It was 4 years ago that I first succeeded in throwing up after I’d eaten. It was strange because it was easier than I thought it would be, and it is a process I have repeated far too many times since.
Seven months ago I sat in the doctors office and told him what I do every week, every day, even multiple times a day when it’s bad. I started crying before I could finish my confession because I never imagined those words would ever leave my mouth.
Bulimia has been an awful illness to come to terms with mentally and physically. Immersed in a culture so infatuated with body image, a website ridiculing my 5’10” frame and 150-pound body was enough to control my mind and actions.
Over and over again I’ve seen arguments that eating disorders should not be classified as a mental illness, but I disagree.
Eating disorders aren’t disorders until they harm your mentality.
Once your weight controls your thoughts, you’ve created a relationship with what I call ED.
ED is the voice you hear in your head telling you not to go see a movie with your friends so you won’t have to eat. ED is the one encouraging you to purge that leftover pizza you just devoured because you haven’t eaten all day. ED is the battle between your mind and your body that forces a negative outlook on food.
It controls you and manipulates your mind into believing your body image makes you unworthy. Just like recovering from depression, a pill won’t solve all your problems. One therapist won’t flip your world around, and one trip to a support group won’t end your addiction.
Recovery from an eating disorder involves overcoming physical, mental and emotional barriers, just like a mental illness, in order to restore normal eating habits, thoughts and behaviors.