Mary Jo's Story Bulimia Nervosa

It started in the 7th grade, after seeing a photo of myself that had to be on display for the whole class. Self-conscious as I am, everything in it was wrong, including my "generous" proportions: big bust, big hips, thick middle, etc. I remembered reading an article in "Seventeen" where a girl made herself vomit, or didn't eat at all. There was my solution.

Though I knew all the dangers and health risks associated with ED's (and I knew right away what I was doing was ED behavior), the benefits seemed to outweigh all that. For the first month, I started to cut down my food intake. No more eating from the bag or just grabbing cookies and snacking. All my meals were pre-planned by at least a day, and a strict exercise regimen was also incorporated.

My birthday came, and by then I'd had my rigid "no-no's" list, dangerous foods that I would not allow myself to eat: cake, ice-cream, peanut butter, butter, milk, cheese, fast food, etc - I'd already been a vegetarian for years before. But when I saw my birthday cake and all the food surrounding it, I caved. I'd gone so long without any of those things, my body kicked into binge-mode and I devoured as much as I could possibly hold in.

Crying and overridden with guilt, I led my distended stomach to the bathroom and got it all out. That's when I realized that I could have my cake and eat it, too.

I began to starve myself during the day, have nothing but a naked, dissected bagel for lunch, then binge on anything and everything at home only to purge it all out.

Eventually, my parents found out and I began what was years of counseling and working with dietitians. I ended up in the hospital after a teacher caught me purging at school and I'd told her I wanted to die. The hospital stay of two weeks did nothing more but give me an escape from my parents.

I'd then discovered the wonderful world of laxatives, water pills, and ipecac. My system became like this: every day, I'd starve myself until dinnertime. Then I'd eat with my family and binge by myself. Next came an entire bottle of ipecac... followed 20 minutes later with violent stomach cramps, immobility, and eventually vomiting. Just in case that didn't work, I'd make sure to pop 10-20 (stolen) ex-lax pills.

Later I'd tried to overdose but again was discovered and hospitalized yet again, this time only for depression (I'd hidden the eating disorder, even from my counselors, telling them it was all gone). They made me drink 16 oz. of disgusting, opaque activated charcoal. It was the strongest laxative ever. So when I was released from this two week psych hospital stay, I went to work with my mother, who is a nurse.

Because I am only 16, I volunteered at the hospital with her and buddied-up with everyone there, so eventually gained access (though illegal) to the room with the wondrous charcoal. I'd sneak it home and mix some up in place of the ipecac, awaiting the black mass to flush out of me.

Two months after the last hospital stay, there I was again, this time for both "suspicious weight & eating patterns" (quote my parents) and drug abuse (not hard drugs, just overdosing weekly on my prescriptions for a "high"). That was two weeks ago, and I actually learned a lot there. Because I was not allowed to see my family for the entire month stay or have any contact with them whatsoever, I had a lot of time to think. I no longer want to die, and don't abuse my prescriptions. But now, I've started purging again (with no aids) and pop 5 metabolife at a time. I get little sleep and depend on these metabolifes to keep me going. I know I need help, but no one else does right now. If you have anything to help me or just want to chat, let me know, please. thanx for listening.