Monday, January 18, 2010


"Binge" by Corie Howell

Em's Story:


I know this is no way to live, but a lot of times it feels like recovery is impossible.

I suffered from bulimia for about 5 years before I got any treatment. And I didn't come out with it and ask anybody for help. My mom heard me purging one night after dinner and confronted me about it. With a LOT of hard work (I can't stress that enough), I was able to stop purging. But the binging continued, and then I started to gain weight, which at the time was my biggest fear. Every pound felt like a million, and it kept growing and growing because I kept binging and binging.

Finally I just stopped caring about the way I looked (my health was never really the issue for me, obviously).

I get tempted to start purging again a lot, every time I look in the mirror, but I know that I was no happier then than I am now. I have been considered bulimic, a binge eater, and even had long periods of starvation in between, but none of these things ended up making me happy. Despite my efforts, my body was never what I wanted it to be, and no matter how hard I tried, it never would have been.

With an eating disorder, I will never ever meet my own standards for who I should be, and that is scary because of the extremes I've been willing to go to. And I think most of us know this in the back of our mind, but we still do it and strive for that perfection that just doesn't exist.

It's not a matter of fixing all of the things you dislike about yourself, there will ALWAYS be those, no matter what you do. But rather to actually love and accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all. I know, easier said than done.

I've been in "recovery" for a long time, and I still struggle every day. But it does get easier, and if you take things slow and really try, you will get to where you want to be. I'm not quite there yet, but I feel more and more weight lifting off of my shoulders every day I treat my body the way it should be treated.

I still have a ways to go when it comes to my binge eating, it's an addiction I've grown very close to over the years. But honestly, I'm just sick of relying on other things to make me happy. Whether it be food, or drugs, or alcohol, it's all just so temporary and destructive. I always need "something" to help me get through the day, and I don't want to be like that anymore. And I don't want to die, either.

I don't want to get all preachy, but if I could turn back time, I would. I have really severe tooth pain and sensitivity, it's almost unbearable sometimes. There are a lot of things I can't eat or drink anymore. I have HORRIBLE acid reflux. I have digestive problems. These are just the things I can see and feel, I'm sure there is more going on inside. And these things are mild in comparison to what will happen to those who continue to live like this.

And I ask myself now, after all these years and still a body I've never liked looking at in the mirror, was it worth it? Absolutely not.


(((Em))) Thanks so much for writing. Best wishes to you for health and happiness in 2010.

~ Medusa

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Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, this broke my heart. (((((EM))))) And I can relate to SO much of it. I am working so hard to recover, every day is a struggle, but this was a timely reminder of why I am working, why I need to continue working. I too wish I could turn back the clock, 15+ years of ED, what a waste :/ But all we can do is take it day by day, literally, even hour by hour, and be brave and strong and LIVE again.

Much love to all who are struggling <3

Alexis said...

This post lightened my day, I'm so happy to actually hear of people beginning to treat their body the way it should be.
You can do this missy !

K8 said...

Beautiful, touching story. It sounds like things are improving for you, Em. I hope that trend continues! Good luck and blessings to everyone who is in pain of this kind or any other.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so touching story! I can really relate to this story, especially the paragraph where you told that you always knew that you could never meet your own standards.

I'm not diagnosed with an ED but I can admit that I have never been satisfied with my looks. I excercise obsessively, eat super-healthy, study and work hard, have wonderful boyfriend, people compliment my looks and stuff. People envy me for all the things I've got. Somehow I understand this: if somebody else had all this that I do, I would be envious myself, but when I have it, it doesn't mean anything. I am addicted to wanting and achieving and I always want something more.


Arielle Bair, MSW, LSW said...

Em - Recovery can feel impossible, but it's very, very possible. I'm sorry to hear about all the struggles you've survived (because, yes, you have survived!) but glad to see the spirit behind this post. You seem to have a lot of strength. I hope one day (soon!) you will be able to LOVE the body you see in the mirror. One day at a time, Em. One day at a time. I'm rooting for you.

Lou Lou said...

hey em, your story is really relateable, you write really well, and im on your team... recovery is full of struggles, and I am happy to hear you are striving towards a positive path in recovery. just for today. i believe in you. it takes courage to face it, keep it up

Viatical Life Settlement said...

Yes perfect thought this is not way to live.

Jillian said...

Your story is scary similar to mine...I hope you know YOU'RE not alone! Bulimia sucks. Every time i put food in my mouth I contemplate purging...and no matter if i resist the urge or not-i still hate myself & body all the same. I wish you the very best with recovery, there is a light. You are worth it!
All the best