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I know my disease affects others, but I need help

By November 11, 2010 - 9:41pm
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I am actually a woman struggling with bulimia. I felt it was "corrected" after seeing a therapist about a year ago, however, it had resurfaced roughly 6 months ago. I began a relationship with a wonderful man about 8 months ago and everything was great...until I told him about my disease. He was very supportive. Said he would go to meetings or whatever I needed, and actually said if it continued, he would tell my parents.
I grew up in a very loving family and everything started when I was in gymnastics, about 20 years ago. Yikes, I can't believe it's been going on this long. Anyhow, I hit a pretty low low a year ago, and told my mom and dad. They were also very supportive, and think I have recovered. I am thinking about going again to talk to a therapist, to try to get everything under control. I don't want to feel like this anymore and am unbelievably ashamed I can't beat this and don't want to dissapoint my mom and dad.

Anyhow, the intimacy between my boyfriend and me is pretty much non existant, and I do want things to work. He says everything has affected him, but he doesn't want to give up either. I don't know what to do. I need get rid of this awful demon inside of me and I understand that can be done with more therapy and being open with my family. At the same time, though, I need him to be the "him" he was before he knew.
I found this website about caregivers and I think it is a wonderful thing. I understand the disease I have affects my family and friends, and other who have it affect their family and friends. I never really thought about that before, and I apologize for whatever you have gone through. Please know we don't mean to hurt you. In fact, every time an "episode" occurs, we promise ourselves it will be the last....at the very least because we don't want to hurt our loved ones.
I just realized how much I am rambling, and although I am not a caregiver, I am asking you who are for some advice.
Thanks for reading, and I really hope to gain some insight on this cloudy world I feel I am living.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Quiteconfused

Thanks so much for your post and you are very brave to openly talk about how this condition is creeping up on you again.

There is no real 'cure' for eating disorders and some people have to monitor themselves carefully for life. They could be symptoms free for years and something out of nowhere can trigger a relapse. It's a scary thing. You have only been in treatment for a year so don't beat yourself up that you're not better yet. It may take a lot longer than a year and that's ok. These conditions are sometimes chronic and need care on an ongoing (or at least intermittent) basis. Coming to EmpowHER and openly expressing what you are going through shows you are recognizing signs of possible relapse which is wonderful; it'd be far worse if you were hiding it all.

You are correct that people with eating disorders can affect their families very deeply. But so can any other illness. Nobody wants to be sick, and that includes you. It's highly doubtful you are rubbing your hands together wondering how you can negatively affect your family today so please understand that you deserve compassion and care, not finger-pointing. You have a wonderful family and no doubt will be there for you when you tell them you are facing a possible relapse. If they know anything about this condition, and I'm sure they do, they'll know it's possible to relapse many times before really getting a hold on this illness.

You were to right to tell your boyfriend about your bulimia but he may be feeling all sorts of things now, from worry to guilt to a lack of understanding. I think a good idea is perhaps for him to talk to your family about it all and perhaps sit in on a therapy session so that he actually understands the physical and mental aspects of this eating disorder. Knowledge is power, quiteconfused, and the more he knows, the better he will be able to cope.

Quiteconfused, you have lived with this demon for two decades and it's time to free yourself. I think you really need to think about getting yourself back into very regular therapy. Please look into this straight away, the faster you do, the less likely you are to relapse completely (I suspect you may be already binging and purging occasionally or at least wanting to?).

No-one will resent you
You are not weak, you are ill
You are not a burden
You can get better

Please think about what I have said and I hope to hear back from you very soon,

November 12, 2010 - 1:44pm
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