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Bulimia And Me....

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I thought I knew a lot about this problem, but I didn't...I thought because I did it for so many years that I was an expert on all phases of it...But I wasn't....Oh, I knew all about stress and how I would run to food as my comfort, but I was just barely touching the tip of the iceberg....Today is the first day that I am able to say that I know how, why and when I got here....I know the reason, but not the cure....I don't know why I am writing this and yet I do...Back when I started with this Forum I swore to tell only the truth....This was doubly important when I became a Moderator and is more important now....

In the time I have written on this Eating Disorder Forum I never associated it with a Mental Problem...I just looked at names...Such as Panic Attacks, etc...When I was told it was under Mental Issues yesterday, I was shocked that I didn't see it that way, yet it was there...It hit me in the face...Another poster told me this was a disease...I argued it wasn't, but it is, so this was to be my learning day....

I am not going to go through my life on this post, instead only one thing....I want to clear up something that I have written a few times on this Topic Forum....That being that my bulimia started in high school....Girls would vomit and some used it as a joke...It was a way to get thin...Knowing what I know now, I realize not only you couldn't get thin, but it tore you apart...For me it was the beginning of years and years and years of hell...And I never knew why....Now I do....

Yesterday one of the posters mentioned this happening could be because of some traumatic problem of years ago...Well if you were looking for stress believe me I had it...My parents got along like Cain and Abel, but this did not trigger my eating...Instead it was something even before that....When I was 5 years old, I got very sick...I mean deathly sick...I had a disease with no cure...Remember this was before penicillin and I believe there was only sulfa around...I couldn't stop vomiting...I remember well how it hurt me to pee..My urethra was on fire.....It killed me and burned so bad that I would cry...They took me to doctors and I was put in the hospital...I had Nephritis of the blood stream...I think it is pretty bad yet, but then it was real bad...My folks were told there was no cure and I would die...I was put in the hospital and they experimented on me...Every day the nurse would come into the ward where I was with three curtains she pulled behind her and put them around my bed...She would then spread my legs and invade my kidneys...They had to be flushed out...I will never forget the pain I went through as long as I live...My Mother would try to be at the hospital each day that they did this..But she had a 1 year old child at home so this was rough...I don't think my Dad cared either way...This horrible experience would be followed by a blood test....Twice a day they drew my blood...I find it hard writing about it, but it is part of my past...Maybe it is good therapy for me now...

I got so bad that they changed my room...I was put in with three kids...This time I got pneumonia...They had me too close to the window...I spent 3 weeks in the hospital....Three weeks that were to be the beginning of the eating hell that I was to know for three years....I was not allowed any salt of any kind....I recall they use to put a salt shaker on my food tray and it would be sealed...They thought this way that I would think I was getting it...I would shake it so hard to make it work, but it didn't...The sugar I was allowed was so sparse that it was like it wasn't there....This would not change for a long, long time...I recall when I was 8 years old I tasted catsup for the first time in my life since I was sick...

After I came home from the hospital I was put to bed...I was not allowed to walk for 6 more months...Complete bed rest...I had to be carried everywhere...I remember it well....All my food had to be ordered and prepared separately...Butter without salt...Bread without salt...Food I hated...I missed all of kindergarten and the teacher would come to see me every few weeks for lessons...The food restriction stayed for such a long time...The blood tests at the clinic were every few weeks...One of my most vivid memories are first grade...I was finally in school...A parochial school...I had to bring my own lunch...However, being in first grade the children were allowed all the extra things that some children didn't want...Rather than waste them, they would put them in a basket...There would be sandwiches, cookies, apples and anything left in it...This was then taken later to the first graders as a snack in the afternoon...Each day I would raise my hand when a wonderful sandwich was offered or a cookie, but they would ignore me...I only got a carrot or an apple...They ignored me and this alone tore me apart for years....Sometimes in second grade they had things left over from first, but I wouldn't raise my hand there anymore...I knew that all of them didn't like me and I wasn't deserving of the food....I only wish that they would have told me that I couldn't have any of the food as I had a disease that was trying to be cured...Instead I thought that everyone hated me....

Gradually, I got better...The blood tests stopped and life returned to normal...But, for me the die was cast...I craved food...I craved butter and anything with salt in it...Cookies and cake were part of my dreams...All the things that had been taken away from me were now setting their own pattern in life waiting to raise hell with my soul....

I could go on and on about my desire for food and a Mother that wanted me thin, but this alone was my trigger to bulimia...When the girls at school taught me about purging, it was like Santa Claus...When in truth it was my ticket to hell....

I don't know why I had to write this...Maybe it is therapy.....I will be happy when it hits the second page, but it must go on....I didn't write it for any other reason than for all to know that I am not as stupid as I sounded....Before yesterday, I was never able to connect the dots and complete the circle of why, even now after 10 years that when I stress out I run for food...You see, I did this last night....Now I understand why I am the way I am and how I got here....Maybe, just maybe someone will learn from it and their life will make more sense...Take care, Caroline
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replied January 30th, 2010
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I wanted to add one more thing to the above post....Reading it again I realize that I put down "ten" years since I have not purged when it is really "eight year" this May...You see I didn't want to dirty any of the toilets in the new home...This may sound silly to some people, but I had to try something...I would try to do anything in my power to help me correct this weakness in me that was driving me to purge...The sparkling new toilets became my new "battle cry"...This was preceded by New Year's resolutions, promises in good faith, and many years of begging for help within that I could not fulfill...The house finally did it...Never dirtied one of them...However, I did use the kitchen sink a couple of times...Had to scour this afterwards and on the last time I did it, when I nearly chocked to death, this stopped...This was about a month after we were in here...I don't want to go into what happened, but it happened...God was watching over me that day....Looking back, I guess it happened because it was supposed to happen...Maybe because I was to write this post here to warn anyone who reads it of the perils of this God awful disease....

Just a bit of my past...After my illness as a child, I had a big stomach...This happened because I was immobile for such a long period...I was fed mostly carbohydrates and a salt free with very little sugar diet...My diet didn't vary for a very long time...I got so sick of bland mashed potatoes that for years I could not eat them...These I would vomit....I only know and can remember how I craved the things I couldn't have....One of the worst parts of this happening was the way I was treated...I am sure my Mother loved me, but I was constantly reminded of being fat...I really wasn't that fat, but had a stomach that stuck out too much for her...I had an older brother and a sister....When we would go driving they would stick their head out the window when they saw a cow and go "Moo....Moo...there is Caroline..I would laugh along with them, but inside I cried...It was just like first grade and not allowed food...I didn't understand what I didn't know about my illness....I craved food for all the years that I can remember...In high school when the girls suggested the bathrooms for puking I was game...I doubt I ever lost weight with it, it was just an act that I would do...

After high school I went from 165 pounds to 147...Being over 5' 8" tall this wasn't too bad...I did this by going on a diet with some other secretaries at the insurance office I worked at...It was a good sensible diet....During the time after high school I never purged...I was happy....No more kids to impress...I was confident and working...Stress played a terrible price with me in this disease...When the person inside of you is happy, she keeps control of you....When you worry too much, you can't control her...Now I have introduced the "mental" part of this illness...These are all of the things I failed to recognize until two days ago that I had at my fingertips ...What I took as an addiction was actually far worse than this....It was a disease that I will always have....However it is now in remission....And this I promise you is where it will always stay.......

There are pages and pages that I could write you about the hell of marriage and raising a family...Not from my husband, but from inner problems with my own Mother playing a prominent part....I am married to the most wonderful man in the world...All these years he knew about this problem, but never mentioned it...We finally talked about this when I knew that I had finally made it and was free...This was about 6 months after I stopped doing this vomiting up the sorrows of my life....

Two days ago I had a disagreement on this Topic...It was here on the Forum...I insisted that this was an addiction....I was wrong...It was pointed out that this was mental problem and a disease...I resisted these words...I argued my point...Why, I will never know...That night as I sat here I was really disturbed.....I wondered what I was saying that was wrong that they couldn't understand?...How could I get it across to them what I was trying to say?...I went into the kitchen...Frustrated and really kind of mad...Heck, with them...I was going to make a sandwich...I wasn't hungry, but I was going to eat...I took out a piece of bread...Tore it in half...Went into the refrigerator and took out the bowl of sliced and microwaved Summer Sausage that we had prepared that day....My husband sliced it and cut it in half and the we take the fat off by microwave, wash it in hot water and dry it with paper towels....I was so mad that I ate 7 of the one-half slices of it before I even made the sandwich...Then I took out the Hellman's Mayonnaise...This still didn't fill the bill so out came the carton of warm salted whipped butter...Took one half of that piece of bread and smothered it with butter...Held it up in the air and frosted it with mayo...I mean this baby was frosted...Put 9 mind you, 9 one-half slice pieces of Summer Sausage on the other half of the bread...Put on the top piece of bread and headed here to the Guest Room with a large glass of ice water for a drink..I swear the mayo was over flowing on the side of the bread....As I walked down the hall, I looked at my creation...All of the sudden it hit me...Here I was doing this again....What I had done all my life I was now repeating...Mad at the world and gonna get even.... Go on and eat yourself sick girl...Show them that nothing is going to hold you back and get even with the world...... I had no intention of puking this up or doing anything but eat it, yet the same reaction was still there that was there years ago....I was mad so I needed comfort...The food was my comfort and yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus....I did, do and always will have the disease......Take care...

Caroline
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replied January 31st, 2010
caroline i am so sorry hun for what you went through i really am.
on the topic of whether its a mental illness or an addiction,i did do a little research.it is both mental illness and an addiction.there was an article on it,il have to try and find it..it said something like eating disorders are an mental health issue but addictions are part of it.u know like calorie counting ect.the mental health part is the anxiety,depression emotional issues.when i find it,il show you.so in away people were right saying it was a mental health issue and you were right saying it was an addiction,,its mental health issue with addictions being part of the symptoms,,,,am i making sense
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replied January 31st, 2010
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Hi Kazza27 and thank you for your kind words...Honey, you are right....When you argue with yourself to convince this person within you, that this is right instead of wrong, it is a mental problem....Thanks again for making me open my eyes.....Take care...

Caroline
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replied February 4th, 2010
There are no answers and no support . Bulimics and anorexics are on their own . Those who don't go through it pretend they understand and dribble at the mouth. Doctors don't give a rats butt.
If you are cashed up and go into a private hospital, well maybe you can get some form of help.
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replied February 4th, 2010
i know what you mean stifled.apart from what i say on here i barely mention my eating habits,though because i restrict as well as binge/purge.when i restrict my work collegues accuse me of attention seeking,i am like well if thats what you think dont give me any attention....
i was always told that being anorexic or bulimic is just as bad as being schitzophenic and you wouldnt tell a schitzo to stop hearing voices so you cant tell an anorexic/bulmic or anyone with some eating disorder to start eating properly
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replied February 4th, 2010
hahahahahaha, spot on. Yes, oh so right.... a family member here was told by a psychiatrist to just stop purging . HOW? I went to our health ministers office with a complaint. 1 of 20 life threatening problems with our local mental health service . Being told "come in for an assessment or go and kill yourself "A mental health worker that grunted at the patient because she wouldn't tell him how much she smokes, he stormed off and said that the patient was being scheduled. The patient was there for electrolyt problems yet ER called in mental health. .
Your work colleagues are narrow minded knob jockies. You have more brains and understanding than them all put together. Just wait for the day the butt falls out of their world and they need support. Who will they turn to ? YOU. You carry a good hand from the deck. I myself am a 43 year old male, I have been bulimic since the age of 12. Anxiety driven ? Depression driven ? Self harming ? I don't know but I still try to read the signs and study on the problem.
You are a gem. xxx
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