Let’s discuss bulimia – a mental illness which can go undetected as the sufferer doesn’t always lose or gain a significant amount of weight. It can be a very difficult thing to understand for the the person suffering, let alone someone who’s never had the misfortune of falling prey to it.Here are a few things you’ll only know if you’ve ever been bulimic.
1. You will spend a lot of money
Bingeing cycles tend to be costly as you try to buy as much food as possible, so you can then eat as much as possible to effectively make the binge “worthwhile”. But in the past i’ve touched on the fact that i selecetively eat. So my binges would be to others classed as under eating or ‘normal meals’. Some people with bulimia spend thier weekly wages solely on food for thier binges but i sped it on laxatives. I have to pay to spend money on rent and i’ve definitley dipped into rent & bills money to feed the habit too – that’s how consuming the mental illness is.
In fact, i recently worked out just how much money i’ve spent over the years. i tend to by Dulcolax Tablet Laxatives. You can get them from and super market or drug store. Stores have a limit on how many packets they can sell you of drugs like that due to the effects so, I would/still do, walk around town as if i was doing some sort of charity collection. stopping off at each point to collect how much i needed.
My shopping list went like this … 1 pack of 100 tablets (Boots), 3 packs of 20 tablets(Superdrug), 3 packets of 60 tablets ( Sainsburys) and 3 of 40’s(Tesco) = 460 Dulcolax tablets. this was in real core of my eating disorder when i was taking around 280 tablets a day. So this shopping trip would only have lasted me two days. Whereas now, i have managed to cut down my intake to 20 a day. so it would last me around 3 weeks which is crazy.
Anyway, i worked out that i had been taking 1,960 pills a week which accumulates to £149.45 a week. Which means i was spending £7,920.85 a year on laxatives and over the years i’ve spent £47,525.10. That’s AT LEAST, because that is without things like prune juice, Senokot tablets, suppositories, aloe vera juice etc. … FECK!
2. You’ll feel a weird sense of pride
Sometimes, when you’ve had a particularly successful purge – basically you’ve thrown up or shat out all the food you’ve consumed during your binge till you can taste the stomach bile – you might feel a weird sense of pride in this. Not all people can make themselves sick, so surely that’s a talent in itself, you might think. Or not all people could deal with staying up all night in the cold on the toilet. It’s a strange feeling when you get that taste but it is a thing.
3. You’ll feel like a failure
At the same time though, people with bulimia often don’t lose very much weight despite our efforts. i did actually loose a drastic amount when i fist started. At my heaviest i’ve been 13st and at my lowest i was 7st ( i’m 5’8), now i fluctuate around 9 and a 1/2 stone. For someone whose mental illness was resulting from a desire to lose weight, it’s difficult to stomach when you realise you’ve put on weight, or you’ve stoped loosing it.
4. You’ll centre your day around bulimia
“I can’t go to the cinema tonight because how will I have the time to both binge and purge before? How will I be able to fit in going to the toilet?” is what you’re thinking but can’t say. Id be a millionaire if i had a pound for every time i’ve turned down a spontaneous offer to do something. But it’s more than that, it also controls when you wakeup and go to sleep, what you eat, what you wear, how you feel and where you go…
5. Losing your job or dropping out of university
I had to drop out of an apprenticeship with my dream company to work for that i’d worked sooo hard because my bulimia was so bad. I was unable to leave my room and enjoy my life. i also had to ask for an extension on all of my final year university work because i was unable to get out of bed and attend lectures and since then, i’ve lost two jobs because of it. .
6. You might lose your friends/partner
Spending all your spare time bent over a toilet seat is one sure way of terminating any sort of romantic relationship you might be clinging onto. People with bulimia tend not to seek help or support very readily and can experience swings in their mood as well as feeling anxious and tense, which can be very difficult for someone else to put up with.
For me, bulimia is also very secretive and when someone questions me about it, it’s not unlikely that i might become up tight and defensive. A lot of people have always struggled to come to terms with the fact that i’ll always put bulimia right at the top of the pecking order.
I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by loving friends and family who have stuck by me through it all. It hasn’t been easy but they have supported me. However, it has been the downfall of two long term relationships with existing problems at the time and one good friend.
7. Public toilets
Having a laxative addition means you’ve got to have the low down or all the toilets at you desired destination and journey!
Are they shared toilets or just one cubicle, is there always a queue, does the door go right to the bottom, is it an ‘Instagramable‘ toilet? – cant be having a bunch of girls taking selfies whilst your there literally shitting a brick or throwing up.
Sometimes you’ll get caught off guard though and you can’t plan it. You’ve probably tried to make yourself sick in a public place after “slipping up” and eating something “bad” whilst on the go. Ever tried to make yourself sick inconspicuously in London’s King Cross station? or on the train itself? It’s very difficult to concentrate…