My sister, who played a big part in my recovery, and I had a conversation last night that was interesting. Although she played a part in it, she didn’t understand this “bulimia”. She is a teacher and she said when she was teaching grade 8 that a couple of students were suffering from bulimia and to her it was all about weight loss. I explained to her that maybe at the beginning it may start out like that, but in the end it is much more. It is a way of dealing with emotions. I told her with me the times I was at my worst was feelings of anger, frustration (not being able to feel in control of something), sorrow. I tended to gravitate towards “comfort foods” quite often ones Mom used to make for me in my childhood. To me this was a way to find comfort in emotional chaos, but to complete the “ritual” I had to throw up the person or situation and cleanse myself of the emotion.
Apparently this intrigued my sister, who said she had no idea. I just replied that it is clear there are still not many people who have an idea. I told her the story of Furious Pete and how his anorexia began during hardships his parents were enduring and again – that loss of control, the feeling of helplessness.
Sis was also unaware of the growing trend of men with eating disorders.
I suppose we still have a long way to go to truly educate those outside.
I read somewhere that bulimics actually only throw up approximately 30% of what they consume. I believe that. I actually maintain my healthy weight much better now that I am recovered, and I don’t yo-yo up and down like I used to.
The myths of bulimia and other eating disorders to those who have not researched them remain. I only hope that educators can learn more so that if a student confides in them they can understand that an eating disorder is not just about weight, and can even be detrimental to their learning and studies.