One day you stop eating. It’s easy, actually. You never really felt a part of the world, never really felt like you truly lived… not eating proves that. Makes you separate. Like an immortal being – a weightless observer. Life is easier when you’re merely existing.
You watch the scales drop – hour by hour, day by day. It’s almost like you can rewind time, like you have complete control…
Almost. But not quite.
Your body betrays you. Cold sweats, uncontrollable shaking, aching muscles, no sleep, rasping throat. And the dizziness. Damn that nauseating, overwhelming, heart racing dizziness. It means can’t even stand, you have to shuffle around on your back.
After a few days – maybe 3, maybe 6, you start eating again. It’s all very controlled. Measured. Restrictive. The food groups, the amount, the calories.
You’re going strong for a day or two (apart from some weight gain – scary!). Then suddenly, you might have an extra slice of carrot. A forbidden sip of milk.
You can’t believe it. You’re freaking out. What the fuck have you done?!?! Deep seated terror, overwhelming anxiety, and pure disgust. You can’t deal with those feelings. You switch off, drift away, and just eat.
Eat. All those forbidden food groups. You eat so much that you are throwing up as you eat, your shrunken stomach unable to cope with the food. But you don’t care. Vomit mixed in with the weet bix and ice cream. You don’t care. Heart racing. Tummy bursting. You don’t care. You’re far, far away. You couldn’t stop even if you had the sense of mind to realise what you were doing.
It clicks later on. Maybe 5 minutes, maybe 10, but you realise.
You realise the Sin you have committed. You are Bad. You are a Bad, Sinful, Evil Child. Crying with pure frustration and terror, you force yourself to throw up. You see blood in the vomit, feel vessels burst in your eyes, and you are disgusted. You see bits of half-digested food all over your fingers, feel acid burn your throat. You are repulsed. But you keep going – mentally, you are still very dissociated.
The anxiety. overwhelming emotions and weird out of body experience of a binge purge causes you much stress. Enough so that throughout the rest of the day, you continue the relentless cycle.
It takes a couple of days of this, during which time you may binge and purge, for you to come back, and realise what you have done.
So, you stop eating. And the cycle begins again.
And that, my friends, is a miniscule part of my experiences with Bulimia Nervosa, a.k.a. the Devil. No matter if I sat here for the next three or four years, typing an epic biography of My Experiences in Hell, I still could not capture the sheer torture that is this eating disorder. Yes, I have stuffed up my body physically. But that is nothing compared to the extreme emotional anguish that is Mia.
And that is why I dislike it when bulimia is shunned by professionals, sufferers and the wider society as some non-harmful, non-serious illness. In my opinion, it is just as serious as anorexia nervosa, cancer, and any other illness.
I am not receiving treatment for my ED, nor have I ever. I have not sought professional medical advice for physical health concerns, nor, most likely, will I ever. I was discharged from mental health services, despite a comorbid anxiety disorder and suspected depression, because they did not “feel that there were moderate to severe mental health concerns for you.” (And I quote directly from the letter thingy). Differentiation between illnesses? I think so.
It has left me angry, confused, and still suffering. I cannot fight bulimia without the support of others. I cannot fully admit that I actually have an ED (I feel like an imposter, lol!) if others cannot accept the validity of this illness.
Oh, and to people who think ‘bulimia is easy’ or ‘I should try this’, let me just give you a few pointers:
1) I have gained weight during my ED. And if you think you’ll be any different, you are so Wrong.
2) Mia is hell. Pure and simple. Please, I am begging you, do not go there. Not even as a ’once off’ – you’ll find you cannot stop. If you are even considering this stuff, tell someone. Anyone. Because you are at Serious Risk. And if they do not treat you well, tell someone else, until you get adequate help. Tell me, even! I’d love to here from you
*** And then I got distracted. And fell asleep. And I can’t be bothered proof reading or continuing what I was going to say! So yeah. Please comment. Esp if you have bulimia too! (I don’t really know anyone else). Even if it’s to disagree with absolutely everything I say, lol.
And Hi Kati!