|Heather's Story||California||Bulimia Nervosa|
I started starving myself and then bingeing and purging when I was 12 and
my family sent me away to a prestigious girls school for the summer,
Santa Catalina, in Monterey.
I had the impression from my family that being thin and successful were one and the same. So, along with getting good grades in school, and performing athletically, I started trying to starve myself. I didn't seem to lose the weight I wanted to lose and I couldn't stop eating. It wasn't working. At the time, I heard a lot about bulimia and anorexia from the news. I also had a cousin who was severely anorexic.
So, I decided to try throwing up. I must have been fairly depressed. Throughout high school, I threw up whenever I had to face something stressful...the SAT, finals, etc. I was very unhappy and lonely.
When I went to Berkeley, I decided to get help but I failed to tell the therapist that I threw up. It wasn't until I graduated and was throwing up on the job, being fired and cut off financially from my family that I started really looking for help and going to overeaters anonymous. I was throwing up 12 times a day and spending hundreds of dollars on food. I had heart palpitations and suffered from paranoia. But, the people I met in the OA Bulimic/Anorexic meeting seemed to understand.
It took years of therapy, a relapse into anorexia, medication and lots and lots of meetings to get me where I am today.
I am still and will always be a bulimic. But, the OA program seems to work for me especially when I attend a Bulimic/Anorexic focus meeting. Sometimes I go to therapy for some extra help. My number one goals is to abstain from bingeing and purging in any form... laxatives, exercise and throwing up. I have tried them all.
So, there is hope. I have 6 years of living without throwing up and I am grateful to see this web page and the publicity about eating disorders.