Dancing Towards Destruction: My Battle with Bulimia, Part I
This article was written exclusively for EatingDisordersOnline.com by TriciaVikki, a user on SupportGroups.com. She shares the story of how her struggle began and what she has done to overcome the disorder.
The first time I remember feeling fatter than everyone else was in a gym class when I was five years old. I remember looking at my legs and wishing I could cut half of my thighs off. When I look back at those pictures I realize that I was not a fat five year old at all, I was healthy and normal. I have never been comfortable in my body. I've always preferred to wear baggy clothes, layers and anything that would help cover up my body.
Looking to Fit In
The first time I restricted was when I was in middle school, I was in eighth grade and I was planning on auditioning for a dance program at a high school for the arts. I knew that I wouldn't be able to wear the baggy clothes that I was so comfortable in for my audition.
The idea of wearing a tight body suit made me anxious and nervous, but all of my friends were auditioning for different arts programs and I wanted to go with them. I was a dancer, not an artist, dancing was my ticket. I decided to restrict and did so for about three weeks. I managed to lose about ten pounds before the audition. Back then I was extremely happy with how pretty and thin I looked in my black bodysuit. I was so excited to get into the school I wanted and during the summer before classes I started to learn how to restrict without anyone noticing.
Learning the Routine
I would skip all my meals unless there were people around. If my mom ever asked me what I was having for lunch I would lie and tell her that I was making a sandwich. My mother was constantly at work, so she didn't know that I would make sandwiches and feed them to the dog everyday. Whenever my mother was home I would only eat half the dinner she made and explain to her that I was on a diet.
By the time I started high school I had lost another fifteen pounds and I was even thinner than before. On the first day of school I met Amy, who would rapidly become my best friend. Amy, I found out, had also been restricting for dance all summer. It was no wonder she and I hit it off right away, she understood me and what I felt. We talked about counting calories, skipping meals and even shared the different ways we had learned to hide food. Half way through our first year of high school we had decided that being hungry all the time was becoming too difficult and that was when we started to purge.
Becoming Part of the Troupe
We started by eating a small lunch and then purging it, but it was more difficult than either of us had expected. When we were just starting out it was only hard on us physically, but despite everything we decided that it did the job just fine. Purging gave me a new found control over my body. Seeing the little bits of food I had eaten after I purged would remind me of my goals, of the control I now felt. I knew then that I was hooked.
In Part II of this article, TriciaVikki talks about how her purging began to spiral out of control and the obstacles she encountered while trying to find help.