Living with a eating disorder whilst living aboard

hello to anyone reading this.

I am 20years old girl who has moved away from home and is currently living aboard completing a gap year. I believe that my eating disorder started at the beginning of last year, when I promised myself that I would lose weight through becoming a raw vegan. I remember the first few days were the hardest, and there was one day when I ate toast and butter, I immediately remember running to the toilet and throwing up. For the next 3months i managed to stick to the diet and i lost 14kgs, I was so proud of myself and people started to compliment me.

However once I moved to France I found sticking to the diet was difficult and I returned to eating normal food, I remember feeling so guilt and I started to throwing up everything which i ate. Throwing up was the worst feeling ever, I hated myself for it but I didn't see any alternative. Everyday I promised myself that today would be different but things never changed. I went back home for a weekend, my family and friends were shocked at how small I had become, at the time i weighted 45Kg. My mother who was confused as to why I was losing weight made an appointment with the GP for me, thankfully she couldn't come with me. I remember going into the GP and breaking down, I told my GP everything however my GP felt helpless since I was returning back to France she couldn't refer me to a specialist. She provided me with notes and information about eating disorders, and I promised her I would attempt to stop purging.

It has been nearly a month since my appointment with my GP and I still continue to purge 2-3times a day, I do not know what to do. My weight continues to drop and I am currently weighing 42Kg. Living aboard makes things a bit harder, I do not feel comfortable talking to the doctors here since their english is not good. I feel so scared and alone, my hair has begun to thiner and my throat hurts all the time. I am sick of living like this, and some days I feel as though it would be for the best if I ended things.

5 Replies

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  • Hello

    we've all felt like ending it but please be strong. You have to fight. Try to eat 3meals and snacks not loads but it will stop the binge/purge cycle. That is the beginning. This is a journey. ..you've not been on it long. Try to be kind to yourself

    n x

  • I know you are on a gap year - but you might want to think about cutting this short and returning home - your health and life are more important. Bulimia can spiral so rapidly out of control - from experience I know that telling yourself each day will be a new start and you won't purge doesn't translate to reality. You need help - you need to get to an understanding GP who can refer you to a specialist. Don't leave it - the longer you struggle alone the harder and longer the recovery period. Your family obviously recognize something is wrong so talk to them, get and take advice - I'm sure they'd much rather you broke your gap year and returned to full health - than complete the gap year and returned home seriously ill. Please do think about it - I wish I'd left university - admitted I needed help - and returned home to get this - however ashamed and however much of a failure this made me felt.

  • Hi,

    I feel for you. It sounds that you are feeling a bit isolated.

    I agree with the others that your health and well-being is more important than finishing the gap year. Is the gap year part of your degree. If it is are you able to contact your tutor at your university to talk about what is going on?

    How much do you want to recover? If you do then it will take the same steely strength that you used when you started dieting.

    It is possible to get better - it is hard but for the sake of your physical and mental health it is important to seek the help you need.

    It will be good to hear from you again. My thoughts and prayers are with you

    Anniephys

  • Dear Mona94.

    Well done for posting here - that is a brave thing to do. I get the impression you are reaching out for support and help, and that you feel really alone with it all at the moment.

    I think you are right to be concerned about your health. At 42kg you must be very underweight - unless you are very, very short (I mean less than 5 foot tall)! But even if you are very short, vomiting 2-3 times a day puts you at a high risk for physical health problems, many of which can be sudden and very serious. And then you also sometimes feel like it isn't worth carrying on. That is such a terrible feeling to bear! These are all very important indicators that something is very wrong, so it sounds really important that you get medical help pretty urgently.

    I was struck that you seem to be unable to stop yourself deteriorating and losing further weight. That is really important, as it would infer that your eating disorder has completely taken you over. This is not the end of the world, but it is important to recognise and do something proactive about it. If you continue to lose more weight and to purge as much as you are doing I don't think it will be long before you would need active medical intervention, probably in the form of a hospital admission. And as you said, you are in a country where English is not spoken widely. Imagine what it might be like to end up in hospital where all the staff speak very little English. What would that feel like for you? And how do you think your family would cope?

    I really don't want to be alarmist Mona94, but if your weight and BMI are as low as you say, then don't think you have time to lose - you need to do something soon to help you turn this around, and I think thinking seriously about returning home is a priority. Once you are home and have been reviewed medically you will be in a much better place to think about possible options for treatment.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks for all your reposes.

    I am going home in four weeks time for Christmas, I know a lot of things can happened in four weeks but I will keep strong and try to stop purging, and hopefully things won't get any worse then they are.

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