Alethea's Story Bulimia Nervosa Boston, MA

I don't binge.
I don't stick my finger down my throat.
It comes out almost on its own.

All my life I've been overweight. I don't think I'm obese, but I've come to deeply resent the words "chubby" and "chunky". I first purged the summer before my freshmen year of college. I felt completely disgusted with myself and didn't do it again until my junior year of college. First semester it was a monthly occasion-- again, I didn't binge. I would eat, go the bathroom and cough hard a few times, and the food would come out. It was almost like a cleansing ritual. Now, in my second semester of my junior year, it is a daily thing. I eat meals when my roommate is not here, and go to the bathroom right after. I hold my hair back with one hand, the other one on the back of the toilet, holding up my convulsing body. When I'm done I wipe the tears from my eyes and splash cold water on my hot, flushed face. I brush my teeth too, well aware of the damage that stomach acid can cause. I spray disinfectant in the toilet, to rid it of the smell of bile. I go in my room, take a vitamin and light a cigarette. It's at this time that I want help. That I want to cry. But I feel nothing except an emptiness and loneliness.

I have always been an extremely rational, reasonable person, always the one to be in control of a situation. I hate this weakness I have. I'm so tired these days, getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle. Sometimes I can't get out of bed. I've never been the kind of person to miss class, even when I'm very sick.

I keep thinking, "just 20 pounds". But I'm scared now--scared that after 20 pounds it won't stop. I don't want to bother my friends with this--I take great pains to make sure they won't find out. I think I first realized how bad it was getting when I went out to dinner with a friend last week, then went to the bathroom after we ate and purged there. In a public restroom. Reading these stories has been more comfort than anything could've been. I'm not ready for a face to face talk with anyone. I don't want to become another statistic, I just want to know what is happening to my body.