Getting help with an eating disorder often involves telling people. But who? Here’s what happened when one of my readers told her boyfriend about her eating disorder…
“I told my boyfriend I have an eating disorder,” says C. on Teenage Eating Disorders – Bulimia, Anorexia, Body Dysmorphia. “And it got worse after telling him! I binge and purge way more than I used to.”
Below, she explains why her eating disorder (bulimia) got worse after she told her boyfriend about it. And, I offer a few tips for getting help with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.
If you’re struggling to overcome an eating disorder, read Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too. It’ll show you you’re not alone – and you can survive bulimia, anorexia, or compulsive overeating.
When She Told Her Boyfriend About Her Eating Disorder…
Here’s why this reader’s bulimia got worse when she told her boyfriend about it:
“Now I feel it’s more of a thrill/game to see if I can sneak it past him,” says C. “I go beyond what I was doing before, taking it to the next unnecessary step. I have been eating and throwing up now for 10 years or better. I most recently started throwing up on a daily basis with in the past 3 months, for reasons I can’t explain.”
It’s a game for her…a dangerous game that is seriously affecting her physical and emotional health.
She describes how binging and purging food makes her feel:
“I love food more than anything,” she says. “I’m a 98 lb women who can out eat any man or women. I stuff myself until I can’t breathe just because I can’t stop putting it into my mouth, there is no control what so ever, and I really don’t know if I want to try to stop it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to throw up but eating feels so good at times. I have IBS which is another thing, it hurts to eat and I still do it. I wake up every day telling myself ‘I won’t do it today’ – but it’s a LIE!!! I know I will. I have an eating disorder and I don’t know what to do about it.”
A few tips for overcoming eating disorders…
Talk to women who know how you feel
I struggled with bulimia for over 25 years. I saw a counselor for a year, and it helped…but it isn’t what got me “over” it. I haven’t binged and purged for a long time – about a year, I think. That’s a long stretch for me!
What helped me recover from my eating disorder? Not being married, not telling my husband about my eating disorder, not reading books about emotional eating. What helped was finding something I’m passionate about doing. I love blogging and writing, and that helped me recover. Sort of.
I encourage you to find an eating disorder support group for women, such as Emotional Eaters or Overeaters Anonymous. Call a support line in your area, and find out if what type of help you can get.
Read books about eating disorder treatments and recovery
Maybe it’s too soon to talk to a counselor or psychologist – maybe you’re not ready for that step! But, reading books by and about women who got help for eating disorders can help you take a step towards healing.
Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life is another bestselling book about eating disorders on Amazon. It includes lessons to help you move forward in your journey towards health and wellness – and describes the difference between “being in recovery” from an eating disorder and “being recovered” from an eating disorder.
Learn what you’re really scared of
C. says she loves food and wants to stuff herself until she can’t breathe. I know exactly how she feels! It’s not a love of food, though. It’s fear, anxiety, and insecurity. Binging and purging isn’t about food (though I know it seems like it is). Eating disorders are about deep-seated feelings of being unlovable, unworthy, and out of control.
Discern what the connection is between your boyfriend and your eating disorder
For K, telling her boyfriend about her eating disorder led to a more intense craving to binge and purge. An eating disorder therapist would be able to help her figure out what the connection is. K. can’t rely on her boyfriend to help her overcome her eating disorder…she needs to get help from people who have experience.
Eating disorders are very, very serious emotional health issues. It’s not as easy as “stop binging and purging”! That’s probably why I don’t know how or why I overcame my eating disorder. I just sort of got healthier and healthier, slowly by slowly. I encourage you to get help with your eating disorder as soon as possible – because the journey towards healing takes awhile!
For more tips for eating disorders, read Binge Eating Treatment – How to Stop Overeating - it’s by a psychologist who overcame her eating disorder.
And, go to the National Eating Disorders Association for more comprehensive help.
Have you told your boyfriend or anyone about your eating disorder? Comments and questions welcome below…