I’m going to write about the dark, disgusting, make-you-cringe-in-horror side of ED. Everyone knows about the physical side effects and the symptoms as well as the financial cost of ED. Most of us don’t talk about the nasty details though. They are kept deep inside us with other deadly secrets.
“All bulimics are liars,” my family doctor informed me when my mother took me for a check up, aged 12 and in the throes of switching from anorexia to bulimia. “National Ballet is a cesspool of eating disorders. They breed there. Everyone has one.”
She may have been right but I didn’t care for her observations. I do however agree with the lying. I have done things that go against my morals and ethics and beliefs as a Christian in order to sustain my eating disorder. I have lied to the people I loved, hidden, deceived, cheated, stolen and put my life in danger in order to keep up my eating disorder. It is reprehensible. I am ashamed. I live in denial and think I am protecting my loved ones by lying to them. It eats away at my soul that I am not the person they think that I am.
ED has burdened my family and friends. It has destroyed my romantic relationships. There is no room in life for a partner when you are living with ED. It has affected my ability to do my job with the professionalism I pride myself in.
The not-so-glamourous side of ED includes moodiness, irritability and depression. Some days I do not recognize myself. There is nothing attractive about a person consuming 10 000+ calories on a binge and then vomiting. Have you ever caught sight of someone purging? Snot and tears and mascara and vomit smeared across a face. It is gross. I have vomited anywhere and everywhere…..toilets, sinks, bathtubs, plastic bags, cardboard boxes and of course, in the great outdoors. The list could go on forever. I will use any means necessary to vomit. I will keep at it until, with knuckles scraped and scarred, I see blood. I have drunk vinegar, shampoo, detergent and syrup of ipecac. When it is time to purge, nothing will stop me. I am like a junkie. When it is time to binge, God help you if you get in my way. I will become aggressive, angry and cantankerous.
I suffer from the most hideous gas. My stomach is constantly in turmoil. The sound effects are unbelievable and embarrassing. I have quite literally shat myself from laxative abuse and I have done it more than once. I have pissed my pants from over consumption of diuretics. I have fallen off cardio machines at the gym from heart palpitations caused by illegal diet drugs. It is humiliating and degrading. It is revolting and it disgusts me. Somehow, I still don’t stop.
I have fainted and had seizures. I have been admitted to hospital with kidney problems from complications from ED. All the while I am too embarrassed to even utter the words, “I have an eating disorder”, because I am normal weight.
For people who look at thin celebrities, dancers or models and think that it is a glamourous life being thin….think again. There is so much more than meets the eye, and while I don’t doubt that some people are naturally thin or in shape thanks to diet and exercise, these industries are riddled with ED.