“You repulse me”
“Looking at you actually makes me feel sick”
Except, no one’s saying it… It’s all you, 24/7, over and over. That voice in your head telling you how disgusting you are on repeat becomes too much and then that’s it. Before you k now it you’ve done it, you’ve punished yourself, you’ve purged. But it’s ok because it was only that one time, maybe two if you count that time you were tipsy and claimed to be drunker than you actually were so you could make yourself sick without question. There’s no problem here. But you’re wrong.
I was that girl. For four years, I “struggled in silence” – I put that in quotation marks because at the time I didn’t see it as a struggle, it was liberating. I was freeing myself from the pain and torment that brought me to that point. I knew it was wrong, when I started I wasn’t aware that my little coping mechanism even had a name, all little twelve year old me knew is that she never saw any of the pretty girls doing it, no one ever talked about it, it wasn’t normal. So she kept quiet. People noticed the weight loss… people would point out my skinniness, make jokes at my expense, but I didn’t see it. When I looked in the mirror, all I could see was the wibbly-wobbly bits and I felt disgusting. I believed that making myself vomit made me thinner and prettier and maybe, just maybe, I’d be one of the pretty girls one day.
I isolated myself without even realizing. I was so alone. When I was 15, it wasn’t liberating anymore; it was my demon. I wanted to stop more than anything in the world but I couldn’t. I couldn’t shake free of the ability to make those calories I just ate not count. Trying to fight it alone was one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do, all I wanted to do was run into my best friend’s or my mother’s or my father’s arms and cry but I couldn’t, they couldn’t know. The amount of times I was so close to telling someone but my mouth refused to form the words was insane. I didn’t realize how lonely I was in my bulimic bubble until I made myself open up to best friend.
That level of relief is something which I have never or haven’t since experienced.
For four years, bulimia ran my life and no one even knew. It wasn’t until I told that one person that I started to get better. I’m 18 now and I’m getting there. It isn’t gone but it’s going. I no longer desire to be “one of the pretty girls.” I don’t feel disgusting when I look in the mirror. I am not purging on a (sometimes multiple times) daily basis.
I’m ok. But bulimia is real, and it is not glamorous, it is not healthy, it is fucking lonely. Never underestimate the awful power of your own mind when it comes to your health. Sometimes our worst danger is our own brains.