I have never been one to open up much about my problems. I am usually the one on the other side of the table, listening to other people vent…and that is totally fine because I am scared.
I vaguely remember the exact moment I realized that I had a problem. I have always been self-conscious about my weight, looks, you name it and I was worrying about it. When I started dating my first real boyfriend, I felt like I was not good enough for him. I compared myself to everybody, especially his past girlfriends. I felt like I was a “whale” compared to them. They were petite and beautiful and I didn’t feel as good as them. So, I started working out. Obsessively.
There were days where I worked out 3 times a day, sometimes for hours at a time. I was cutting back on any type of processed food item, sugar, junk food, my favorite chips, even certain fruits, you name it and I was probably avoiding it like the plague. I continued this pattern for months until one day my sister made a batch of cookies and I ate the entire platter. Anxious of what I just did, I started bawling on the kitchen floor.
I ran to the bathroom, stuck my hand down my throat to try to make myself vomit, but to no avail. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make myself throw up and I felt like the world’s biggest failure. I managed to pick myself up from the bathroom floor, laced up my running shoes and I ran for about an hour with tears streaming down my face. After my run, I went to the gym to work out some more.
That was the beginning of my binging and purge cycle.
This continued on for months, every day for months, where I would eat bowls of cereal, cookies, crackers, whatever I could find, and binge on it until I felt like I was going to blow up. My mind would go completely blank and it was like I had no control over what I was doing. After my binging episode, regret would consume me so I would go to the gym and try to burn the hundreds or thousands of calories I just ate.
I remember one day after a binge episode, I turned on the shower, and just sat there crying, begging for help. Begging God to help me get over this evil disease.
My grades were dropping and I was becoming very ill. I stopped worrying about University because I could only think about my weight.
One day though, I said enough is enough. I picked up my phone and scheduled an appointment with a doctor who could help me through this problem. I was diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa and that was the first time that this whole situation made sense to me. And it scared me. I didn’t want to be that girl with an eating disorder.
But I continued to get help. I got on medication to help me get past the binging and purging (reminder: in my case, it was exercising excessively) and it worked. However, it wasn’t a miracle. I tried several medications before finding the one that worked for me. It honestly made me feel like a better, new person.
Anyways, the point I am trying to make is that if you are ever going through a problem that seems like too much for yourself to handle, it is OK to ask for help. Ask for help from anyone. Your boss, your parents, your siblings, your friends, or any resources available to you on your college campus. There are always people willing to listen and to help. I want people to get over the stigma that being on medicine is for the weak. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
I find people who ask for help are some of the strongest and bravest people out there. They are the ones willing to own up to their issues and fix them.
Asking for help and talking about my problems is one of my biggest fears. I am saying this honestly, if I could muster up the courage to ask for help and talk about this problem, you are able to ask for help too.