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Has anyone overcome bulimia and now leading a normal life?

(16 Posts)
barkinginessex Thu 04-Feb-16 07:42:36

I have been bulimic for more than 10 years and I just don't think it will ever stop sad I'm 30 now and I binged and purged last night for the first time in 4 months.
Today I feel dreadful, my whole body aches and my face is puffy, I wish I didn't care about my weight but I'm terrified of being fat. Just had enough.

shrunkenhead Mon 15-Feb-16 13:53:05

Hi didn't want to read and run. I suffered quite badly as a teenager and have had therapy/counselling over the years. Tbh I'm not convinced eating disorders ever really go away completely or that st anyone is ever completely cured. It's more a case of you keeping on top ofit and not letting it win. Or at least that's ts how it is for me

shrunkenhead Mon 15-Feb-16 13:56:29

Sorry tablet being silly. Posted too soon. I can only speak for me but know when I'm down/stressed it returns and the only way to keep it at bay is to be aware of how I'm feeling and what's going on and choose to mentally block any ed thinking. Generally I'm pretty much "cured" but always wary of anyone who claims to be 100%normal about their weight after once having ed issues.

WhyIRayLiotta Mon 15-Feb-16 14:02:50

I'm bulimic also. No one in the world knows.
The only time I have had control of it is when I was pregnant.

I have good weeks / bad weeks. When I'm really bad, it's usually down to stresses at work or in my relationship. Now that I know that I do my best to eat super healthy when stressed.
I also have a couple of foods - like marshmallows and rocket for example. That I know are hard to hide the evidence of purging - if you know what I mean. So I try to eat them, so force myself not to do it incase I get found out.

I consider myself a functioning bulimic... I'm not thin - no one would think for a second I had an eating disorder! But I don't know that I'll ever be able to get rid of the need to exercise that control. I control it when I can and live with it when I can't. sad

HaveIGotAClue Mon 15-Feb-16 14:12:05

I have somewhat recovered. But I transferred my issues to alcohol, which I'm still battling with.
The turning point for me was when a housemate (I was in my early twenties) came home one night and said 'look at the fucking state of you there - surrounded by chocolate wrappers and beer cans'. It cut me to the core. So, I guess I proceeded with the old alcoholism (discovered that if I drank enough I didn't want to eat).
I have shared houses at different times with people with eating disorders.
First one was also living in the aforementioned house. She was anorexic. She went to a place called BodyWhys (it's an irish thing, not sure if there is similar here). Her diet was very regimented. For e.g. All she ate in the evening was brussels sprouts.

Second girl was actually the youngest girl in Ireland to have been diagnosed with anorexia (aged 9). Her story was covered in newspapers at the time. She too was essentially recovered, but again, her diet was meticulously regimented. Her dinners were always one of the following:

1 poached egg, salad leaves, peppers, a mound of salad (no dressing) basically.
2 fish fingers and salad leaves, peppers, a mound of it salad basically.
If she was going out that night, her dinner was a big bowl of branflakes. Can't remember why, but I do recall she had a reason.

Third girl was bulemic. We never spoke about it as it was generally my food she'd binge on and I didn't want to embarass her - I guess she didn't buy food in as a preventative measure, but then when she got the urge, I guess she ate what was available.

So yes, recovery of sorts is achievable. The first two seemed to be most 'recovered', but as mentioned very regimented.

I guess counselling might help. Or a support group.

ghettihead Mon 15-Feb-16 23:19:51

Hi I have not binged and purged for about 6years. I still have urges to but so far have resisted. I don't think it is something you are ever completely free from, it always lurks in the background. I haver had lots of counselling and am dosed up on fluoxetine which seems to help me.

IronMaggie Thu 18-Feb-16 07:33:41

Barking, you might want to watch this lady's recovery videos - she's quite articulate about the journey she's been through. I think she'd describe herself as fully recovered too which is quite inspiring:

(Hope the link works)

Dancingqueen17 Sat 20-Feb-16 22:28:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dancingqueen17 Sat 20-Feb-16 22:28:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whatdoIget Sat 20-Feb-16 22:41:15

The above website is by a woman called Kathryn Hansen who successfully overcame bulimia and says she is cured and believes she will never relapse. I've used the method to help my BED. It might be worth a look? Basically she says that she believes her initial binge eating was because of her body's survival reaction to her anorexia, but then after she had regained weight, there was no further need for her to binge, but her lower brain had picked up the habit.
She found that conventional therapy did not help her to stop binging, but that she was able to stop very easily, without having to solve all of her personal problems first, when she understood what was going on neurologically. Hope that makes a big of sense. Plenty of positive reviews on Amazon but I don't want to link as I'm always worried it'll show my real name somehow blush

WinterIsNeverReallyComing Sat 20-Feb-16 23:14:02

Between the ages of 13 and 21 I moved fairly seamlessly between anorexia, bulimia, ednos and back again. At 21 I hit rock bottom (for me, everyone's rock bottom is different) when I was threatened with hospitalisation by my doctor during my final year at my Oxbridge college, and simultaneously told by my tutors that I would not be accepted onto my further course of study the following year unless I got my health under control. That triggered something for me, a realisation that I could no longer hold my eating disorder in my head as a back up plan for whenever everything else got rocky, or scary or just too much. I had this really clear moment when I realised that all the therapy and hospitalisation in the world would not fix me if I wasn't prepared to give it all up, for good.

I have been 'recovered' (which for me, means not just no eating disordered behaviour, but no desire to go back to eating disordered behaviour) for over 7 years now, which I realise is a long way from being a lifetime, but I feel fully recovered. So yes, I think it can happen. It still has an impact on the way I live my life, in the sense that I am aware of my weaknesses. I know that, for example, calorie counting diets or the 5:2 diet or similar would be really really stupid things for me to do. I still can't buy jeans without having to talk myself out of a panic attack. I don't join in conversations about weight, or size. But my weight (bar two pregnancies) has remained stable within about 5 pounds or so for the last 7 years. Aside from disliking my post pregnancy post c-section baggy skin, I am happy with my weight and size.
Ten years ago, I would not have thought any of this was possible for me.

Therapy helped. Supportive people around me helped. But honestly, I did it myself. I used to get so angry with people who said it was a choice. And I still think that having an ED is not a choice, but recovery can be. And that unless you 100% choose to recover, you can't do it.

MogLikesEggs Wed 24-Feb-16 21:57:52

Maybe you're hitting bottom - I remember feeling as you felt when I did my last puking session about 7 years ago now and pretty much at your age. I won't claim that I've conquered my food issues but I no longer puke/purge.

natalya7 Wed 18-May-16 23:30:09

I have been bulimic since 2008. I used to say I had no idea why but looking back I was in a very controlling and abusive relationship with someone that always said I was fat, I wasn't at all but I believed it anyway. The only time I didn't binge and purge was when I was pregnant, my daughter is 5 months old now and I've gone back to the usual. I throw up anytime my stomach feels full- I just cannot bear that feeling! Anyone else have this?
Only one person (other than dr) knows and that's my friend but she isn't much help, just says stop.. Yeah it is that easy! My dr has done nothing either, despite me saying this is the worst thing for me I think she thinks it will go away on its own. I suffer depression/anxiety too.
My sister is bulimic also, although she doesn't know I know, and I'm sure she also knows I am from what she's said in the past. I'm terrified my daughter will one day start to realise.
I think I need rehab to help because it is controlling my life, and I know I cannot stop! It is like its normal for me, a habit and I'm convinced it will kill me one day!

billyg0atgruff Fri 20-May-16 23:11:25

You can overcome this. I had bulimia for years. I believed it would never end. It consumed me. I would feel an uncontrollable urge to binge, binge, binge on whatever I could find and would then make myself sick or use laxatives many times a day, every day. Looking back at photos of myself, I cringe. I only wanted to be slim and yet hadn't realised how puffy faced I was and actually never really managed to lose any weight overall. I probably gained weight from absorbing much of the food anyway. I remember starting fresh diaries every other week to try and have a 'fresh start' as I was desperate to end the disorder. But it controlled me completely. Then all of a sudden, I met my partner 6 years ago and the urge just...disappeared. Strange. It must have therefore been deep rooted in my loneliness I feel. I gradually lost weight naturally through following a healthy lifestyle and eating 3 proper meals. So it is possible! It really is. The key is to find what your trigger is and work on resolving that. I'm not going to the past 6 years it has happened twice but it just felt wrong wrong wrong and I knew straight away it was not for me anymore. I didn't want to go down that path again as I do remember feeling it was like an addiction that I could not control. I hope that you can overcome this. Please be strong my lovely and know this will not be forever if you work from the inside out

billyg0atgruff Fri 20-May-16 23:24:03

It also hit home the damage I was actually doing to my body. I kept getting leg cramps from screwing with my electrolytes. There is also the potential of tearing yourself internally. I'm sorry to scare you. It's just that I think maybe when you start to realise the dangers; it might help? But saying that, even with the best will in the world, I do remember the strength of those urges. It's a bloody sod of an illness isn't it. Just be mindful of the dangers and know that YOU can be in charge of it not the other way round. This doesn't have to define you anymore

KindDogsTail Fri 20-May-16 23:27:57

barking I am so sorry you, and other posters, are going through this.

You mentioned this was after 4 months. It seems brilliant that you have gone for that long, I would say don't feel bad for this slip. Do you know what triggered it? Did you get hungry? Upset?

I too have read Brain Over Binge and it seemed a very interesting book which introduces the idea of using Mindfulness to surf over urges while being full aware of them. She also mentions never eating too little.

Do you think you could get help? There is The National Centre for Eating DIsorders, with the head Diane Jade.

You could get better.

You could try eating a little bit of good food frequently to avoid feeling stuffed being sure to eat enough protein and fibrous vegetables.

I once suffered a little from this but was luckily OK. However, what I am saying come from experience with a relative.

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