Anonymous Anorexia & Bulimia Nervosa

I am a very successful 24 year old woman. I am a middle school teacher with my master's degree in education. I suffer from anorexia and bulimia.

My problems began during the first year of college. I've always had an issue with my weight, but I also had accepted it as part of my body. I suppose I was stressed out with college courses and attending a new school when I started to feel very inadequate with myself. I would walk around the campus and notice how pretty and slim all of the other girls seemed to be. I had a very attractive boyfriend and I was worried that someone who was skinnier or prettier than I would snatch him away.

I started eating rice cakes. Rice cakes have very little calories and I thought I could eat as many as I wanted. Then it was counting calories. I started to eat about 1400 calories a day. That went down to 1000, then 800, and finally 500. I was obsessed with food. I worked at a sub-shop, so I got to cook food all day and go home to a pita pocket with lettuce and mustard (I still crave them).

Starving myself yielded wonderful results. I was constantly complimented on how great I looked, how tiny I was and how strong my willpower was. I would get disgusted when my friends would order takeout or pig out on junk food. I honestly started to hate any food that was fattening. As I write this, I remember how happy I was with the results of my starvation because it was a lot of work and I did have unbelievable willpower.

The anorexia stopped when I started to develop urinary tract infections and kidney infections. I was so sick once, that I dreamed about hamburgers every day and night for 5 days. My doctor told my mother that my urine showed that my body was eating itself and I was starving myself. So, the days of anorexia quietly died down as my mother watched me like a hawk.

Well, when I was a junior in college, my mother developed lung cancer and died three months later. I was skinny at that point, but I wanted to be as thin as I was before. So, I started throwing up anything I ate. I don't remember why I started, but all I know is that one reason why I still do it is because I feel so much better after I purge. Throughout my mother's sickness and her death I continued to throw up everything I ate. I was just getting over starving myself so I didn't eat much then anyway. I think all of my problems with bulimia began at that point in my life. Three and a half years later, I still throw up frequently.

I am no longer skinny like I used to be. Five years of eating disorders has destroyed my metabolism. I have gained a lot of weight, even though I still binge. I don't binge everyday, because I try to stop doing it, but I think it has gone beyond a problem with body image and now it is an escape from stress and the absence of my mother. I am scared to death to go to the dentist because I am scared that I have rotted my teeth out (from the inside). I am bloated a lot and my face is enlarged because of swollen glands.

Yet, I still think that these ridiculous tactics will help me with my weight. I still think that I can be skinny like I used to be and that tomorrow will be the day that I start losing weight again. Realistically I know that my body needs a lot of exercise to lose any weight now because I have messed it up so badly. I am scared to go to the doctor because I don't want anyone to find out about my problems.

I am definitely feeling the bad sides to eating disorders nowadays. I am no longer really thin, and it will take a lot of work to lose as much weight again because my body has been through enough.