Monday, January 4, 2010


Tessa's story...

“After reading the stories that have been shared I decided I would give it a go. When it comes to talking about ED I've never been very truthful in fear that I won't be taken seriously or no one will listen. So this is my first attempt of telling the truth.

My name is Tessa. I'm 16, diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. At the moment I would say it's turned to EDNOS.

I guess I'll start with a brief history. My parents divorced when I was 3, I live with my mother and visit my dad on weekends. I have a brother who is 7 years older and a step sister who is my best friend. My mom was sick for most of my childhood and I was always known as the good kid who kept to myself and did what I was suppose to while my brother went through a really tough time in high school.

When I was younger my dad was physically abusive but only towards my brother. My brother was only abused when I got hurt by accident, which of course I felt terrible about. I believed it was all my fault, if I had just been more careful or held in the tears a bit longer maybe my brother wouldn't have been hurt. The physical abuse continued until my dad married my step-mom. There was little abuse in those first couple of years. Now he is verbally abusive which I have been a victim of.

I've always been a picky eater but there were foods that I had previously enjoyed being crossed off the list of foods I would eat. Everyone believed it was just because I was picky nothing more, in a month or two I'd probably be eating those foods again but I didn't. At 13, after my mom told me I look liked I'd gained weight and should go to the gym, I began obsessively exercising. Of course my mother approved of this and was glad I was getting exercise.

I believe it didn't turn into a full-blown eating disorder until I was 14, beginning high school with no friends. I found friends to sit with at lunch but still skipped lunch everyday. I began to count calories, weighing myself daily, hiding food, and I purged for the first time. I lost some weight but not much.

I didn't get into laxatives and diet pills until last year. This past year has definitely been one hell of a year for me. In late January I attempted suicide with a small overdose that, obviously, wasn't fatal. I met my best friend, Chelsea, who also has an eating disorder. We have been through so much together.

My mother found out about my eating disorder the first week of summer break. She read my journal and found all my diet pills and laxatives. She took me to our GP who referred me to an ED specialist who he works with. I was then referred to the outpatient clinic in my town, the same one Chelsea started going to in May.

My summer was filled with so many appointments yet it managed to be one of the best summers ever. At the time I was binging and purging 10+ times a day. I had been doing that since March although back then it was probably just 5 times a day.

The binging and purging continued until September when Chelsea attempted suicide. I was absolutely devastated, I couldn't get the memory of finding out she overdosed, racing over to her house, telling her parents, and seeing her lying in the hospital bed. I visited her everyday while she was in hospital but it was like the memory was on replay in my mind. I didn't eat for 2 weeks and then started to eat a couple of vegetables at dinner. I fell behind in school and I am still struggling with the work I missed.

Now I continue to restrict and abuse laxatives. I've convinced my mom that I eat everything and that I haven't abused laxatives or purged in months. I left the outpatient clinic in early December and faced threats of hospitalization. Now that I am supposedly eating alright the threats have stopped but I am losing weight rapidly and I fear being forced into inpatient.

I know my story is far from over and there is still so much to come along with so much that I didn't write. I just hope that this year is better for me. I can't imagine being recovered or even really attempting it, not now at least. But I know my time will come and when it does I will try to tell the truth and not the lies I've been telling myself and everyone around me.

If you read this thank you for taking the time too.”

Tessa, thanks so much for sharing your story. I dearly hope the truth comes out soon...before it's too late.

~ Medusa

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate so much to it, and I really hope you can recover one day. You definitely do not deserve this x

Mary said...

Hi Tessa,
my name is Mary and I just read your story. I noticed your story was written a while ago and so I am wondering how you are doing now?

A little about me..... well I am 37 and have been battling anorexia since I was 13 and bulimia since I was 18. While I am a lot healthier these days than I was in my teens and 20's and am now a health professional specialising in eating disorders, I am still FULL of sadness about the life I have lost - I cry every day about the life anorexia & bulimia have taken from me.... the fact that I have never had a serious boyfriend because I've always been so sick and thin - and that I will probably never have kids. I've spent my life in hospitals... So I am hoping you will realise that you have so much life ahead of you and that you won't let this illness take ANY MORE from you. You sound so intelligent and there are so many more important things in life for you to spend your time and energy on. People used to tell me this and I was so caught up in the illness that never listened... so I am HOPING the same won't happen to you. Having been through 24 years of intensive therapy I can see how your childhood and family issues are the root of you eating problems (as are mine) but I hope you can find the strength to care about YOURSELF and not let the selfish acts of others ruin your life. You really need to talk to someone about your childhood pain and sadness, AND your eating problems. Your step sister sounds like a good friend but it doesn't have to be someone in your family.

Best wishes to you and I hope you are doing well.