Dancing Towards Destruction: My Battle With Bulimia Part II
This article was written exclusively for EatingDisordersOnline.com by TriciaVikki a user on SupportGroups.com. TriciaVikki shares the story of how her struggle began and what she has done to try and overcome her condition.
Read Part I
I binged and purged for the next four years of high school. I would only eat one full meal a day and purge the rest. During my senior year, my dance teacher confronted me about it, but by then it was too late. I had been binging and purging for too long. I was already eighteen and I refused to get help.
Frustrated Social Life
Amy and I went away to college together and became roommates. We spent our college years binging, purging and restricting. Our apartment had charts up all over the place with safe foods to purge and calorie counts. By this time we had also started abusing laxatives to help make purging easier. Whenever our friends asked us to go to a bar we would never be able to go because we had already taken a box or two of laxatives that day.
I remember back then Amy and I spent a lot of our weekends curled up in a ball because of what the laxatives did to our bodies. Our social lives were completely disrupted by our eating disorder. When I graduated college I felt like I needed to find help.
Trying to Find Help
I made a call to my doctor in my college town and she sent me to an outpatient program. I went every week for twelve weeks, but I knew that I wasn't getting any better. The program was run by a doctor who had a special interest in eating disorders and she would meet with me every two weeks before the group session. At first I felt as if the group therapy was working because I had managed to stop binging for a few weeks. It was later on I realized that this was only because I felt ashamed to admit that I had binged during group meetings.
Unfortunately, after a few weeks the group therapy turned into a competition in my mind and I started to compare myself with the other bulimic and anorexic women in the group. I started to restrict because I was afraid of being the fattest in the room. I started to binge and purge more aggressively because I was so hungry from restricting. The individual therapy was great for me, but in the end the group therapy undid all the progress I had made.
Testing New Grounds
When I moved back home I went to my family doctor and told her about my binging and purging. She sent me to an inpatient program for eight weeks, but this was not a great experience for me either. I thought that I was ready to recover, to listen to the rules and follow them, but as it turned out I became very angry with the doctors, nurses, and the dieticians. I felt that their goal wasn't to make me feel better about myself, but to make me fat. I resented the amount of food on the trays.
I hated them for locking the bathroom door and putting me on a "watch" for 2 hours after meals and I felt very uncomfortable with the group sessions.
I felt that I was the fattest in the group because I wasn't anorexic. I was bloated all the time from the amount of food they were expecting me to eat and I was not allowed to take the laxatives that my body was so used to.
After 8 weeks I left the program, not much different than before, but I had stopped purging. I was finally able to breath through my nose and the horrible head aches that come with purging were finally gone as well, but the binging did not go away.
In Part III, the last part of this series, TriciaVikki shares her struggle to become healthy for the sake of her daughter and what she has found to be helpful along her path towards recovery.