Kel's Story Bulimia Nervosa

Where do I begin? I guess it all started for me after high school. When I began my freshman year of high school, I was 5'2 and about 103lbs. By the time I was a senior I was 5'3 and 118lbs. I really did not see much of difference. I played a lot of softball, and have always tried to stay active. I didn't like it, but I accepted my weight gain. I wanted to be thin like the other girls, but I guess I really wasn't all that bothered by it because although, I wasn't thin, I knew wasn't overweight.

I always felt like I was fat, but it really didn't bother me as much as it did when I actually gained the freshmen 15lbs. plus 15 more. My freshman year of college was really tough on me. I had relatives that lived in the same town, but it wasn't the same as my immediate family. I didn't think I would miss them as much as I actually did. Plus, my grades weren't all that great either. I was lucky if I was passing. I felt comfort in eating. Plus, going to parties and drinking didn't help. I was gaining weight. I knew I had put on a few pounds, but I was blind to how much I actually gained, until the end of the school year. I could not believe how big I was. My face was even filled out. I was still able to fit in my size seven jeans, but really needed to buy a size nine.

During my freshman year at college I learned how to purge. My brother told me how he lost a lot of his weight. He explained to me that he would binge and then purge. He even told me how it is achieved. At the time, I didn't think I could do it. Of course, I did try, but living in a college dorm and having to share public bathrooms was kind of tricky. The only way someone could get away with throwing up and not be questioned was if that person was either drunk or sick. In my drama class, my student teacher, I don't why, but one day brought up the subject of purging and she actually told us how it is accomplished. She basically said the same as my brother, but with a little more information that he probably didn't even know. That day in class I learned how to successfully accomplish purging. I did not do much of it at college. I barely even tried it when I was away at school. I decided not to go back to school the next fall, and just work. I got a job at the local Dairy Queen. That's all I needed, more food. My favorite food: ice cream. I was able to resist the temptation for sometime, but after a couple of months, I could not resist any longer. I quit that job a few months later.

March of 1998 is when I woke up one morning and looked myself in the mirror. I could not believe how disgusting I looked. I was huge. I knew I had to do something. I was very mad at myself for allowing me to gain so much weight. With my weight gain, came depression. I became very depressed. I wasn't working anymore, so I would just loaf around the house.

I knew I had to snap out of the depression somehow. I Didn't want my family to believe I was going crazy. I decided to start exercising, but it didn't seem to help very much because I was still eating a lot. I not only ate a lot, but all the wrong foods. I didn't want to be a bulimic. I didn't like the idea of purging. I was desperate, though, so my first thought was to stop eating. I would try to fast. That would be my excuse if someone asked me why I wasn't eating. I really didn't have to explain myself too often, because I seen my family at different times, so I would say that I ate earlier. My new diet was gum. I decided that if I was going to eat on a certain day that it would be between a couple of hours. I would not eat before two in the afternoon, and no later than six that evening. If I did not eat anything in that amount of time, I would not eat at all that day. With my new diet I continued to exercise. I learned to love to sweat. Sweating meant that I was losing weight. If I didn't sweat, I would be disappointed.

It was the summer of 1998. I stopped eating, and exercised a lot. There were the times when I was starving. I would have a binge fest for myself. There was no way that I could keep all that food in my stomach. I would purge after everyone left. I soon, preferred to eat and purge, than to not eat. I was losing a lot of weight. I would expect people to notice, but no one really said a whole lot. I had a few friends comment me, but I would blow it off, like I couldn't tell. It just made me more determined to keep losing weight. People really didn't say anything until December of that year about my weight. Now a lot of people were telling me that I lost a lot of weight. They were asking me how I did it. There was no way I would tell them the truth. I covered by saying I cut out a lot of the junk food and exercised daily. By that time I was down to 114lbs. I was starting to feel good about myself.

My cousin was getting married the summer of 1999. I wanted to lose some more weight. My goal weight is 104 lbs., which I have yet to achieve. I did come close though, when I got down to 109lbs for the wedding. My cousin's new wife made a comment to me in front of my mother, that I don't eat anything. My mom defended me and said I did. She seen me eat, but she didn't know that I got rid of the food I did eat.

It has been two and a half years since I became bulimic. Every time I tell myself that I need to stop, I can't. It is like an addiction. Now that I have lost all that weight, I can't stand to put it back on. It is even harder now to keep the weight off, because I can drink legally. Sometimes when I come home, my excuse for purging is because I was drunk. I've actually learned to purge without the help of my fingers. The fingers help only when there isn't a lot left in my stomach to come up on it's own. I, also, started taking laxatives about a year ago. I used to only take them twice a week. Now it is every other day if not everyday.

My family knows about my illness and I don't know how many other people. They talk behind my back. The only reason I know they all know is because I have a couple of sources close to me. No one even says anything. I think they deny it, the same as I do. I've gained between six to seven pounds, since last winter. I'm determined to lose it no matter how the weight comes off as long as it is gone. I guess at the present time I am still denying the truth because of the weight I have put on from beer and the food I eat with it. Since, I have a gut and don't look too thin, I think it is easier to deny the truth.

I believe I have heart problems. It hasn't been determined by a doctor yet, because I refuse to pay a doctor to diagnosis me for what I already know I have. I, also, know that my throat is scared. Not all the time, but once in a while blood will come up. It is not a lot of blood. When that happens, I will stop for a couple of days, but then I'm right back to where I've started.

I don't know how I'm going to get over this illness. I refuse to talk to anyone in my immediate family, because they would not understand. I have reached out to a cousin, but it is still awkward to try and talk about it. This is the first time I am actually speaking public about my disease. It makes me feel better that I am able to get this out, but I don't know if it will help. I believe that one day soon, I will be able to overcome bulimia or it will overcome me. At the present time bulimia is winning.