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Bulimic & pregnant...

(36 Posts)
Lolabelle Thu 05-Oct-06 13:32:12

Never really had the balls to mention my illness befpore despite this being my second pregnancy whilst a MNET member but trying to juggle counselling/therapy/2yr old DD/work etc and just wish i wasn't gripped in this illness so severely. My unborn child is SO important to me but this illness is bigger than I ever give it credit for. Does anyone else suffer from an eating disorder?? Sometimes I feel like i'm the only one...

BATtymumma Thu 05-Oct-06 13:34:24

I have no experiance of bulimia or an eating disorder but wanted you to know your post has been seen.

i think your doing really wel and although its very difficult you are doing the very best you can to get the help you need.

Lolabelle Thu 05-Oct-06 13:35:57

Thanks, had it for over 15 years now and think its going to be SUCH a long battle - can't imagine having a 2 yr old, newborn and this all consuming illness but i doubt i'll suddenly beat it quickly after all these years.

incy Thu 05-Oct-06 14:12:34

I seem to recall Liz Fraser who wrote the yummy mummy's survival guide suffered with bulimia during pregnancy - not sure if she has written anything about how to deal with it. You are very brave to admit to it. I am absolutely certain you are not alone

Lolabelle Thu 05-Oct-06 14:18:56

Its allegedly really common but it doesn't feel like it - just wish i could be normal and eat normally and function normally. Just wish i could settle down in front of the tv during the day to have some lunch without it resulting in me making myself so ill i have to ask DH to come home so i can go to bed and my darling daughter doesn't get the best of me all the time which kills me. I know I have the second one on the way and in my dreams i get rid of this illness but honestly, i can't see that ever happening. I hate it when you read about celebs who have it one minute and then don't the next - how does it just disapear if they really truly had this illness??

doggiesayswoof Thu 05-Oct-06 14:25:21

I'm afraid I don't have any practical advice to offer but wanted to wish you all the best. Please don't try and get inspiration from celebs - they have a public image to keep up, so at best what the public gets is soundbites and snappy magazine articles - and they have to be 'cured' so there's a neat happy ending. As you say, it doesn't work like that in real life. I'm sure someone who knows more about the subject than me will be along in a minute.

Lolabelle Thu 05-Oct-06 14:39:10

Your right, its impossible comparing yourself to them but sadly they are the only ones i ever hear of getting this illness as its not exactly something people talk about openly in everyday life. I know i don't.

I can't be ill for much longer as i have lost a fair few teeth and my doctor has told me if i continue i will die of heart failure. It seems surreal that i'm in this place by my own doing...

Littlefish Thu 05-Oct-06 16:19:40

Lolabelle. Well done for being so incredibly brave. You are certainly not alone either on Mumsnet, or in RL in having an eating disorder - there are, unfortunately, quite a few of us out here!

If you check out any of the threads for the "MoFos" in the weightloss topic, you will find a group of us who struggle with overeating/binge eating.

I don't really know what to suggest other than the Eating Disorders Association. They have support groups which meet to discuss all issues around eating disorders.

My mum has suffered from anorexia and bulimia for most of my life and it has affected me profoundly. Sorry if that's hard to hear. Please, please, please, continue to ask for support from your GP. Does your dh know about it?

Lolabelle Thu 05-Oct-06 16:57:44

He does and he is great but truthfully its too wierd an illness for him to understand - can't say i blame him as its hard for me to understand also!

I will look at the weightloss section as it'll be good to know i'm not alone. I'm so aware that my DD will pick up on it soon enough which is why i must beat this. I absolutely must at all costs...

I am receiving NHS treatment ie counselling but i'm still as bad as ever which is why i feel hopeless i guess..

Littlefish Thu 05-Oct-06 17:16:10

What sort of counselling? Have you had CBT?

We have talked a lot on past threads in BigMoFos about our concerns re. passing on our food issues to our children. I will put a message on the current thread for you.

You might find it helpful to come and post on there. I'm having counselling at the moment, so I'm not trying to lose weight, but I still post regularly on the threads. I know that until I have sorted out my emotional issues, it is pointless trying to diet.

Littlefish Thu 05-Oct-06 17:17:43

Lolabelle - just to save you searching for it...

Here is the current thread

Littlefish Thu 05-Oct-06 17:19:20

And this is last week's thread - there is some interesting stuff about self-esteem.

Here it is .

Lolabelle Thu 05-Oct-06 17:44:51

Thanks Littlefish - I'll read this all properly after i have fed and bathed my little girl - I am currently seeing an eating disorders dietician and receiving counselling, CBT will be the next stage after i go through his stage. Its such a lengthy process but i will stick with it although it concerns me as i know when i have my child early next year i will have to give it a rest for a while but then i will be so busy hopefully that will help.

On the outside i look like the last person that has an illness but i am a master of disguise and its my personal comfort blanket and now i have given up smoking also (pregnancy obviously) and myy hunger has increased (pregnancy obviously!) i feel scared and out of control. Going to work and facing the world is becoming hard again but i find this feeling comes in fits and spurts and sometimes i can just about get a handle on it but today i have been very ill and my DH is working late and my DD is irritable and high maintenance and its days like this i hate the fact the illness is making me unable to cope with a fairly copable situation as my throat is ore, my stomach is tender and i'm still hungry but too scared to eat a bean. Its a wierd illness that i'll never fully understand...

Do you have an eating disorder of sorts then?

Littlefish Thu 05-Oct-06 18:15:25

Of sorts, I suppose.

I am very overweight. I eat in secret and binge at times.

I am beginning to come to a better understanding of the way my relationship with my mother (and her relationship with food) has shaped my life. It's a long, painful journey.

Are there times when eating feels ok for you? Is it worse at the end of the day, or when your dh is out?

Funnily enough, during pregnancy was the one time in my life when I was able to eat "normally". Somehow, being responsible for creating another life enabled me to "feed" that life appropriately. I valued my pregnancy so much.

I really feel for you. It is a terrible, destructive illness. At the same time, it's incredibly powerful and irresistable and tempting.

lulunaticmama Thu 05-Oct-06 18:24:58

CBT worked for me .......

Lolabelle Thu 05-Oct-06 19:55:32

My last pregnancy started on shaky ground but by the time i was showing i was fine, only slipped up about once and this pregnancy seems to be starting the same. I'd be mortified if anything happened to this little one but i seem to almost shut off completely from my thoughts whilst doing it. So CBT worked for you? I've heard that before but i have to go through the stages they want me to i guess first. I can't really decipher exactly when i binge most, its an uncontrollable urge that make sit impossible for me to think about anything else and i try SO hard to fight it but most of the time i don't stand a chance. I can do it with my DH in the house as he has no problem with me eating and can't stop me in case i'm genuinely eating as opposed to bingeing and i can be very sneaky about it anyway and he is usually pottering about/having a bath/doing paperwork and vomiting i do upstairs when i say i am having a bath etc and he doesn't spy on me as its been so long he can't spend his life doing that i guess.

I think my parents play a role somewhere - your upbringing normally does but even if i do target the problem it remains to be seen if i ever cure myself completely from this. Trying to stay positive though - i do have days when i eat well and don't feel fearful of food but they are rare and just remind me how lovely it would be to have a normal healthy relationship with food.

Unlike an alcoholic i can't never have food again, i HAVE to have it to live but i don't trust myself around it. Bit like saying to George Best you can 3 whiskys a day but no more , it wouldn't work but as someone with food related addiction i somehow have to deal with awkward situations every day...and don't get me started on 'foodie' occasions like xmas, panicking at the thought of it but at least i'll be pregnant which should help!

lulunaticmama Fri 06-Oct-06 12:17:54

you can;t fight the urge until you have tackled the root cause - this is territory i don't feel comfortable discussing on the board, if you would like to CAT me, please feel free.....

Lolabelle Fri 06-Oct-06 12:30:14

Thanks i will do that later - just off for counselling now so wil log back on later...

lulunaticmama Fri 06-Oct-06 12:43:28

ok - and be kind to yourself, you're on the right path .......

Littlefish Fri 06-Oct-06 12:58:57

I agree with lulunatic. Until you have addressed the real emotional issues, you will not be able to stop the reaction (ie the bulimia).

Put all your energies into your counselling, and be kind to yourself when you are having a bad day. Acknowledge that it is a bad day, and that is why you are going through counselling. Being hard on yourself will not make it go away. You are working as hard as you can.

I once asked my mother whether she would ever consider herself "cured". She said that she didn't think she'd ever be anorexic again, because even if the same set of circumstances which caused her anorexia were repeated, she now had different coping mechanisms. However, she said it was like a broken leg - there is always a weakness still there, and it aches from time to time.

She is still bulimic (I think), but nothing like the degree to which she was before. I think it is just the final part of the "weakness" she talked about before.

lulunaticmama Sat 07-Oct-06 10:39:42

Lolabelle - how are you doing? how was the counselling....

Lolabelle Sat 07-Oct-06 11:31:38

God that scares me to always have this 'weakness' but compared to full blown bulimia i guess its got to be better..

Counselling was good, it seem sto fly by and we only touch on things but of course the whole parental bit was brought in as i have a bad relationship with my parents in some ways, i mean they aren't 'bad' or nasty or anything but its strained so i realise thats the first port of call for counsellors to delve into. Its scary isn't it to think our behaviour towards our children shapes who they become? I guess its obvious but god knows why my parents didn't try harder to raise me with more love but all in all i think counselling is a good first move - i think they want me to do CBT but they want me to go to Tooting, London whihc with 1 child and another on the way and the fact i live nowhere near Tooting at all and don't relish the prospect of travelling there alone in these darkening late afternoons/early evenings but they surely will have to listen to my concerns? Its not the safest of places when you don't know where you are going but i guess aslong as i am honest about my concerns they should listen.

God your poor mum must've suffered for years..

Littlefish Sat 07-Oct-06 18:39:38

Yes, she did suffer for years, but please don't be scared about the "weakness" thing. It was supposed to make you feel better . My mum is so, so, so, so much better than she used to be.

mum2monkeys Sat 07-Oct-06 19:31:54

Sorry if I upset the apple cart here, but I found that long term the EDA wasn't very helpful for me - was bulimic for 10 years, guess that should be 'actively' bulimic - I spent so ong trying to work out 'why' I had this problem it wasn't until I accepted the fact that 'this was the way I reacted to feeling out of control, in stressful situations, under pressure and ultimately it was me and only me who could change the situation, it is tempting to need to have someone to blame (and I in my experience the EDA encouraged me to do this) but I didn't and still don't see how this helps - for me it only justified what I was doing.

There are no quick fixes, but for me and this may sound daft - assertiveness training and anxiety councilling helped. Sorry I can't tell you more - it was a few years ago now - but I was in Sheffield at the time, I was signed off work, bulimia really had taken over my life, and I think it was after I'd been for an assessment for disability living allowance that they put me in touch with the councillors - have you been given any meds?

Don't mean to be negative and if the EDA can help then that's great but just wanted to let you know there are other options and things to look into or even things to mention to the EDA, I know they offer more than one kind of treatment.

You can and you will conquer this, it never goes away, and I still get that panicking feeling when I've got a full belly, and I still compulsively weigh myself but, have only binged and purged 5 times in the last 5yrs. Wishing you all the best, you know the fact that you are even talking about it is the hardest and biggest step - it does get easier, and the good days will one day out number the bad.

Again this is my own personal experience, just so you know that there are more options if you feel like the EDA isn't working for you, or that you need something as well as the EDA. And that you are not alone.

lulunaticmama Sat 07-Oct-06 20:28:03

i think that any info or advice or help is not going to upset the apple cart - what worked for someone, doesn;t work for everyone .

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