sound strong even if you don't feel it right now!
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:12 PM
 
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*hugs*  More support added.  I have a panic disorder and my anxiety makes me deal with other compulsions that are uncontrollable so I can imagine how powerful the urge to purge is and how terrifying it must be.  You ladies have my thoughts as well for healing.  May you continue to battle bulimia and win.  


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