National Eating Disorders Association

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hyacynthe
I'm 39 and Trying to Recover from Bulimia after 20 Years

I am a 39 year old woman.....bulimic since age 18. I am a mom, a wife, with a great job, but I secretly suffer with this as well as Bipolar II Disorder. I was in denial about the severity of my Bulimia (purging frequently) until I sought out treatment last September. Since then I’ve been seeing an amazing therapist. The first time I saw my therapist he told me that my bulimia was so severe I had one chance to reduce my behaviors or be hospitalized. And that scared me so badly and finally hit home for me that I did start to recover. I also have started seeing a nutritionist since December. I see both therapist and nutritionist weekly or 3 times a month. (It’s a lot out of pocket). I have gained weight and my body image has gone into the gutter. I was not underweight to begin with but my body (as I’ve learned) was not where it was supposed to be according to my nutritionist. Besides gaining weight I’m also dealing with almost turning 40 and aging and detesting how I look and feel. I had to essentially get rid of all my clothing, all my “youth”. Nothing fits and I feel like everything looks horrible on me. All day in my head is a running dialogue about how disgusting I look and feel.

I am not recovered yet by any means but I am better. I eat meals now and don’t purge all of them. I went from purging very frequently to less frequently. I have good days and stick to eating meals on a pretty intuitive basis but then other days I can’t fight my triggers. And I am feeling so guilty and like I will never be fully recovered.

I am trying, I really am....but for me bulimia is such an addiction that I’ve had half my life. And if I’m honest my ED began way before 18 probably more like 11 with restricting and diet pills in high school. It’s days like today when I feel despair and question why I am paying so much money for treatment if I’m not going to do the work. I know I’m not going to recover overnight. I just need hope that I will fully recover. I am motivated and I am also doing this so that my kids will never have to know I have an ED and deal with that.

Just feeling down and ashamed and guilty.

_admin_moderator
Welcome

Hi hyacynthe and welcome to the NEDA forums! We wanted to let you know we edited your post to remove numbers and eating disorder behaviors that could be triggering to our other forum-goers. Please review our Community Guidelines to ensure we can continue to keep this forum a safe space for all of our users: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/forums/community-guidelinesThank you and please keep posting!  

hyacynthe
I just want to add that I’m

I just want to add that I’m really struggling today after seeing my nutritionist and having gained weight. I have been useless all day, came home and have been laying in bed crying for the most part. I feel like I can’t continue this ‘recovery’.....my nutritionist said that my ED was so severe for two decades I can’t expect to be fully recovered in less than a year of outpatient treatment. I feel like I’ve hit a wall with weight gain. That I can’t handle gaining any more. It is all very overwhelming to me right now.

mercedes1974
In the same boat

Hey there. I'm in the same boat, but 44. I've had some form of ED since about age 9. Anorexic, bulimic, orthorexic, night bingeing (which I don't do anymore). I am not BP but I suffer with depression and anxiety and see a couple of health professionals on a regular basis. I'm considering seeing a nutritionist or dietitian for the first time in a million years because I'm just sick of being me. I spent x hours on the elliptical today and walked x miles. Maybe I could crazily get away with it as a young person, but I can't anymore. I know it. Sending love.

ashley_recovery
I’m so happy that you’re

I’m so happy that you’re resisting these urges and are bettering yourself. I’m so proud of you.

hyacynthe
Thank you

I just logged on after a month and was so thrilled to see someone else in the same boat - not that I want more suffering. It’s been almost a year since I started the recovery process and I am still engaging in BP multiple times a week. Decreased from multiple times a day but it is still not good. I have gained (or weight restored as my dietitian puts it) quite a bit although I was a completely normal weight to begin with and I’m still gaining. I look visibly different. Today she approached me about possibly going to a higher level of care like inpatient because I am still so symptomatic. It was sort of a wake up call for me because I am committed to doing this outpatient due to my children and my job and other factors. Going inpatient I believe would actually exacerbate my bipolar disorder for numerous reasons. I also see an ED therapist and I plan to talk to him about this later this week. Part of me is still symptomatic due to the ‘high’ I get from the binge.....it’s a release for me. I think I suffer from boredom, which sounds silly, but my life is pretty standard and when I am bored I get depressed. Bingeing has always been a rush for me. It’s hard to give up the only kind of high I have left. I have not been trying to resist as hard as I could. I don’t have an alcohol problem but when I drink my inhibitions are lower and I’m more likely to BP and lately I just haven’t cared. But the shock of being asked if I wanted to go inpatient, plus gaining more weight, probably from BP - I need to get it together.

Teohcc
20years BP

I feel hopeless n lonely. I’m bulimic for 20years since year 1999,still couldn’t break the cycle of B/P. I’m a bad mum, b/p during both pregnancy. Very lucky, they both very healthy.Year 2018, I accidentally fell In toilet n femur fracture. My bone is so so weak. Everyday I worried my weight, worried the damage done to my body, worried blood glucose, worried all my teeth. i had lots of root canal unit, I had 2 bridge at left upper n right upper( implant), I only left very few natural own tooth. Now I face another issue, stomach burning after eating. I’m so scared...I don’t know if I need to see specialist for endoscopy. I scared doctor will c how big is my stomach due to everyday extended to extreme large size. I scared something bad happen to my stomach. I don’t have heartburn like GERD but stomach burning after meal.Anyone has 20years or longer bulimia like me?anyone face all teeth rotten by root canal n implant like me? Anyone stomach burning after meal like me?i really depressed...I feel like I will leave the rest of my life with bulimia....I still have 2children, nobody know my secret..

Tk808
Hi Teohcc

My sister went through the same thing and actually had to be admitted to an inpatient facility during her second pregnancy because her baby was just not growing or gaining weight. It was probably the best thing that ever happened to her and although it was a little confusing for my young nephew, our family and her husband were so supportive. It has been a long rough road to recovery for her, but she is doing great. She has been ED free for 4 years and although she tells me that it’s still such hard work, she has me, my mom, her counselor and a support group to keep her on the right track. I’ve been battling bulimia and binge eating for almost 20 years and have pretty much kept it hidden as well. I just found this site yesterday and have finally made the decision that I have to take the first step and call a therapist. I hope that you will find the strength to do the same for yourself, your children, your family. I know you want help and to get better just as much as I do! I hope you take the first step too!

_admin_moderator
Medical Signs and Symptoms And Resources

Hi, Teohcc. We're sorry to hear about what's been going on. You mentioned some concerning symptoms so we wanted to provide you with this list. The following are just some of the signs of a serious problem that demands immediate medical attention:• accidentally or deliberately caused themselves a physical injury• become suicidal• confused thinking and is not making any sense• delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (experiencing things that aren’t there)• disoriented; doesn’t know what day it is, where they are or who they are• vomiting several times a day or has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea• experiencing dizziness or fainting spells• too weak to walk or collapses• painful muscle spasms• complaining of chest pain or having trouble breathing• blood in their bowel movements, urine or vomit• a body mass index (BMI) of less than 16• an irregular heartbeat, and fast heartbeat, or very low heart beat (less than 50 beats per minute)• cold or clammy skin indicating a low body temperature or has a body temperature of less than 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees FahrenheitOr any other serious medical concernsIf you experience any of the above, we highly recommend that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Another option is 911.You also mentioned some concerning feeling so we are providing you with some resources. Crisis Textline: Text "NEDA" to 741-741 or www.crisistextline.org National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call (800) 273-8255 or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Please take care! 

_admin_moderator
Dear Teohcc, we would like to

Dear Teohcc, we would like to let you know that we edited your post to remove specific descriptions of disordered eating behaviors, which are not allowed on the forums. You can review our community guidelines here. Thank you for your understanding and please continue posting!

Elizabeth.patte...
You’re so brave

You’re so brave to share... I’m sorry that you are going through this especially for so many years. I can’t imagine all the pain and frustration that you must have had to get through. But the fact that you put yourself in recovery and you want to help yourself is what truly matters. I think putting emphasis on the fact that you will never be perfect or whatever you imagine perfect being in your mind can help. Slow progress is better than no progress and although you have stumbled it doesn’t mean you need to give up

Tk808
First step

I’ve struggled through multiple eating disorders for almost 30 years. I started with bulimia in high school and college but would probably consider myself a night binger now, almost nightly. I was a high profile student athlete at Notre Dame and my coach could see signs and sent me to a short term inpatient rehab. I told everyone I was “cured”, but nothing really changed. Other than the high expectations put on me by my family and through sports, I have had a pretty great life. I’m more confused as to how and why this started, how I’ve continued to maintain this behavior for so long, and how I’ve managed to keep it hidden from everyone. I’ve had multiple long term relationships, a 5 year marriage, with no one even knowing. I have never sought out any help because of shame I guess, but I’m getting so scared about the long term effects now. I’ll be 45 this year and think it’s time to finally start some kind of therapy, counseling. My younger sister was also bulimic since college and finally went to inpatient treatment during her second pregnancy at 38. I’ve tried to support her while maintaining that I’m “ok” which makes it harder to tell my family now. I feel like I’ve been battling this all alone, each time I engage in b/p I know it’s wrong and not good for me but I can’t stop. I want to stop so badly! From the outside most people would think I have an amazing life but I’m filled with guilt everyday. Any suggestions on the first step I should take? Thanks for reading and allowing me to share and get this off my chest...

sportygirl
Hi Tk808,

I think your family knows deep down already. They probably know something is wrong so if you tell them they would probably have something like: finally she realizes it. I just think your family cares for you and wants the best for you.

I know the pressure is very much back in the day, as I put pressure on myself like that as well (and still do). This is I think also a trigger to start ED in the first place, just to deal with the pressure of doing everything perfectly all the time. (pressure from yourself or your environment)

Anyways, the first step is to recognize you need help and you already did that. This is the biggest step, because without wanting it, it won't work whatever you try. Then maybe you can reach out to NEDA or your physician or something to get you the help you need. Also I think your family will be open to help you but if you feel like this step is too big, wait for the moment you feel comfortable telling.

Take care and I hope you can find the help you need to beat this.
X

Tk808
Thanks sportygirl

I hear you...my mom has asked if I’m ok many times throughout the years, especially when my sister was in recovery and I have always denied it. I know she wouldn’t be surprised though. I found a local therapist I can at least start with, just need to make the call. It’s getting so bad that it went from 3-4 days a week to 6-7 days now and getting more severe. Probably triggered by a recent breakup too. Thank you for the support and encouragement, my goal is to call by end of day tomorrow! Sending you lots of aloha!

lovetowrite81
Tk808

Hi Tk808-

I just saw your post and wanted to let you know that I think it's amazing you are open to seeking help. I struggled with BED for numerous years and know it's so difficult. But there is hope :) I believe my last binge was about 4.5 years now and I have been able to maintain stable recovery since then. Therapy has really been the key for me and getting to the underlying roots of what led to my ED behaviors. Just wanted to check in and see if you were able to make that call/set up an appointment with the therapist?

Hope to hear from you again soon, keep us posted on how you're doing!

Tk808
Thank you

I identify with you so much. You are not alone and am so thankful that I looked up a forum and was able to share in your experience. Sending you love, strength and positivity!

alison77
Trying to recover but feel sicker

Hello everyone, This is the first time I an talking about my ed. I have been bulimic for the past 5 years. No one knows, I purged X times a day. Last month I was taken to er 2 times due to an anxiety attack and thinking I will have a heart attack. That was a wake up call for me so I booked an appointment with a therapist for tomorrow. I need to heal, I cant enjoy my child or husband or anything. I have been trying to keep food down for the past 2 weeks. I am still purging but atleast keeping something little down. I already gained X pounds but I do not feel better. My heart feels like it will stop any moment, shortness of breath and feeling confused even though I'm trying to stay hydrated and keeping some food down. Is this how recovery is going to be?

_admin_moderator
Medical Signs and Symptoms

Hi, alison77. We're sorry to hear about what you've been experienicng. We edited parts of your post as specific numbers could be triggering for other members. Please take a look at our community guidelines here: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/forums/community-guidelines. You had mentioned some concerning symptoms so we are providing you with this list. The following are just some of the signs of a serious problem that demands immediate medical attention:• accidentally or deliberately caused themselves a physical injury• become suicidal• confused thinking and is not making any sense• delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (experiencing things that aren’t there)• disoriented; doesn’t know what day it is, where they are or who they are• vomiting several times a day or has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea• experiencing dizziness or fainting spells• too weak to walk or collapses• painful muscle spasms• complaining of chest pain or having trouble breathing• blood in their bowel movements, urine or vomit• a body mass index (BMI) of less than 16• an irregular heartbeat, and fast heartbeat, or very low heart beat (less than 50 beats per minute)• cold or clammy skin indicating a low body temperature or has a body temperature of less than 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees FahrenheitOr any other serious medical concerns If you experience any of the above, we highly recommend that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Another option is 911.

hyacynthe
Wow it’s been a year!!!

Hi all! I started this thread a year ago. I haven’t logged in for months and imagine my surprise to randomly log in today and see so many people commenting!!!! First, as an update - the good and the bad. I have all but eliminated purging which I never thought I would do. I have gained significant weight, which brings me to the bad which is my body image. It is just awful.

But all that being said I just read through all of the other posts all of you have written and I have to say that there are so many of us around the same age suffering. Mothers, wives, all of us trying to live our best lives and fight this Bulimia demon. I also struggled when I was pregnant. I was restrictive and also did purge although not nearly as much as I did when I was not pregnant. Ladies, trying not to feel too much guilt. It’s a horrible disease. Who would choose this?

I would love to hear updates from you all as well.

Teohcc
How to say no

I am an Asian, I hardly find therapist or ED supporter in my country. I believe my family and friends do not know much about Bulimia and they can’t accpe I’m a bulimic for past 20years.
I still binge and purge everyday and usually at night. Weekday I can eat healthy for my lunch but still binge purge a lots of high carbo and sweet food at night. Weekend I always binge purge from morning to night.
Sometimes when I try hard to control, my family or husband will bring me out for nice food, joining them together I don’t know how to say no to food.
When I go back hometown with husband, my father in law n mother in law always ready a lots a lots of nice food, all my favorites...I don’t know how to say no.
I have been struggle all the time.
My husband do feel weird with my appetite as I can non stop chewing munching eating, but he might think I’m just like to eat or I’m too thin.
Anyone try self recovery so far?

victimofdietculture
Fat phobia among healthcare professionals

I have had bulimia for 18 years. In November 2016 I lost the ability to diet. I simply could not do it anymore. That made my bulimia worse. Instead of 3 nights a week I started doing it every day. That caused weight gain and made me feel even worse about myself. In January 2018 I sought professional help for the first time. I told the ED "specialist" I was binging and purging every night. She asked about my b/p habits. I told her I went to the bulk section of grocery stores and bought snacks. Then I purged. She gave me disapproving looks. Instead of admitting me in the hospital, she says "we don't want you to be obese". If you have a normal BMI apparently no one cares that you're barfing your brains out. She offered to let me join the outpatient ED program which was geared more towards anorexics in my opinion. They teach you how to eat three balanced meals and snacks. I already know how to do that after years of trying different diets to cure my bulimia. She was fat phobic and really only cared about "not being obese". Bulimics and people with BED aren't getting the care they need because of fat phobia. I turned 50 this year and really want to stop this behavior. I am afraid to seek therapists because my experience with them has been mostly negative. I found an online ED "expert" who happened to be a "type of diet" warrior on the side. Another online ED "coach" tried to body shame me into recovery and told me if I don't stop I will just keep gaining weight. It is also hard to find recovered bulimics who recovered "normally" and didn't take drastic measures to recover. People who had bulimia for decades either end up being fitness freaks or abstain from sugar/white flour completely. There are some exceptions. I just want to eat like a "normal person".

_admin_moderator
Dear victimofdietculture, we

Dear victimofdietculture, we would like to inform you that we edited your post to remove specific disordered eating behaviors, which could be triggering to other users. You can review our community guidelines here. Thanks for your understanding and please continue to post! 

victimofdietculture
New Topic

How do I move my post to a new topic? That's what I intended but instead I posted it as a new comment.

Savedbygrace
You can

Click on the NEW TOPIC section at the left top of the forum page.

healn
I have had bulimia since I

I have had bulimia since I was a teenager and am in my early 40's. I often said to myself I can't believe how long ED has been my companion, but then when I read everyone's comments, I can't believe I didn't see that this is the nature of ED. It can become a companion for life if I don't take back my life and let this tried and true companion go. Having stopped purging for three months now, I have noticed that I feel different -I feel more - myself. I feel less anxiety-ridden. There is more healing for me to do, but I'll take every milestone I get. I really appreciate hearing everyone share how long they have had an ED and are striving toward healing and recovering because it reminds me that ED is indeed a disease and I have felt personal shame but I do not have to feel that much shame and instead can feel much more compassion for myself.

Beth1234
Hard to believe how long it’s

Hard to believe how long it’s been. I’ve struggled since I was 13 (earlier really but definitely worsened at 13). Thought it was something i would eventually get over but here I am, 45 yrs old and it still runs my life. I’ve often said that I’m in a relationship with the ED. It’s so hard bc it prevents me from enjoying being with family. Don’t want to go to restaurants, don’t want to go visit. ED are very isolating. Just can’t get over it.