Brooke's Story Bulimia Nervosa





I was always overweight as a child, except for maybe when I was like a baby up to four years old. I attended a private school from kindergarten until last year, and I never made any real friends. I always made excuses not to have anyone over when my mom tried to force me to invite someone. I was bigger and taller than anyone else in lower school, but I guess I didn't notice, and nobody made comments.

The common hell of middle school, though, spared me none of it's wrath. I was trying to fit in with so many different groups of people that I lost myself, and ended up making friends with people who didn't give a damn about me. I didn't really care about them either, but that "fitting in" mindset totally brainwashed me. The thing is, I really didn't like the way I looked most of the time, but I liked my clothes, and I thought I looked like hot shit in some outfits, even though, looking back, I probably looked horrible. No one ever said anything outwardly to me, so that's probably why my eating disorder didn't start until the end of my sophomore year. One time in middle school I remember, though, is when we had to do pull-ups for gym. After I unsuccessfully tried, one of my "friends" at the time came up and said that she thought I should know that one guy had said that I could have broken the bar. To that I added in my mind "because I was so fat." That didn't kick off the problem though.

Why exactly I started, as with many cases, is still a little unclear to me. One of the reasons though was that I was terribly depressed last spring (1999) because I had decided to leave my private school and go to the public city one. I felt no one really liked me anyway, so what the hell. And to top off my depression, I really started noticing my body, and all the lumps, bumps, and flabby thighs and arms. I have to say I really wasn't imagining things as many of us disordered are prone to do. I was 5'8 and 195 lbs. I was massive.

I remembered that my mom had tried laxatives when she was younger, and she looked really pretty, so I decided to try them too. When I started, all I can remember is the pain in my stomach. All I could imagine sitting on the toilet was the pills in my stomach ripping it to shreds. The thing was, though, after the pain had subsided, I felt so airy, that I grew to love that image. It became what I worked for. I had been taking the recommended dose, 2 pills a day, and not to be taken for longer than a week without consulting your doctor, but soon I had jacked it up to as many as five everyday, and I had been taking them everyday for a couple months then. The summer was approaching, and of course, like every thinking girl, I was totally freaking out. I was losing weight, but my confidence was nose diving, and my impatience was skyrocketing. I think I was down to around maybe 185 then. My grandmother, my mom, and I were all going to England together for two weeks, and I really wanted to look good then. So yet again I increased the amount of laxatives. I wasn't consistent, though, because, truthfully I wasn't rich. I couldn't afford to buy laxatives every time I "needed" them, so I would reduce the dosages to assure that I would never have to go a day without having those beautiful blue pills by my side. I was still into eating, and at times more than previously because I thought I could eat more because of the laxatives.

Finally school let out, with me not so psyched for the bathing suit season, but still losing weight. When we were in England I kept on using, and actually got myself down to 160 lbs. by the time we left. I had lost 35 lbs. in three months. That wasn't good enough though so I kept it up through the beach trip with my dad and his family. When I came back, though, I was hit with a horrible welcome. When my mother has something juicy that she has discovered about you, and she knows that there is not way to refute her, she gets all nice, sticky sweet nice. That's how she was when she said when she was "cleaning" (aka "snooping") in my room, she had discovered my stash of empty laxative boxes. Like every other person with an eating disorder, though, lies became reality to me. It became like my own little world where I could make up rules for everyone else (lie to them about me), but I could do anything I wanted still. I became a perfect liar.

My bulimia progressed into the fall. Thank God I made a true friend right at the beginning of the year. She has no eating setbacks, and when we made a list for creative writing class of the things we were good at, at the top of her list in bold letters was "EATING". She is taller than me, so right away I felt better around her because in a sense, shorter to me meant smaller. This other girl who I was sort of friends with at my old school had also switched, but I didn't really hang out with her much until this spring when we started gym and found out we were in the same class. As we got to talking more, we also discovered that we both had weight issues. She is most obviously petite, but she is also muscular, and she translates that into being fat.

We have opposite eating problems, though. She goes with the "eat as little as possible and drink water all day" approach, while I go with the only "eat in the afternoon and take laxatives" approach. We are not best friends, but we are close because of our problems. We each know a big secret about each other, and at the same time can't stop each other because neither of us understands the other's problem. My best friend doesn't know because she would only call me beautiful, and tease me about thinking that I'm fat. She's so great, but I feel I can never tell her. She also introduced me to one of her guy friends, who I really thought was cute, and we made out pretty intensely last weekend. The thing is, though, the main thought that takes up my mind when I think about how much I like him is that he will help me not eat. This is because whenever I think of him, I don't feel hungry, even if I'm right in the middle of eating, I have to spit my food out. I really want him to like me, and I feel sick thinking about him up at his boarding school with all those pretty girls around. I know that all my reasons are wrong, but I just want to have him be able to give me a back rub, and me not have to worry about him feeling my fat. Writing all this has helped me some I guess, but the thing is, I have money, and two weeks left until I see him again, and the overpowering urge to buy more laxatives. I am up to 9-12 at a time now, and really don't think I can stop. I am so good at creating reasons to take them now, and not eat.

~Brooke