first step on a long journey

Today I called a bulimia helpline, and spoke to a professional for the first time in 8 years of on-off binging and purging. When the woman picked up the line I couldn't stop talking, it was as if teh floodgates had opened; it was such a relief.

I've had poor self-esteem for most of my life and was bullied in school, lost my father to suicide, had a mother who suffered from an often abusive relationship (which has now improved) had a mentally abusive first partner and overall a fairly shakey start but I absolutely refused to let any of it prevent me from having a successful life-not for myself but for the benefit of others, to make them like me. What i forgot to do was look after myself and find any inner-calm. I cast my mind back to before my illness and it seems like a different life - after I started purging I did the same things, went to festivals and went out etc........but enjoyment always happened through the veil of bulimia. Like I was only half living, what happened around me was happening to me, I was not a part of it. Now, I have spent all of my money on food. I have isolated myself from old friends. And do not have the energy to pursue the life I want to live. Working in a fantastic job, that I love, I feel I cannot fulfil my potential as whenever i get up in a room to speak my heart races with palpitations and i feel like vomiting. I've reached the end of the line, my health us suffering and my career and life will change for the worse. This morning I picked up the phone and spoke and started what will eb a hellish journey. But nothing any of us will face in confronting our problems can compare to the hell we will go through if we don't. One day I'm going to work in politics, and whenever i can I will tell this story for the millions like us who are terrified to pick up that phone. I salute everyone on this site - you are all taking the same stand, and we can do it :) xxxxx

8 Replies

  • What you said about the way you lived life sounds like the exact same feeling I feel. I admire you for your strength

  • Thank you - talking about it is definitely part of recovery isn't it? And even being able to fnd out that others have gone through a similar situation is reassuring as, even in the tiniest way, it helps to break through that isolation. We all reach that tipping point don't we? Where it becomes urgent to act? It's so difficult but being positive about recovery and ackowledging there is the need is the first step. Loving yourself can be a hard learning curve, and finding out that other people's love is not enough. xX

  • Yes defintitely, it's just finding the right support as its such a hard thing for others to understand! Iv had many tipping points but still seem to end up back where I was before... Scared and alone. I acknowledge there's a problem which I know is half the struggle but sometimes don't feel strong enough to fight it as the outcome is just frustrating and disappointing x x

  • Do you find that it's become more of a reflex than a concious effort to stay slim or feel confident? I find now that I don't even notice my body unless somebody else does! Strange isn't it? My tipping point was that I had concerns it would effect my ability to work and to afford bills. Practical reasons but i think there must be more to it than that. I met someone who inspires me to do well for myself and not for others - he has no idea about my condition but he makes me want to recover because he encourages me to do well at work, and that is so tied in with bodily health. I know what you mean by being taken back to a place where your scared and alone. Do you live alone? That can make it even more difficult.

  • Yes definitely. Sometimes I don't even feel Like my body is mine. But I don't think I'd feel like me without an eating disorder, sad I know. That's so good you have someone like that... How has he not noticed? Do you ever think about telling him? I live with my sister two brothers and parents. I'm only 20 and going back to uni soon so hoping that will get me into more of a healthy routine however I'm commuting so will still be at home. It's so difficult though to change something you've known for so long

  • True - I find that changing your patterns of behaviour can help. When you recognise a link between binging and whatever activity you're doing at the time (for example watching TV) then you can try and break it by going out for a walk, or calling a friend, when the urge takes you. So if you are at uni and have more flexibility about when you eat, then have dinner earlier when you can and go out after. I find the more i sit after eating the more i fixate on 'getting rid of it'. Then I have to eat again and spend more money (never good at uni for sure!). The guy in question doesn't live with me, he's not actually my partner but he's someone i've met through professional circles and he's really inspirational. We are seeing each other in a casual sense and it's quite romantic but there's little chance it'll progress to a relationship. I just split from a long term live-in boyfriend so more of the same isn't what i need. Focussing on getting well again takes priority!

  • Are you receiving any nhs eating disorder treatment at the moment? This is my desperate priority

  • I'm not and to be honest I'm finding it diffcult to find anywhere that offers a drop in service. I don't have a GP at present but even if i did i would probably find it hard to open up to them especially as i would have just registered. I agree that treatment is absolutely necessary, and it's something that i recognise even as I am actively purging! It's ridiculous - even in the act of doing it I'm aware of how much i hate it and want to change. No more putting it off, i just want to turn myself in and have a professional help me! Wihthout the damn cost! Clinics are bloody expensive.

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