Laurel's Story Anorexia & Bulimia Nervosa

My name is Laurel. I have been suffering from some form of eating disorder for more than half of my life. I am 30, and don't know if I will ever find my way out of these destructive thought processes.

I had anorexia for 5-6 years. I received lots of attention for it -- I view it as a positive experience (although don't necessarily trust my judgement). I was a compulsive exerciser for about 5 years. Then I became bulimic. I have been flip-flopping between anorexia and bulimia for the past 5+ years.

I believe that while the two disorders are indeed similar, they are different at their very cores. And I am a constant witness to the two of them battling in my head. Which will I succumb to today? Will I starve and feel proud of my "willpower"? Or will I binge and purge and wallow in feelings of insecurity / stress / worthlessness? Both equally appealing to me (although being an intelligent person I do realize that they are horribly dysfunctional ways of coping with life).

I look like a normal person. I have a good job, for which I am grateful. I have a college education.

I am terrified at the thought of having children, for fear that I will impose upon them my distorted feelings about food and body-image; or that they would somehow absorb my views just by being near me.

There are so many contradictions in my world: I appear happy, healthy, "together", yet I am not at all. I am in therapy, yet I joined a pro-anorexic support group. I want to get better, yet I want to get worse. I hate my eating disordered mind, yet love it. I hate myself, yet I think everyone else is deserving of unconditional love.

I feel as though I am losing my mind. Restricting leads to bingeing/purging, which leads to weight gain (or the appearance of it), which leads to restricting, which leads to bingeing/purging... Every step of the cycle is based upon a horrible self-esteem, which only gets worse and worse with each day.

I WANT OFF!!! ... but I can't find the exit