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Old 08-07-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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inthewake HB User
bulimic seeking support

Hiya,

I'm 30. I've been bulimic for about 15 years, more on than off. There've been a few periods in that time where I thought I was recovering, but it would never go for longer than 6 months. Anyway, I've just finally decided to stop, and put an end to a particularly bad bout that's been going on since about Christmas.

The worst is that since I'm 30 it seems to take a much stronger toll on my body! Each purge made me puff up with bloodshot eyes, scratchy throat. I hadn't realised how bad I looked/how bad it had gotten until I stopped altogether, in the middle of June. I finally stopped. With one lapse at the very beginning of July on one occasion. What has really helped has been to read these forums. It helped to read about what I was going through. I was really bloated and really constipated at first, and now I think I'm balancing out.

What I'm looking for is to reach out to this great community, because I'm about to go back to work on Monday, and I think I'm really going to need some support to cope with the stress and anxiety it brings. I've put on some weight over the summer and since seriously stopping with the purging. It makes me really anxious to see people from work again when I feel fatter and look like I'm less in control (when I'm a bit more to be honest!)

There are positive changes (my throat is so much less swollen and looks more normal around the neck area). But the extra weight is really hard for me to cope with, although I am still bingeing quite often. I don't feel like I have normal eating habits...a normal concept of when I'm full or not. So I'm looking for advice on this. I run quite a lot, but I'm not very good at coping with change. Just got back from holiday and have spent the past 3 days watching tv on the sofa not wanting to go outside. It's so weird. I can be so outgoing and fit and healthy sometimes, and it takes almost nothing to push me the other way...

 
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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aileb HB Useraileb HB Useraileb HB Useraileb HB User
Re: bulimic seeking support

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthewake View Post
Hiya,

I'm 30. I've been bulimic for about 15 years, more on than off. There've been a few periods in that time where I thought I was recovering, but it would never go for longer than 6 months. Anyway, I've just finally decided to stop, and put an end to a particularly bad bout that's been going on since about Christmas.

The worst is that since I'm 30 it seems to take a much stronger toll on my body! Each purge made me puff up with bloodshot eyes, scratchy throat. I hadn't realised how bad I looked/how bad it had gotten until I stopped altogether, in the middle of June. I finally stopped. With one lapse at the very beginning of July on one occasion. What has really helped has been to read these forums. It helped to read about what I was going through. I was really bloated and really constipated at first, and now I think I'm balancing out.

What I'm looking for is to reach out to this great community, because I'm about to go back to work on Monday, and I think I'm really going to need some support to cope with the stress and anxiety it brings. I've put on some weight over the summer and since seriously stopping with the purging. It makes me really anxious to see people from work again when I feel fatter and look like I'm less in control (when I'm a bit more to be honest!)

There are positive changes (my throat is so much less swollen and looks more normal around the neck area). But the extra weight is really hard for me to cope with, although I am still bingeing quite often. I don't feel like I have normal eating habits...a normal concept of when I'm full or not. So I'm looking for advice on this. I run quite a lot, but I'm not very good at coping with change. Just got back from holiday and have spent the past 3 days watching tv on the sofa not wanting to go outside. It's so weird. I can be so outgoing and fit and healthy sometimes, and it takes almost nothing to push me the other way...


I'm so sorry this is so late, but I want to say that you are really inspiring!

I am trying to recover from my ED and I have been behavior-free for about ten months. I experienced the "needing to binge panic" a lot in the begining too. It's still hard to have a normal concept of feeling full or not because i'm so use to restricting.

My therapist suggested that I read Mindful Eating books and that helped a lot. Most of the books have rules and prompts to make it easier during meal time. Just be careful that you don't read Intuitive Eating books because in recovery you can't really trust your hunger cues just yet.



I start working in about two weeks and I know it's going to be tough because my meal times and everything else will be off. I hope you keep updating and let everyone know how it went.

Congrats on moving towards recovery!!!

 
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inthewake (08-12-2012)
Old 08-12-2012, 04:49 PM   #3
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Re: bulimic seeking support

Hey! Thank you so much, that really means so much!

I love that you write that you're still trying to recover, even though you've been behaviour-free for 10 months. That's a long time! It seems to me really healthy to consider yourself as always in the process of recovering, even when it's been quite a while. It's helped me a lot actually, reading about people's process throughout, realising that even 10 months down the line, I will still be working to recover.

I think I've made this mistake a lot to think that since I'd been purge free for a week or 2 or even 6 months, that I must be cured. I think that wasn't a helpful way to look at it, because it made it into something black and white. I wasn't keeping tabs on my thoughts and behaviour patterns well enough, so it was so easy to fall back in to the bulimia the second anything came back along to trigger it.

So now, reading that you're still working at it, even though it's 10 months down the line, that's surprisingly positive for me. I need to remember to always think of myself as not cured of anything yet, that I'm always working day by day, so I don't let myself fall back into it so easily when I'm caught off guard.

I love reading these forums and feel so grateful actually that I've found this kind of online community. I've changed my perspective this time around, which I hope really helps me in the long-term. I'm not alone with it, and I've realised the feelings were so strong, it must be the equivalent to having a drug addiction. Since drug addicts and alcoholics need AA, then I must need that too, and although this isn't exactly the same, it's a pretty decent replacement.

I'm curious about how my feelings in this recovery match up to everyone else's. I think I have a lot of the same questions as a lot of other people. Like:

1. Will my stomach enzymes have been replaced by my body by now?
2. How much has my digestion been effected by the builimia?
3. How long will it take until my digestion fully returns to normal?
4. How will it feel to be completely normal?
5. I feel quite good after 2 months now of no purging (with a few binges). Did my body stop being able to absorb as many nutrients when I was making myself sick all the time, the way people say?
6. If my body's digestion did get pretty disrupted, by now has it started to absorb nutrients properly? How will I know if it has? Is there anything I can do to help it?

That's all I can think of for now! There are so many questions, though!

I'm worried now, cause I have work in the morning so of course I can't sleep! It's quarter to 2, and I'm going to be so sleepy.

Does anyone think it's worth to go to the doctor to inquire about anti-anxiety medicine as a preventative measure for going back to work, as I will probably feel stressed and more vulnerable with going back?

Thanks for reading this; it's so long! But I do have so many questions, and I'm so happy to have found somewhere with such supportive people who can help me

x

 
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:36 PM   #4
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aileb HB Useraileb HB Useraileb HB Useraileb HB User
Re: bulimic seeking support

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthewake View Post
Hey! Thank you so much, that really means so much!

I love that you write that you're still trying to recover, even though you've been behaviour-free for 10 months. That's a long time! It seems to me really healthy to consider yourself as always in the process of recovering, even when it's been quite a while. It's helped me a lot actually, reading about people's process throughout, realising that even 10 months down the line, I will still be working to recover.

I think I've made this mistake a lot to think that since I'd been purge free for a week or 2 or even 6 months, that I must be cured. I think that wasn't a helpful way to look at it, because it made it into something black and white. I wasn't keeping tabs on my thoughts and behaviour patterns well enough, so it was so easy to fall back in to the bulimia the second anything came back along to trigger it.

So now, reading that you're still working at it, even though it's 10 months down the line, that's surprisingly positive for me. I need to remember to always think of myself as not cured of anything yet, that I'm always working day by day, so I don't let myself fall back into it so easily when I'm caught off guard.

I love reading these forums and feel so grateful actually that I've found this kind of online community. I've changed my perspective this time around, which I hope really helps me in the long-term. I'm not alone with it, and I've realised the feelings were so strong, it must be the equivalent to having a drug addiction. Since drug addicts and alcoholics need AA, then I must need that too, and although this isn't exactly the same, it's a pretty decent replacement.

I'm curious about how my feelings in this recovery match up to everyone else's. I think I have a lot of the same questions as a lot of other people. Like:

1. Will my stomach enzymes have been replaced by my body by now?
2. How much has my digestion been effected by the builimia?
3. How long will it take until my digestion fully returns to normal?
4. How will it feel to be completely normal?
5. I feel quite good after 2 months now of no purging (with a few binges). Did my body stop being able to absorb as many nutrients when I was making myself sick all the time, the way people say?
6. If my body's digestion did get pretty disrupted, by now has it started to absorb nutrients properly? How will I know if it has? Is there anything I can do to help it?

That's all I can think of for now! There are so many questions, though!

I'm worried now, cause I have work in the morning so of course I can't sleep! It's quarter to 2, and I'm going to be so sleepy.

Does anyone think it's worth to go to the doctor to inquire about anti-anxiety medicine as a preventative measure for going back to work, as I will probably feel stressed and more vulnerable with going back?

Thanks for reading this; it's so long! But I do have so many questions, and I'm so happy to have found somewhere with such supportive people who can help me

x
My therapist said it takes anywhere from 5-10 years to fully recover and to start counting after the last time I engaged in a behavior. I was mostly seeing him when I was working on recovery from bulimia and laxative abuse.

The thoughts of needing to binge or needing to engage in a behavior are not as strong as before. I usually have one thought in the whole day and I wont obsess over needing to do it.


I really thought I needed anxiety meds because I couldn't handle the panicky/anious feeling, but both my doc and therapist did not want me to take them. They wanted to put me on meds for bulimia and learn coping skills in therapy first.

I felt like wanting to die 3 times, 5 months into recovery because it was so stressful not being able to engage in behaviors and dealing with the anxiety.


I am getting anxious about working too. My plan is try to practice using the coping strategies for a couple of months and if I get anxious, I am going to ask for a referral to see a new specialist.


I am hoping that my doc will consider prescribing me the anxiety meds now that I have been bulimia free for a while. I don't want to relapse.



Sorry, I have rambled on and on about my problems.



I think you should inquire about the meds or about coping strategies in therapy. There are so many issues that come up during the whole recovery process.

I will try answering some of those questions and adding to what I was thinking during this whole process soon.

It's already close to my bedtime. Good luck tomorrow!!! hugs

 
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
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inthewake HB User
Re: bulimic seeking support

I have this feeling as well, that I'm going to probably need to try to get something to calm anxiety. It's so predictable I guess.

I'm home now from my first day at work, and I've just had the strongest strange pulling feeling/urge to buy go b/p. It's not a straightforward urge to purge...simply a natural conclusion to how I feel. It's scary how easy it is to just naturally feel compelled to do it! it's as natural as thinking you want a glass of water as a natural response to thirst, only then to remember that water is very bad for you and you're trying to remember you shouldn't drink it. It shows what a habit it is, how much I use it to just simply cope with fatigue or stress.

I'm slightly stressed, because I went out with my friend after work and we had dinner together. I ate quite a large portion of this moussaka, and I felt quite full after. It was a bit uncomfortable, but I also know I've eaten well and I've accepted the inevitable that I'll be gaining weight in this recovery process and that I need to take all this in my stride. It's not so much the eating that has scared me, it's this whole evening after that is difficult.

Now that it's a few hours later, I am feeling all these strange effects of digestion in a recovering bulimics body. I feel like everything's a little off in there, continuous acid reflux, funny digesting feelings. I wasn't expecting to eat such a big portion at once, and I know I don't need anymore food tonight...but while my tummy's digesting, I'm starting to desire something sweet! If I eat, I'll be stuffed again, but nevertheless, it lead me to think about going to just buy some sweets only to throw it up, to satisfy not only the full stomach but also the sweet craving. And voila, all of a sudden, I realised I had caught myself in that familiar trap!

Since I've already eaten quite a lot, it feels natural to need to throw it up...it'll satisfy this full feeling. I remember how good it feels to purge when you're uncomfortable like this. It's like a ***** kind of pain relief.

Instead, I understand I musn't throw up... but that leaves me with this new predicament where I don't really know how to cope with this situation. Do I go and buy sweets anyway and feel really uncomfortable? Do I wait, not knowing whether at some point the urge will become too difficult to resist? What exactly should I do?

It figures that all this lands on the day back to work. I didn't sleep well enough at all. I used a lot of energy meeting everyone again and dealing with people I haven't had to deal with all summer. I then went out to eat unexpectedly with my friend, eating more than I was expecting to eat. It's quite a lot to take all in one day.

This is very hard!

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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inthewake HB User
Unhappy Re: bulimic seeking support

I'm sorry this will be such a downer to read. I've used this space as a big sad vent. Would be great to have some words of advice though, if anyone can bear to read it!:

I don't have anyone to talk with right now, and I am having a tough time. I'm so sad, and feel overwhelmed with work and sleeping at the wrong times/having an upset social-work balance/feeling lonely and feeling like I have a lot of demons. I feel depressed, and I have talked with my therapist about actually getting anti-depression medicine to help because the way I cope with day to day life feels so inconsistent and unreliable. I just feel so sad right now, I can't stop crying and having negative thoughts about myself, my body, my self-worth, my personality. I'm in a total funk.

At the same time, it's now been 5 months of being purge-free! I couldn't say it's been binge-free...I've let myself eat too much sometimes, but I have not thrown up. I have had a couple of very hard moments, where it felt like an answer to my mood, like it would be the most comforting thing in the world to do it, and I've overcome that. At the same time, my body image and weight does not seem to be settling. I feel completely fat and ugly and like I don't have control at all over how I'd like to look. This is especially true because I have recently become so down in the dumps. I feel like I'm constantly struggling with cravings for unhealthy foods that are stronger than my will-power, although I've had incredibly strong will-power at previous times in my life. I cave in to them sometimes if only because I think to myself, at least I am not going to throw up though. And of course, proportionately, I'm not really over-eating at all the way I would be if I was in a b/p phase...but at the same time, I feel I'm spiralling out of control with my body weight and image.

It's all coming to a head really. I feel like I have no power over my life when I'm not skinny. I feel like I look like I have no control in my life to others and that I have no control to myself. It effects my confidence and self-esteem, how I act when I go out. I feel lonely and isolated. I feel stupid and unable to cope properly in life the way I should. I'm feeling a lot of stress at work just now but feel like I'm over-stressed, like I'm overreacting, and I should be being able to take it more in my stride. I feel like I'm repellent to people because I'm effected by my stress and anxiety. I won't b/p but at the same time, I'm feeling a sort of depression I don't know if I've reached before.

So...in a way, I'm wondering if this could be a part of the recovery process? I'm having to go through an emotional phase I've not allowed myself to before, because I've always turned to a sort of self-medication (since I was 15). Also, I wonder if my metabolism and the stomach enzymes are not fully healed yet, even after 5 months, which is why my stomach feels not settled even yet. I'm still craving odd foods all the time like olives and carbs and sweets...perhaps because my stomach still is healing? I wonder if I'll ever start to feel better and to have more normal eating habits? I can be a very healthy eater and person, I run a lot and have completed many races this year including a marathon in June. I know what it takes to take care of myself, but I currently feel incredibly desperately sad and ugly in many ways.

 
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