Hunger pains: A Bulimic's story

Auburn Drive High School
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

By Anonymous (Grade 11)

I'm not sure what I really want to say to you, and it will probably not make a difference anyway. I was told everything you're about to read but it still happened to me. I want to talk about Anorexia, Bulimia, diet pills and my experiences with them.

I think there are many misconceptions when it comes to eating disorders; in particular, the image we have of an anorexic or bulimic person. For the most part, bulimics are average size, some are even overweight. This is because they usually binge on junk food and, when they throw-up, they retain the fat. People also usually picture anorexics as 90 pounds, frail, shallow-skinned with their hair falling out, which will happen after time. What people don't understand is that it can take anywhere from one month to ten years to get to that point. In my mind, I still believe that I'm not, and have never been, Anorexic because I never got sick, frail, or ended up in the hospital.

I threw-up my food for the first time in grade five. I didn't understand why I did. It may sound weird but it just kind of happened. I stopped for a while in grade six, then I entered Junior High. I went through a vicious cycle. At times I would eat normally then I would start to throwup, and then stop eating all together. This continued for about three and a half years. In my mind, I have never been anorexic because I can still, and always have been, able to function as a normal person. So then, around the middle of grade ten, I stopped all my bad eating habits, which is all I thought they were. Then I entered grade 11. At this point, I found my so-called "wonder drug" diet pills. I call them drugs because, even though there is no proof, I feel that they are extremely addictive. I feel they should definitely be illegal. If I didn't take them, I would shake, scream, have violent mood swings and do anything I could to get more.

So, with what I've told you, you probably assume that my parents and friends knew or know now. Only a couple of my friends know. As for my parents and family, they have no clue. I cut back on my pill use on my own. I have no idea how. Now, I use them only about once a month. I have not thrown up in about six months, and have not starved myself for about one year. I have never been to a counsellor. Why would I? They are only for people who have, or have had, a problem, and I never have had one. It's very hard to explain.

I knew that when I threwup my food I was bulimic and, when I staved myself, I was anorexic. But in a strange way, I didn't, and still don't, see what's wrong with it. Nothing bad ever happened to me, and I stayed thin. I was in control of something in my life ... my body. I wanted to be 110 pounds, so I was. If I dropped below I would eat again. If I went up I would starve. If I ate junk food I got rid of it.

I have never seen myself as fat because I'm not and never have been. For me, it was having control over at least one part of my life. But I don't, and never have had, control of anything. From the first moment it controlled me.

I eat on a regular basis now. I don't know why I stopped or how I was able to. In my mind I know I'm still sick, and one day I will relapse. For me, having an eating disorder is very much like being a drug addict. I have not hit bottom yet, and I may never, so, therefore, I do not have a problem.

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