I'm new- and 50 years old!

Hi

I'm a 50 year old woman and am suffering from an eating disorder. I would like to know if there are others my age on this site as I feel like I'm the only one.... it seems all the advice is for young women!

Im a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and controlling my eating is the only way I know to prevent the emotional pain gripping me. I starve myself some days, eat very little on others and am very underweight now. My therapist is trying to get me to plan to eat little things every two hours throughout the day, but I'm finding that hard at the moment.

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18 Replies

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  • Same, same. xx

  • Hi Linda, I'm 46 and in recovery from my ED along with alcohol & drug addiction. I had lots of therapy to help me deal with the root cause as I was taught...Alcohol /ED is but the Symptom of my illness...My ED can rear it's head alot more during stressful times & I have to be aware of it & Talk it out ! I have used support groups weekly for years & find them really helpful. I've accepted I'm an addict (sugar/food/bindge/restrict) & I've learnt coping mechanism as it's not going to go away....Now I can deal with life....Lots more I could say but message me if you want to know...

    "We can only keep what we have by giving it away" 💖

  • Hi Linda - you are not alone - I'm 57 and have had anorexia since 17. It does always seem the youngsters that get the headlines, treatment, support and help - I know I've found it really hard at times to get any help at all from the professionals. Recovery is a long process - and is both around learning to eat again - and the underlying psychological feelings, thoughts etc that underpin the problem - so it sounds like you're getting help on both levels which is good. Letting go of long held eating patterns is really touch - but do persevere - recovery is worth it - and as you gain a weight little by you will feel stronger - both physically and mentally - I know your struggles - I've been there - and continue through that valley - but recovery is possible - and is worth all the pain and hardship on the way - so keep going.

  • Thank you for support. I was convinced I was alone in this.

    It is hard to persevere. I know I need to gain weight to feel stronger, have more energy, but I'm lying here in bed waiting for the moment to get up and weigh myself, hoping it will show that I've lost weight. I love that control. Need to punish myself.

    I am getting help, just finding it hard. And lonely. So thank you for replying.

  • I found it helpful to remove the scales - scary though that was - and just got weighed by GP/Nurse weekly/fortnightly - although I was terrified at losing the control - and of eating extra without immediately checking my weight - I have got used to it and it seemed to take the anxiety and pressure off a bit. Don't feel alone - we are here for you.

  • Thank you. My therapist mentioned me getting rid of my scales and I freaked out. No way.

    But, I just went to London for a couple of days, staying in a hotel and no scales of course. I managed. But first thing I did when I got back was get straight on them again.

    Thank you for being there.

  • Hi I'm 50 have had bulimia for years now developed into purging anorexia. No great trauma in my life just constant love hate battle with food and my weight. I also see someone who is great and very slowly starting to see tiny improvements. Although still underweight. Atm the goal is just one small meal and to try to keep it down! So hard but even when I fail I have managed to start again the next day. I have daily email contact with my therapist which has helped so much.

    Good luck

  • Hi Linda I am 46 and was bulimic for 4yrs and it was the result of years of burying childhood sexual abuse . At the moment I am in counselling and had the hardest 5weeks of my life - feeling very low,crying all the time , scared to leave the house and feeling fear this last week . I am on antidepressants from the doctor to help me through this and although it's so hard I will see it through - because one day I want to look in the mirror and accept me for who I am and not see this fat ugly person. I understand your pain please keep in touch let me know how I can help you xx

  • Thank you Douglas for your reply. My counselling too is really painful at the moment. I'm not sleeping properly, flashbacks all the time. I want to cry all the time, but I can't because I have to pretend everything is ok for my son's sake. And I'm holding down a full time job.

    I constantly wonder why all this has such a hold on me. His words 'no one will love you like I do.' Or 'no one will love you if you are fat' - I can still hear them so very clearly. He used to starve me all day and then offer me crisps as a reward to do what he wanted. Then he would tell me to beg him for it, making me 'want' it too.

    Such pain. I've had another counselling session yesterday and it leaves me feeling so much pain.

  • It has such a hold on us because it was so wrong and painful but we have to learn how to move forward and not let it leave us with no self worth . My son is 19 and without him I couldn't survive but we need too because our children can't be our crutch. Counselling is hard - I'm still up drinking trying to block out flashbacks but it will get better you will get stronger . Please believe that and I'm here anytime you need me xx

  • Thank you for your reply and your support. My son is 17 and I hide it all from him.....

    You sound so positive - in spite of what you are going through, with all the tough counselling and flashbacks, you sound strong and you gave a belief things will get better. I admire that.

    Flashbacks are the worst things, aren't they. I'm getting them every night now and the images stay with me for a long time. I stopped drinking alcohol a few years back because that left me feeling worse. I don't touch a drop. So it's harder to block out these flashbacks.

    Stay strong and I'm here to support you too.

    X

  • I cried when i read your reply saying i sound strong and positive . It's weird my head tells me one thing but the real day to day living is so much harder than what we know we should do . I really hope i can be of help to someone it really helps to know we are not alone and others understand this daily struggle/torture. Alcohol blots it out for a wee while but it's not the answer long-term. I just pray my counselling gets me out this horrible cycle !!! I'm here if you need to talk anytime . Please look after yourself xx

  • I had an incredibly painful counselling session on Friday, but have come away feeling different. I don't want to carry on punishing myself, punishing my body for what happened to me. I have realised that I was not to blame. He did such cruel things and brainwashed me into believing that was love. I know now that it wasn't. It hurts, I'm in agony. I'm grieving for my lost childhood. But I'm going to stop punishing myself. I'm going to begin to eat again.

    I hope you are ok, Douglas. Take care of yourself. I'm here if you want to talk.

    Linda

  • Hi pal sorry to hear you had such a painful session but it's good you came away with a different mental attitude . I hope/pray you are still keeping strong . You are so much better and worth so much more than your abuser he will no longer break you . I'm just dealing with one day at a time I'm so sick of feeling like crap but I'm sure one day it will be better . I'm here always xxx

  • Sorry I ain't been about for a while !! Really hope you are well xx

  • Hello, I'm sorry I can't be of much help as I don't fall into your age bracket and I am conveniently a young woman.

    The experience you describe is one I can relate to, and I'm sure many other people here will regardless of age. I hope that some of the advice and opportunities to discuss here is still of use to you, and that you can be of help to other people. I don't think age is a reason not to, anymore than the very young should be excluded.

    All the best.

  • hi

    I'm 36 had an eating disorder since I was 10. I'm having counselling and my eating disorder is symptomatic of trauma and an abusive mother as a child. Its very difficult being a grown woman with an ED seems to be less help.

    hope counselling gets easier for u. Its a difficult journey

  • Hi, I'm 43 and have struggled with food issues from being a teenager. I've only just joined here as everything has overwhelmed me recently so I have returned to past patterns of control with food. I've just started counselling to tackle for the first time and finally hopefully talk about my experiences of sexual abuse by my step father over 30 years ago but I'm finding it all very hard. I've read your posts and wanted to say you've given me hope to try and I hope that you are doing well as its now 3 months since the post that you'd accepted you were not to blame and had started eating. I'm interested to hear how it's all going now for you

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