National Eating Disorders Association

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Years of struggle....

What a great place for those of us who are struggling. I am glad I found this! I have been struggling with bulimia for 15 years and anorexia 2 years before that. I have been recovering( by myself) for 1 year now. I have good months and a bad day here and that is an amazing feat considering I used to binge and purge several times daily.

Reading all these posts makes me feel like I'm not alone! I know that I have control issues and anger issues that I work out through my eating disorder. I am very hard on myself. I am working towards finding positive ways to feel in control and trust that all will work out even if something goes not as I had wished.

Today I had to go to the dentist because I have had a toothache. I left crying. As much as I am trying to take care of myself, the mistakes from my past ( throwing up and now my teeth are shit) keep coming back. I feel defeated. I really wanted to drink or eat when I came home, but stopped myself and said that that is not going to help this situation. So that was good.

This ED has run my life for so long and I am sick of it. However, now I have to relearn stress and thinking coping mechanisms to replace what the ED gave to me (or seemed to give to me, "control", except I never had any control at all). What a viscious cycle! I am so glad to be here and hope that I can help or atleast make sure you know you're not alone.

Don't define yourself based on an ED!!!

I just wanted to contribute something to the forum,


This is such a very powerful

This is such a very powerful post! Thanks for supporting everyone who is struggling with any type of eating issues, and for staying strong. you deserve happiness and a life free of ed. You have already made positive choices by recovering and refraining some the ed behaviors. Congrats on not B&P today. That is a huge accomplishment. Try to continue hanging in there and know that tomorrow is a new day. I am trying to get rid of my eating struggles, but find myself digging a deeper hole daily (even though I am receiving help). I really think you are a determined strong person who is ready to be ed free. The helpline and phone number on here are definitely very supportive and can help you talk through things and they also can help to find counselors/dietitians if that is what you are looking for. it is definitely helpful to not go through this alone. I find this forum helpful too, to realize that other people are struggling and that I am not alone in this. I hope the rest of your day went well. if you need some extra moral support don't hesitate to write on here! :) Always believe in yourself that you can get better, because you do deserve it! :)


Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate your post and feel that I do need some support. I have been pretty private about it for a while. I am tearing up right now because I believe that if I had something like this forum seventeen years ago, I wouldn't still be struggling as much. Thanks for the confidence in choosing the right thing. I'm working towards recovery and will continue to do so probably for the rest of my life. You can also recover and realize that you deserve to not suffer and choose a healthly life! Take care and keep in touch!


Of course! :) I am definitely

Of course! :) I am definitely happy that I found this forum before I got too entrenched. but the whole mental side of things just makes me unable to be healthy, and just getting worse. eventually maybe I will get better or want recovery. but I really do believe in you and you have been taking wonderful strides in the right direction. keep staying strong. how has your week been so far? Any positive or negative things that have happened since that you would like to talk about? or want extra support on?

this week

This week has been good....I have resisted the urge to purge a lot this week. Which has been hard. I have been thinking about how bad my teeth are and how I can't do this to my body anymore. This thinking has helped me resist the urge. My job is pretty stressful, so I often have challenges with managing that stress. I have also been working on fixing up my house and that is creative and fun for me, and a distraction if I feel I need to pass the time. I have a hard time sitting still and being with myself. I feel selfish often, ugh, it is a viscious cycle. I started a weekly yoga practice, which helps me deal with being with myself and just focusing on my also helps with racing and obessive thoughts.

On a side note, I took a biology class this past fall and it has shed light onto how amazing the human body is....this has also helped me think of eating as fueling my body. I started drinking a lot of water. A lot of times I find that when I'm hungry it is just my body needing water. First I drink water then I see if I'm still hungry. Trying to relearn my hunger signals and listen to my body. However, bulimia is an addiction and that is a part of the disease that I have a challenge with.

How is your week going?

That is amazing that you have

That is amazing that you have resisted B&P. That is a huge step. Congrats :) And it seems like you are finding extracurricular that are helping take your mind off things. that can be huge, finding other things to do. and it is a vicious cycle, but you shouldn't feel selfish. I know easier said then done, I feel selfish too with my eating struggles, and feel I chose this, but really we didn't chose to have eating disorders. it I a habit that is hard to break. and you are definitely taking positive strides to getting better :)
The bio class sounds like it was fun and a great learning experience. and while it will take time to get rid of the addiction, small steps are what is going to get you through. small steps and support!
My week has been really challenging. something triggered me and I have just been on a rollercoaster of unhealthy thoughts and actions. I just see a downward spiral from here, and I don't know maybe that is what I need before I can realize I want and need to get better. I know that isn't the answer, but it is just too hard for me right now.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Thanks for the encouragement. :) I have been where you are lots of times. I'm not sure what to say to help you. Recovery is a personal experience.....but I do know that you shouldn't suffer before things can get better. ED's are a downward spiral and viscious cycles in and of themselves. You have them because they make you feel like you have some control.....but actually they create an environment of less control of your life. It sucks! One epiphany I had recently.... and I'm in my 30's.....that the only thing in this life we can control are our reactions to things that happen in our lives.
I think when you said that you had unhealthy thoughts and actions that is amazing that you realized that. Unhealthy thoughts create unhealthy are what you think. So start trying to think of ways to make yourself feel good about you. You control how you feel about yourself....don't let people or circumstances make you feel less than who you are. I think you are young, not sure why, but don't spend your life like I did....stuck in my head and not growing as a human being.
Keep up the forum and comments!!!


Thanks so much! You post got

Thanks so much! You post got me thinking a lot that I do want to recover and control my actions. Ed still talks over my healthy thoughts but your words really rang true to me. Thanks. I really do believe that all we can control are our actions and I hope to soon be able to realize that or well believe that mentally so I can start my life. I'm 20 and have good things going for me so far but feel I don't deserve them. I just want 2 feel good about myself but instead feel grossed and and humiliated. . But thank you so much for the support. I just don't quite handle stress well right now.
But you seem very strong and I do believe that you are going to beat ed and continue with a healthy and happy life! And I think it is great you've realize how ed has taken over but that there is hope with controlling individual actions because you too still have so much of your life ahead of you to grow as a human being. Hang in there :)

Stress coping skills

I struggle with how to handle stress....I am very sensitive and have never learned how to handle stress properly. Isn't it funny that they don't teach that in school? They should, because some of us don't learn how to cope within our family settings. Writing is a great way to relieve stress, for me. That is why I enjoy this forum. You can just type out your emotions and let them go. This week has been so hard....and I still haven't B &P! I have had the worst dental problems this week and last. I cried a lot. The pain is terrible and it is soooo expensive. It also dreges up the fact that I have done this to myself with my purging. I just wish I could turn back the clock. One coping mechanisms lately is that I've been working a lot...which is not that healthy either. But it is better to stay busy than to be tempted to B&P.
Hope your week is going well so far,

Great Job!

Hi there! I don't remember if we've interacted much on these forums, but I'm Michael. I'm glad that you're using these forums as a coping strategy! That's awesome!

Great job on not engaging in behaviors! You are strong! I remember that my recovery started by switching coping strategies, from ED's to mine. Again, I am super encouraged to hear that you are fighting so hard!

I can relate to how you feel about your teeth. My eating disorder caused me to have a broken femur (supposedly the strongest bone in the body). It was definitely a wake-up call. I know it is hard to not blame ourselves, but please try to change your perspective on things... For instance, I've told myself "Did I really want to break my femur? Did I want that pain? Did I want to not be able to walk for a few months?" I most certainly answer "No!!!" to these. It was ED who did that to me, and we are separate from ED. He wants us to suffer these things. We would never do these things to ourselves. Do you see what I mean? Yes, the reality exists that we suffer damage from behaviors, but we are not the ones to blame.

Stay strong! Is there any way I can help you?

Hi Michael

Nice to meet you. Thanks for the encouragement. You are so right in thinking that we can't blame ourselves for an addiction. It is it's own beast. I'm am proud of you and your recovery! I love this forum and enjoy feeling that others have the same issues that I do. Right now I am dealing with trying to figure out the next stage in my career...etc. Not sure if there is any specific thing I need help with right now. I probably need to talk to a therapist to get more detailed help on the ED problem. I feel that overall, I don't really know who I am at my inner core and so I am lost. I am in need of some control because I feel lost, so I binge and purge. I don't know? I'll take any advice on things that have worked for you through your recovery. Thanks again for all the encouragement, it means a lot!

Talk soon!

I Can Definitely Relate


Thank you for your kind words! I think we have felt a lot of the same pain and have experienced a lot of the same thoughts.

I truly believe seeing a therapist would be a great idea! Do you know how to get in touch with a specialist? NEDA can help you do that if not.

I for sure have felt the same about not knowing who I am. But I do know this for sure: getting to know who we are is an adventure, one that doesn't have a map or a clear end. However, being in our eating disorders is a lot like only looking at a picture of our adventure, we can't experience it nor enter into it. We know that it's there but we feel this distance between finding who we are and where we are now. When we take that first step into recovery, we start to enter into our adventure. Each time we refuse the ED and make the right choices we separate more and more with the ED and then get closer and closer to where our heart, our sense of who we are, lies. As the journey continue we may look back, but now we see that instead of our lives being held within the picture frame, it is only ED who is stuck in the frame. He's trapped and we can see for the first time that we were never the ED and our adventure was always ours to take a hold of. Now this doesn't mean we won't feel lost when we are on our adventure. Trust me, I get lost driving 10 minutes away from my home, so I certainly get lost in my journey of who I am. But, what I do know is that this sense of being lost helps me draw closer to others who are in our life to walk with us. Being lost isn't so bad as long as we aren't lonely. In fact, it can lead to the best of discoveries!

Have you tried something new? It can be something simple like learning to play an instrument, or set aside to time to paint. The reason why I suggest to do this is because at first it might be rather difficult, a lot like how it feels starting recovery. But as we get more practice, we can play a song, we can paint that scene, and we can gain more confidence in recovery. In our difficult times we can reflect and see how this physical progress (musical, artistic, etc.) directly correlates to our growth and development along our path of recovery.

Here's one of my favorite ideas. In order to symbolize our new lives apart from the ED, why don't we symbolize this with a revised concept of ourself? I have reached this by adding to my existing name. My first and middle name at birth were Michael Edward, but when I was in residential treatment I added a second first name, that being "Huckleberry". I'm even considering legally changing my name so that it is Michael Huckleberry Edward.

Just some things to consider! I know they have helped me hold onto recovery during the tough days!

Hope today has gone well for you!

Dear Huckleberry

I love the advice! I did start school in order to start a new career helped me get unstuck from my routine job. I don't like to change, and this is forcing me to change and learn new things. And actually, I had to take a Biology/ Anatomy class for this new path. It opened my eyes to how amazing our bodies are and if you don't feed it correctly it will not work to the best of it's ability. ED's make your metabolism work ineffectively, ultimately resulting in more weight gained and strain on your body. That was a turning point in my recovery. I will think of a new name and let you know what I come up with!

I get to go on vacay soon, so it will be nice to have some down time from work/school.

Take care,

I am so proud of you for not

I am so proud of you for not B&P. You seem to be working extremely hard to stay balanced in order to not let ed takeover. And I definitely can relate to you about not dealing with stress. It should be taught in school. lol. I know it would be great to be able to turn back the clock, and even though we can't I think it is very brave and strong of you to be persevering in such a positive direction to beat ed. You can do this! Stay strong and try to always believe in yourself :)

Thanks Missy

Thanks! I am trying so hard to stay positive and balanced. I tend to be a glass half empty it is a challenge. You take care and stay strong too!


Stay Strong!


I am proud of you for going 1 year without ED behaviors! I hope you are proud of yourself as well. I can tell how strong you are from your post! Have you ever thought about talking with a therapist? As well as you are doing, we strongly suggest some help when recovering. A therapist or a treatment team can help you keep ED away for good! A therapist will also help you learn the coping mechanisms you mentioned you need. What are your thoughts on this?

I'm proud of you for not engaging your ED after the dentist. Way to go! And I'm glad you found your way here so you realize you are not alone. Stay strong!


Thanks for your post and as though I feel strong, I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with a therapist. I have been very private in my battle with the ED, bulimia. It is my coping mechanism and I do need to learn and practice new and healthy coping mechanisms. What is the process to talking to a therapist?


Proud of you!


I'm so happy to hear you are open to talking with a therapist! NEDA can help you find one in your area that specializes in ED. A good place to start is here:

Or you can call the helpline and they can give you therapists that way as well. 1-800-931-2237, M-F, 9am-5pm EST. Your commitment to your recovery is inspiring! You are putting up a good fight and I believe having a therapist will only excel your recovery.


Thanks eghall! I'll keep you updated.

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