"You can't be that bad, you're not even skinny"

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hmarky
hmarky's picture
"You can't be that bad, you're not even skinny"

A few years ago a friend I was flatting with discovered evidence of one of my B/P's. She confronted me about it and I told her a little, enough to guage how supportive she might be,"but you can't be that bad, you're not even that skinny" she said. I decided she didn't or couldn't understand and told her that I was no longer doing it. I am still not underweight but have continued to do it thinking it wasn't that big of a problem. My bulimia was just a habit. Usually I could keep it down to once a day but recently the physical side effects have been stacking up. After even more problems with my easophogus and fainting I decided that maybe I do actually have a problem. Then I really got thinking, why do I think about food every minute of the day? Why do I steal food away to my room in secret and then purge into bags in my room? Why do I stay up late to avoid my flatmates seeing me binge? Why do I have to wait to have a shower after dinner "just in case"? I told my doctor and asked her to refer me to someone. That didn't work. Then after a desperate week of feeling like crap about myself I googled online bulimia therapy. I read some recovery stories and was full of hope. I could really relate to all the posts and felt that someone finally understood. This is still only my first week but I am feeling encouraged and hopeful, and that's a start - even if I don't really have a problem;)

FionaN
FionaN's picture
Hey, I totally feel for you.

Hey, I totally feel for you. When I told my father about my bulimia, he just said "But you don't look like you've got an eating disorder, you're a totally average weight". And he was quizzing me about it then, in a very down-putting way..asking me how often I purge. And saying that if I don't purge after every meal and do it everywhere, well then, it couldn't be all that "proper".. He said, people with an illness, have an illness..everywhere. And he went on to refuse to support me in my treatment at the time, as he thought I was just "making it up" or "overreacting".

So that really stuck with me. I also always felt it wasn't really such a big deal and I shouldn't make such a big deal of it. I felt very ashamed about it all. And I always had this fear that the people who knew about my bulimia were secretly laughing behind my back because they didn't take it seriously, because, you know, I was "overreacting".

But the simple truth is, that they don't understand. And they don't understand what suffering bulimia is. And that it IS constantly present..I mean, I wake in the morning, and the first thing I'm thinking about is food and binging and what I am allowed to eat, or not.. It's a constant mental stress.. and people who havn't experienced it, simply cannot grasp at what it is truly like. See, even, if you aren't b/p ing "so much" .. the mental stress is enough of an illness as it is, in my opinion.

I'm really happy you found the site..it really is super helpful! I wish you all the best in your recovery, and a good, healthy start to it! X

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
I think this is one of the

I think this is one of the biggest issues that we really need to deal with - we need to raise awareness about the realities between eating disorders and weight.

When you say "eating disorder" people always immediatly think of skinny, fragile and underweight people , but that is not the reality of eating disorders.

Yes anorexics are underweight, but anorexia is the least common eating disorder. Sorry to be one of those "media- bashers" but I do think the way eating disorders are conveyed in the media are mostly to blame.

It's really hard for people to understand that a bulimic can be anyweight. In rare cases yes they can be underweight, but most are average or above average weights. It doesn't help that treatment programs often only help those with very low BMI's - it fuels this misguided idea.

More than that it really makes me angry because we have so many beautiful, unique and talented women and men who are convincing themselves that bulimia is not a problem for them because they are not underweight. Something has to change doesn't it?

Okay end rant :)

hmarky - I am so happy that you feel hopeful, I felt the exact same after finding this site and it went on to save my life. There's somthing different here, something special you know? I know you're going to do amazinly well in recovery, this is your time!

take care

Catherine x

eli
eli's picture
I was seeing a psychologist

I was seeing a psychologist about 30 years and finally worked up the nerve to tell him i was bulimic,. He asked me how I purged,,,,i.e. involutarily vomiting or forcing myself to vomit., When I told him I forced myself he declared that I couldn't be bulimic then, because only those who cannot keep down their food were bulimics.

I went seven more years and was vomiting about 17 times a day when I told a substance abuse counselor (who I was seeing about my alcoholic husband) about my problem. She got me into inpatient tx within a few days. By the way she had a high school education and was sober for many years. Great qualifications in my book. My road has had its ups and downs since then. But the bottom line is this: If it is causing a problem then you have a problem.

I had a pretty bad setback with the death of my mother last November. So I am here for some help. The grief was triggering my old bulimic ways. Since I started here in July I have the purging back under control and am working on the binging. It is not a good replacement for feeling my feelings,

My best wishes to all who have come to the realization that no matter the weight or methods, if it is causing a problem then there is a problem.

Eli

Sanet
Sanet's picture
Wow, a psychiatrist who

Wow, a psychiatrist who probably lost his DSM manual along with his common sense and brains......

SG

Shangrila
Shangrila's picture
I think that is one of the

I think that is one of the things that makes bulimia so very dangerous..so many of us actually look normal..not many people would ever suspect what is going on inside of us.
When I was at my worst, I had several comments like you, that "oh but you look normal' thing..I think it just made me want to get skinnier, like in order for them to believe me or for me to get the help I needed, I needed to be that skinny. It's heartbreaking that people don't seem to realize how bad bulimia is.
Even now that I'm in recovery, at times I'll get that comment about how I must be fully recovered since I don't look sick. They can't see the battle that goes on every day as I recover.

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