The Reality of Anorexia & Bulimia.

[trigger warning]

You’ve probably heard it all before, especially if you have an eating disorder, but I’m going to reiterate it again and again and again -your eating disorder will not achieve for you what you would like to achieve. It might, for a little while. That will probably feel good. You’ll get this false sense of hope that maybe you really are in control. And maybe you’ll just stay this way forever; hovering above food and being superior to it. But the thing is that it won’t stay that way. You think “I really am just going to lose a few kilos and then stop” but you won’t because you can’t. Even if you think you can, you will not be able to do so.

The reality is this: you will start failing your assignments. You will stay up all night because you can’t sleep and you’ll find yourself in the kitchen at 3am binging on almonds and then in the bathroom crying, desperately trying to throw them up. Your friends will disappear, you will withdraw from them and you will feel incredibly alone. All you will think about is food. Eating food, throwing up food, hiding food, counting bites of food, throwing food in the bin. You will walk down the street and see someone eating something and you almost want to beg them for just a little bite. You will look at food that has been carelessly tossed on the ground and want to eat it because you are so, so damn desperate to eat. Your throat will burn constantly from the acid that you’re forcing it to endure every time you purge. Your glands will be sore all the time. At 4 am or 2 am or 1am or sometime after midnight, you will bolt out of bed and sprint to the bathroom, stomach churning because you took 20+ laxatives as the result of a binge. You will measure things all the time, the eating disorder will take over your whole life. Measuring cups and teaspoons will become your best friends. You will become fearful of certain foods – potatoes and chocolate, pizza, pasta – the obvious ones, as well as the not so obvious ones. Maybe you’ll become scared of binging on apples or yoghurt or peanut butter. One time, I binged on a whole jar of taco sauce – your body will eat what it wants, what it needs and what you are depriving it of. In my case, I was heavily deprived of salt.

You will get chest pains. You will be standing in the shower and have such a sharp pain in your chest that you think you are about to die. You think you are about to die and then you are, naked in the shower throwing up hundreds of calories and begging God not to let you die, telling Him this will be the last time you throw up your food YOU SWEAR. But it isn’t because you’re stuck in this cycle and the only way to get out of it is to begin eating normally – which is just out of the question. You will count your steps. Everything turns into numbers, your mind comprises of numbers numbers numbers and food food food. You will so badly want the food, but you cannot eat the food. The fear of guilt is stronger than the joys found in eating. Your teeth will begin to erode and your dentist will be appalled. But if you aren’t honest with her, then you can probably say goodbye to your teeth. People will tell you you look wonderful at the start “yay you, you’ve lost weight, well done you” but by the end of it all, they’ll be so damn shocked they won’t know what to say. They definitely won’t be saying well done though.

You will look for gaps. You will measure your thigh gap and hold your fingers around your wrist to see if it is getting smaller and punish yourself if it seems bigger. You will hold your ankle bones, touch your elbow bones constantly, feel your ribs to see if they’re still visible and breathe a sigh of relief when your closest companions are still there. You will be so sore from exercise all the time. Sore, and empty and numb and in pain and isolating and fading and desperately needing help but being too pig-headed to ask.

And if you let it go on for long enough, you will die. That’s the reality of anorexia and bulimia. It doesn’t go on forever, so you recover or you die. And I think I know what the better option is of the two.

So tell me, how fun does Anorexia Nervosa sound now? How about Bulimia? This is the reality of an eating disorder and if you aren’t too far down the rabbit hole, please please seek help in your early ED stages. It’ll probably save your life.

B X

P.S – we can connect on Facebook now! Please look to your right and click the like button 🙂 Thank you X

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12 thoughts on “The Reality of Anorexia & Bulimia.

  1. Another incredibly honest post, Bek.

    Your first paragraph (and indeed the whole post) touches on something I have been reflecting on lately – the repurcussions that stem from holding ‘infinite’ goals. That is, pursuing something with an no end in sight, where there is no point or level where ‘enough is enough’ and that you will feel ‘accomplished’. What I have come to realise is that when I don’t have a ‘finite’ end in mind, that I will get completely absorbed in things, and that this is highly destructive and unhealthy for me. For example, say I want to ‘get fit’. Well, I find myself running and running and running and never stopping. Because, in my mind, I will never be ‘fit enough’ and never be ‘fast enough’ – much like someone with an ED probably feels that they will never be ‘thin’ enough, or lose enough weight. And, the nature of society and people to ‘compare’ ourselves to others only heightens this ‘endless pursuit’. Because once you reach a certain ‘time’ or ‘level of fitness’ (much like when you hit a certain ‘weight’) you want to keep pushing to the next level, particularly if you see someone else who is ‘faster’, ‘fitter’ or indeed ‘thinner’ than yourself. It is an endless, and undoubtedly viscious cycle, and it continues on and on until you self destruct.

    One of the things I am looking to pursue now is goals with a ‘finite’ end in mind – and I think this is the only healthy way to pursue things for me now. That is, if I want to go running, I will resolve from the very beginning that I will keep running until I can run around Lake Ginninderra in under 30 minutes. Agree within yourself, from the very start, that once you achieve that goal, you will stop, and move onto something else – another activity, or another pursuit. Make sure your goals are defined, achievable and finite. But also, and this is the challenge, remain disciplined as you do this – maybe even get someone to keep you accounable (for example, with running, run with other people who are aware of your goal). This, I think, is the way I need to start approaching things so that I don’t get absorbed and thus flung towards self destruction, as has happened too often in the past.

    Again, another long comment, but great post – very honest, very stimulating for me, and very broad in that these concepts don’t just apply to EDs, but to many aspects of life.

    • You’re the best Petey. So honest. I hope you get the chance to get all of your thoughts out in blog form soon. And keep journaling! X

  2. A very true post Bek… It’s amazing that once you have recovered how much more energy and time you have . The day is no longer spent in stress or preoccupation of food and your daily rituals that must be performed. It’s like a massive weight is lifted and suddenly u become as free as a bird to eat, laugh enjoy life and even think with enough clarity to concentrate and learn 🙂

    • It’s quite a slow process, though I reckon you’re very right 🙂 Seriously, I used to sit down in the shower and crawl up the stairs on my hands and knees. Food is so wonderful and sustaining! Such a blessing.

    • I’m sorry you found it difficult – I thought it was a little blunt, hence the “trigger” warning. Didn’t think it would be triggering as such, maybe just be a little intense. I’ll message you on Facebook sometime this evening, okay lovely? X

      • It wasn’t exactly triggering; it just made me sad. It’s difficult to read because the realities really are awful, and I think we kind of forget that.

    • I just read this post again and I get what you mean. It’s a bit full-on, isn’t it?! But damnnnn, so accurate … and pretty good if I do say so myself 😛

      • Yeah, pretty intense. But sometimes intense is what’s needed, to make people understand it’s not just a diet taken a step too far. It’s so much more than that.

  3. Thank you for writing and bringing awareness to the true nature of eating disorders. This is the first post I’ve read on your blog so am not sure where you are in ‘recovery’ but I wanted to wish you well – and to remind you that you are never alone.

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