"The mark of an immature man is that he would die knobly for a cause. The mark of a mature man is that he would live humbly for one" - Catcher in the Rye -WARNING WRITER SPELLING CHALLENGED! But Sometimes you have to say "what the fuck!"

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Battling the Bulimic Beast

Repost from 11/1/04

Fasting and My Campaign for Food
I survived my fast this weekend, despite being tempted by Halloween candy. For three days, I ate nothing; just powder 5 times and lots and lots of water. Did I mention the powder tastes like piss? You get used to it after a while, but usually your gagging it down the first time you taste it. Today, I’m eating fruits and vegetables, and powder. Slowly this week I will add back other foods, but remain on the diet and powder for another 15 days. It’s definitely been a test of will, especially considering my battle with bulimia. Knowing that you can control what you eat, and that you are NOT a slave to food feels totally empowering. Most of my life, my eating has been out of control, culminating in a serious eating disorder I battled for years. Since eating disorders are an emotional disease, it’s a demon I will fight the rest of my life. Although, I haven’t binged and purged or abused laxatives for years. But lets start from the beginning of this nasty tale shall we?

Broken Home Blues
I started comforting myself with food around the time of my parents divorce (first grade). In those days, kids could walk to the store by themselves, and my best friend and I would walk to the store and stock up on candy. I would proceed to devour the candy like a rabid beast, eating it all up within minutes. I would then move on to whatever sugar or carbs was available in my friend’s cupboard. Eating was so comforting; it made me feel sooooo good. I think binge eating helped me deal with the emotional turmoil occurring in my life.

Puking Up My Problems
The problem was, I would eat to the point of nausea. The only relief after eating so much would be to throw up. I didn’t do this for weight reasons, I was olive oil skinny. I just ate so much I had to vomit to relieve my stomach. Sometimes after vomiting, I would eat more, and vomit again. At first I had to stick my finger down my throat, then with experience, I only had to lean over the toilet bowl to achieve the desired effect.

Evidence of Crimes
I wasn’t too secretive about my binging and purging as a child. I’m sure my best friend noticed, and looking back now she realizes what I was doing. We just were not sure what it all meant, except that I was a candy whore. At home, I started doing things to feed my addiction like breaking into my older sisters Christmas cookies, or stealing change out of their bedrooms. The worst thing I probably did was stealing my older sister’s coin collection to use for candy. I just had to have my food fix and I really couldn’t help myself.

Depressed Turbulent Teenage Years
The bulimia became worse as I turned into a Depeche Mode teenager. Full of angst and self-hatred I did a lot of bad things to my body. When my mom married my step-dad, life got even worse. I hated my step-dad, and he hated me. He took over all the cooking and the kitchen. I rebelled by puking up every dinner he made for us. I think it was about control. I continued to binge and purge on junk food, but became more secretive about it. I remember one friend in high school taking me aside, and expressing concern about what I was doing. She had listened outside the bathroom door while I was puking up the junk food I scarfed down. I appreciated her concern, but really didn’t think I had a problem.

First Love Misery
My first serious high school boyfriend also suffered from bulimia. Misery loves company, and there is nothing more comforting to a bulimic that hooking up with an accomplice. We used to hit up all you can eat restaurants and eat ourselves silly. After the debauchery fest, we would drive to some abandoned parking lot and puke up all the food. It was just something we did together, and we really didn’t think about it too much.

Crazy Train Marriage
When I got pregnant at 19, I continued the binging but gave up the purging. Then, after my son was born, and when the marriage became more abusive and out of control, I took it up again. It was never a weight issue, after I had my son I was still 125 pounds (I’m 5’11). Food was my best friend, my comfort. Purging just helped relieve my body from the ill effects of binging. It was also something I could do really well.

Bezerkeley Buddy
After escaping the marriage and while attending UC Berkeley, I made friends with another neurotic grrrl, who also had bulimia. Once again, I had a partner in crime. We used to go on shopping sprees, buy tons of junkie food, and eat, and eat, and eat. We would then look at each other with empathetic watery eyes, after one of us returned from the bathroom. We knew by then, what we were doing was wrong. We knew it was bulimia. We just felt so out of control of our lives that we could not stop.

Those Little Pink Pills
At this time I started abusing laxatives. I realized that I could both puke up the food, and rid it from my body through laxatives. Let me tell you, laxative abuse is no fun, it fucks with your body big time. The laxative abuse can further do permanent damage to your digestive system. It’s really NOTHING to play around with.

Time to Take Control
I got serious with a boyfriend my senior year at Cal. He moved in with me, and it became hard for me to hide my problem. Realizing I was out of control and headed down a bad path, I got help. I took a semester off from school for medical purposes, and the University monitored my health through counseling, a nutritionist, and a psychiatrist. I made a conscious effort to control my eating, and have control of my life. Since that time, my condition has been somewhat controlled.

Conquering the Beast
Eating disorders are lifelong diseases. I still suffer from after effects in my teeth (they rot from the inside out) and occasional irritable bowel syndrome. Who knows how fucked up my esophagus is. I try not to think about that one. I haven’t purged or used laxatives in years. I still occasionally will binge, sometimes waking up in the middle of the night to raid the fridge and quickly scarf down food. Food is still an addiction to me. That is why I feel so empowered doing this diet. The mind is a powerful weapon, and knowing that I can control my diet feels liberating. By doing this, I prove to myself that I am strong and in control my life.

Thanks to all of you for your support and for reading my crazy shizat. I posted some new pictures on my photoblog.

Happy Monday.

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