National Eating Disorders Association

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bluedog111
Not sure what to do anymore!

Hi,

So this is probably my first real time talking about my situation (for some reason I can't call it an eating disorder?!).

Over a year ago, I left my home country to travel the world. Before I flew out, I was annoyed that I hadn't reached a weight I was happy with, but it wasn't something I was too bothered about. When I got off the flight in a new country I was really chatty and pretty much just wanted to meet loads of new people and do loads of new things. Fast forward a year and I had spent a total of 3 months stuck in my rented bedroom, only going out at night to binge eat, I felt like alienated everyone I was around, my anxiety was so bad I wouldn't even go out in the day, I had to quit my job on the advice of a psychologist that I was seeing. That was all while I was supposed to be having the best time of my life. My psychologist diagnosed me as bulimic, but I didn't make myself throw up. I was destroying my body by going so long without eating and then suddenly eating loads, I actually ran into a public toilet once and had to sit on the floor for about an hour because I thought I was having a heart attack.

I came back to my home country about 2 months ago and not much has changed, I don't binge as often but it's still at least every week. After learning about how bad the binging-fasting stuff was, I've since stopped fasting, which is good I suppose, but which has meant my weight has just kept climbing. I don't even want the food, I don't crave it. I am aware that I use food as a tool to harm myself because I am so unhappy with how big I have got. I feel like I am looking back on my old life, when I used to just do anything without thinking about it, like it's some distant memory. It's almost like I have some kind of life-changing physical disability because I feel like I will never get my old life back. I'm 24 and I feel like I am going to be stuck like this for the rest of my life. I don't go out, I can't even walk to the shops at the end of my road in case someone I know sees me, I can't get a job because I hate the thought of having to work along side people that can judge me on what I look like. I feel like my life has been in this massive stale mate for over a year, it doesn't feel like it's going to get better. Whenever I try to open up to someone they just say "well it's not like you have cancer" or they tell me to get a grip. I spend hours reading news articles about people that have suffered horrible physical injuries, to convince myself that I shouldn't be so stupid and should just get a grip on my life, but nothing works. I honestly feel like nothing is going to get better. I don't talk to my best friends of almost 10 years because I blame them for making me like this, for some reason.

I don't even know what I'm looking for by writing this on here, haha. I guess it's just a bit of a release. Any suggestions for how to sort my life out would be greatly appreciated lol. Thanks for reading anyway xxx

torib23
Hi bluedog111,

First of all, welcome to the forums! Seeking support and advice on here is a great first step on the road to recovery. I hope you find the great community of support here that I have found. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been struggling. I know how difficult it can be, and I know that it may seem like there's no way out. However, I can promise you that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that recovery is so worth it. That being said, recovery isn't something that you or anyone should have to battle alone. I know you mentioned seeing a therapist while traveling, but are you currently seeing one? If not, I highly suggest doing so. If you need help locating resources in your area, you can call the NEDA Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-R 9-9, F 9-5 EST).

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope to hear from you again!
Tori

angelalp19
I've read a lot of stories

I've read a lot of stories but yours felt so so close to my own that I needed to comment, even if I don't have the answers yet either. My eating disorder also crept up on me while I was supposed to be embarking on an exciting year in my life. I was living completely on my own for the first time in two different cities (one of them abroad) and I was beyond excited. Beforehand, I had gone through some yo-yo dieting and in retrospect the beginnings of my disorder but things spiraled out of control when I moved.

I still need to find a regular therapist, but in a meeting with one abroad, I made some progress in figuring out some of the "why" for my eating problems. It may be the case for you as well. Do you think it has to do with a need for control, perfectionism, or specific expectations? I went abroad with these amazing ideas of what it would be like, the friends I'd meet, the happy person I'd get to bet, etc. But like the therapist told me, there's no way I could've had any idea of what the experience would be like. So of course I was disappointed and overwhelmed when things got stressful, I didn't connect with people as easily as I planned, and some days just felt bad. Add concerns about my weight to that and the fact that I was desperately trying to control some part of my life and suddenly I had an out-of-control situation on my hands. And when I started gaining weight it made me feel shittier about myself and even more out of control and things got much much worse. But so much was/is about control and how people see me and trying to be perfect and meet my own expectations for my life. I know your situation may be different or you may already have an idea of the problem, but talking all of it out and realizing the roots of things has helped me quite a bit. I'm still struggling to apply what I've learned and get healthier but at least now it doesn't feel like I've been struck with some mysterious illness (even if it's an illness, it's not mysterious and it's something we can work to fix and improve).

I hope that things work out well for you. I'm sorry that you're dealing with this. I know how awful and difficult it all is. But we can beat it. And we need to make sure we don't let it stop us from living our lives. I don't know you but I do know that you are much, much more than your body. You're unique in your personality, thoughts, abilities, and passions. Don't deprive the world of your mind and heart and don't deprive yourself of the world out there. I know it's easier said than done, trust me I know, but I think the only way we'll be able to recover is by challenging ourselves and showing ourselves that we're worth more than what we've come to believe. Sending all of my support your way!

(Also feel free to email me if you want to talk more)

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