Living with ED for 30 Years: Louise's Recovery Story, Part II
This four-part article was written exclusively for EatingDisordersOnline.com by Louise J. Twardowski, a member of SupportGroups.com. In this article, Louise discusses how her eating disorder evolved, how she struggled with alcohol and purging as an adult and how she finally found the help she needed.
At the beginning of it all, I thought it was kind of neat that I was losing weight, eating healthy and so on. One night, instead of eating a bag of chips while watching TV, I ate an apple, and she asked me, "Do you really need that apple?.”
I then proceeded to cut back on my food to the point where I was cutting a carrot into five sections, and cutting each section in four more parts. I would add a slice of cheese and four pieces of Melba toast, and that was my lunch for the week. Needless to say, my teachers knew something was wrong. One of my teachers asked me if I was okay. He told me that despite the fact that my grades were still good, my mind seemed to be elsewhere. I honestly had no energy to spare.
Later on, I then took a year off school to be a nanny for the Delegate of Quebec in Toronto, Canada. This is when ED really started to show me the ropes. I remember that one day after eating too much, I felt nauseated and so I proceeded to put my fingers down my throat and vomit. The light bulb came on, and so this became my life for many years. There were days when I would purge seven or eight times a day. I felt fat and not worthy.
I learned quickly which foods were easy to vomit, and those that would just stick to your throat. I now look back at that part of my adolescence and realize that I was sick, and it was a scary, unhealthy period in my life. I am lucky to be alive today. I could have choked on my own vomit, or suffered a heart attack. In later years, I came to discovered alcohol, and what a combination that turned into. I would drink to curb my appetite, and in a sense it did, but not without the consequences later in my life.
I was always successful in anything I did. I was a sales rep for a big bakery firm, and did very well. Booze was always flowing at restaurants with customers, and ED was constantly there watching me, and telling me not to eat, and instead I drank and drank. My dream job was always to become a truck driver, so at the age of 26, I pursued my dream, and took a driving course, and got my license on Halloween night in 1986.
A New Dream, a New Nightmare
What a party that was. It was at this celebration where I met my ex-husband, who also loved to drink and was amazed at how tiny I was to drive one of those rigs. We got married in August the next year. He was my drinking buddy. He loved his booze but also loved to eat. I would drink, he would eat. The binging and purging became more pronounced than ever. He did not have a clue of what was going on.
In Part III of this article series, Louise discusses her continued struggle with alcohol, the abusive relationship she entered later on in her life, and how this helped her to finally seek help.