Monday, August 6, 2012

ED Reflections, no. 6

Last time I left off talking about my first foray into bulimia. I don't want to go into too many details here, in the interest of protecting those who might be easily triggered, but I do want to discuss one major component of my early binging history.

As I mentioned in my last post in this series, I started throwing up because I wanted to look good in my prom dress. My first episode of purging was preceded by many, many trips to the mall with my mother looking for prom dresses, each of which often ended with me feeling an incredible amount of stress as I nervously tried on dress after dress in the dressing room and/or me crying in the car on the way home or once we got home and I could be alone. I was miserable. Most of all, I was angry. Angry that I didn't look great in a lot of the dresses, angry that my Mom seemed to suggest all the ugly "fat girl" dresses for me, and angry with myself for not being better, for not being perfect.

The most aspect about my first episode of purging is that I really thought it over beforehand. I knew that there were people who ate and then made themselves throw up, but to me that seemed like a way too serious mental disease for someone like me, i.e. someone so normal and outwardly put together. I never thought that I'd become addicted to purging, and instead I had this sick desire to really try to make myself bulimic, I think because a part of me realized that if I were really, I mean, obviously sick then I wouldn't have to be alone with all my self hate. That is, if I could just get hooked on this purging thing and "become" a person with a "real" problem then I wouldn't have to keep suffering by myself.

What's implicit in this line of thinking is pretty common in ED patients, namely, the sense that I wasn't "sick enough" to warrant help with what I was feeling. It's a hard thing to feel an immense disparity between how you feel and how others perceive you, and in me that caused a lot of anger, desperation, and ultimately, a desire to make myself as physically sick as I felt emotionally.

*In what ways/situations have you ever felt a disparity between how you feel and how others perceive you?

And, just for fun, a picture of some pups at the Humane Society last week:

Despite the fact that the glass door is obscured by scratch marks and slobber, these two matchy-matchy dogs are cute.

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