Anorexia-Bulimia are two types of eating-disorders associated with sexual abuse.
Anorexia means the loss of appetite, eating very little or nothing at all.
If you have this illness, you have an altered self image (When you look in the mirror at yourself, you don't see yourself as you really are.) you can weigh 80lbs and still see yourself as "fat". The behaviors with this illness are usually kept secret.
Do you get up in the morning and jog 10 miles, eat next to nothing and obsess about your weight, meaning-count every calorie you put into your body? Do you keep your eating habits and exercise a secret?
If you can answer "yes" to these questions, then I am talking to YOU!
You may have started your dieting just like everyone else, just to lose a few pounds..or you thought that you would throw up after a couple of meals so you would fit into a new dress etc.,
The problem is that anorexia-bulemia both take over quickly and even though you think you still have the control..just like you have control over what you put into your mouth or what comes out of your mouth, the disease has the larger control over you!
Maybe you get scared because you KNOW that you can't stop what you are doing..and are too afraid to ask for help.?
This is a dangerous illness without treatment because the body needs food and nutrients to survive!
We all know that the opposite of survival is...well, let's just say, Not a good altenative!
The problem with anorexia is that if you have it, you probably don't realize you have a problem, right?. It is usually someone else that points it out to you. Then it is annoying!
Does that sound familiar to anyone?
If someone has mentioned "anorexia" to you, about you, LISTEN! Your life could be at risk..and your life is precious!
Give yourself the chance to recover and discover the beauty you possess inside of you..even though you might not be able to see it right now. I know you probably have heard this all before and it sounds like blah blah blah..but just this once, listen to what I have to say.
I am not your mom, your husband, your best friend or your counselor. I am someone who understands what you are doing. I know that it feels good to have control over what you put into your body.
It is probably the only control that you think that you have!
That said, I am also a nurse who knows the damage that you could be doing to your body. That is also real. I know that if you were sexually abused, a part of you felt like it was stolen from you. Many times it was your childhood. I also know that many times being anorexic can keep you looking like a child. It can even stop your periods to keep you from growing up into a woman. That is not true. Nature will win. You will still become a woman whether you want to or not. All you are doing is becomming an unhealthy woman.
It is a slow, painful suicide. You may not really even want to die..just want to show others the pain that you feel inside. You can do that without starving yourself.
Trust me, There is another way!
Bulimia is similar to anorexia in that if you have it, you are secretly throwing up after your meals or you are secretly hiding in the closet eating tons of Snicker bars, peanut butter (whatever you love the most) and "binging" to your heart's content and then throwing up.
You are under the illusion that you are getting rid of those calories. (tisk tisk tisk.)
What you are doing is causing the glands in your cheeks to swell (like chipmunk cheeks), from the acid of vomit, and throwing your body chemistry off whack.
So, when you look in the mirror (women and girls who have anorexia-bulimia both usually only look at their face instead of their entire body in the mirror) but with bulimia, your cheeks look large and swollen even if your body isn't.
Your body can even look halfway "normal" and you can be sick because of the electrolyte imbalance you have created by vomiting continuously. You are not absorbing the nutrients your body needs to be healthy! If you are doing this, you probably think I can't possibly be talking about YOU!
Listen, you can make yourself very, very sick! Just like anorexia, it can be a slow suicide.
The problem with anorexia-bulimia is the denial part of it. Most girls or women with this illness will outwardly deny that they have a problem because they do not want to give up the control that they have. It can be a difficult struggle to get someone into treatment.
If someone catches you regularly or secretly throwing up your meals (and you do not have the stomach flu), GET PROFESSIONAL HELP! Bulimia is just as difficult as anorexia to treat due to the denial factor.
Over-eating is also about low self esteem and also many times also slow suicide, especially if the person has accompanying medical problems such as heart disease or diabetes. When you get to a certain weight, it is easy to just give up when it seems impossible to lose weight.
For anorexia-bulimia and all eating disorders, the good news is that there is HOPE!
There is always hope. Self esteem can be improved. You can get into recovery. You can get your life back! Your abuser does not have to win! You do not have to believe all of the negative things that you are saying to yourself!
You are a worthwhile person! You DO matter! You ARE beautiful inside! You can start by saying positive affirmations to yourself. Plaster them on your bathroom mirror and say them to yourself 10 times a day. The key is repetition. Bottom line is that you do need treatment.
It is almost impossible to recover from an eating disorder by yourself. The reason for this is because you need the help of a dietician and counselors and medical personnel. A holistic approach is almost always necessary...but you are definitely worth it! That is not to say that it is impossible to do it at home. It has been done on an out-patient basis.
I know that you can probably think of at least 20 reasons of why you shouldn't get help..but I can think of one fabulous reason why you should...YOUR LIFE IS WORTH LIVING!!!!
Think about it. I'm sure that your family and friends will agree with me.
FOOD DOES NOT HAVE TO BE YOUR ENEMY!
I know it is scary to give up what control you think you have. We, as survivors, hold on to every tiny piece of control that we can get our hands on before we experience recovery. Even after we get into recovery, we still can have control issues...the difference is that we are aware of them and know we have the opportunity to make those healthy choices instead of unhealthy ones.
Again, like my proverbial broken record, you are not alone and people do care about you if you just give them a chance!
Here is a link for you go to for information and a number for you to call for help: 1-800-931-2237 It is the Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention Center (EBAP)
Eating Disorder Treatment
If you are considering
eating disorder treatment,
look for a program that provides 24/7 medical supervision, nutritional guidance and a variety of therapies.
With the right
Please use it and get help today. You will be glad you did!
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