Carrie's Story Anorexia & Bulimia Pennsylvania

I want to share MY story with YOU.
Everyone has a different story, unique in his or her own way.
Each one is special and should be heard.

I don't know how it all started really. In sixth grade, I was overweight. I wasn't humongous or anything but, I was fat. I still remember what my father said to me one afternoon, "If you don't lose weight you're going to be a miserable teenager." After that, I restricted the food I ate. I don't think it was anorexia then, I just stopped eating junk food and cut down my portions of the regular meals I ate. In two years I lost over 40 lbs. and it was great. I remember all the compliments I got, "You look great" or "My goodness you lost so much weight. You look fabulous." (i.e. you looked horrible when you were fat.) I went through high school thin and put on no more than five lbs. over the next four years and I really liked the way I looked and never thought about my weight again...Until the summer before I started college. I gained a full 5 lbs. that summer alone, I know, I know it's not that much weight but for me it was the beginning of the end. I could not, would not let myself become fat again. I toyed with the idea of eating disorders, I mean how bad could it really be? I tried throwing up a couple of times over the summer but I just couldn't do it. So I ran, a LOT. And I ran and ran and ran everyday just so I could bear eating.

Then I got to college. I'm not sure, why I started to purge, it just sort of happened. I hated the food in the dining hall with a passion. I couldn't stomach it. I heard about the "Freshmen 15" and dreaded it like the plague....I was always a perfectionist....I went to a prestigious high school and now attend a prestigious college....I needed control over my life....I wanted people to find me attractive....I did NOT want to be fat.

So I decided just to try it, to try throwing up one day after dinner. You know how it is. I was sure I could control it ("I can stop any time" I would tell myself). The first time I successfully threw up was horrible. I tried many times before (unsuccessfully) but I vowed this time would be different. It took forever. As the food came up my eyes were tearing, my throat was hurting and I felt so weak. I collapsed at the toilet bowl - all the time petrified that someone would come in the bathroom and catch me. I t was HORRIBLE, but, sadly enough, when I was done I felt really good: empty, numb, at peace. I stopped eating most foods and threw up the ones that I did manage to eat. Throwing up became a lot easier and all too frequent. My throat stopped hurting and I could do it quickly and effortlessly. Eventually it got out of control, I was bloated (which made me feel fatter), I was cranky and tired all the time, worse, I felt mad at myself for doing this. I knew what I was doing was horrible, wrong, but I could not stop. I hardly ate anything and when I did, it immediately had to come up. I loved feeling thinner. I always felt weak but I like feeling my pelvic/hipbones jut out. When my ribs get really sore I feel like finally I'm doing something right--that I'm GOOD at having an eating disorder. I learned tricks pretty fast--what foods came up the easiest, where the hidden bathrooms are in my dorm (that way no one would walk in on me in the bathroom).

I decided I wanted to stop after, one morning I got out of bed, but I couldn't stand up. I collapsed on the floor. I told a close friend at college and although I'm not sure he totally understands, he's been very supportive.

I wanted to share because sometimes the whole eating disorder confuses me. You could never "tell" I had a problem. I'm a really happy person, I'm slender but not abnormally thin, I have a 3.9 GPA and I'm really involved in school. I come from the best family ever and love my parents to death. So I get really confused sometimes-- why I do this to myself. Then I get mad at myself for hurting myself.

I've made a conscious effort to stop, but sometimes I relapse. I cry every time I read the stories of women who have dealt with this disease for 10 years or more. I think to myself, I only started doing this five months ago....Oh, my god, had it really been five months? Writing that number just now was a shock, I still cannot believe that I've actually been doing this for five whole months.

I do not want to be like this forever. I really do want to get better. Over Christmas break I ate perfectly and hardly had any eating disordered thoughts. In fact from the beginning of December until now (mid January), I've only thrown up eight times. The last time I tried, it was really hard to purge. I cried a lot but it was good because it meant that I hadn't done it in a long time and my body was not as used to hurling anymore.

I'm still not eating a whole lot, but I am working on it because I want to be healthy again. What amazes me is HOW HARD it is to stop, how easily the disease can consume you, how you can take comfort in it. I hope that I can be strong and overcome this. I know that you can all do it too. Have faith in yourself. Thank you for reading my story, please share yours. It may help someone else.