I have decided to reach out to some local eating disorder specialists.
It's time for me to ask for help again.
After a decade of recovery, I am going to have to return to the beginning stages again. I have reached rock bottom of my binge eating disorder.
Last night, I actually had an episode of bulimia. I purged after I binged. It was terrible. But at least it was rock bottom.
Sometimes you have to hit that rock bottom before you realize you need help.
I know now that I need more help than I can provide for myself with internet searches, self help books, and positive thinking.
This is bigger than me.
I need help.
I hate that I'm back to this point, needing professional help with an eating disorder.
But it's important that I take these steps now, before it gets worse. I need to get out of the cycle, once and for all.
It definitely is a cycle, and I'm back at the VERY beginning again. This is an epiphany that I just had today. Here are all of the stages of the cycle so far:
1) Age: 17-19
Weight: 170-230 lb
My main disordered eating began at age 17, with binge eating disorder (undiagnosed and untreated, but I know now that is what it was).
I hated my life, and hated myself, and large amounts of food helped me to smother those thoughts and feelings away. I gained a lot of weight, going from my high school norm of about 170 pounds to around 230 pounds by age 19.
2) Age: 19-21
Weight: 230 - 130
ED: EDNOS (anorexia with "normal" weight)
I felt like total crap at that size, and just wanted it gone ASAP. So I did some research, and actively chose to behave like an anorexic. I chose anorexia as a diet plan. It was a conscious decision in the beginning...
Within a year, I weighed 130 pounds. But at that point I was so woozy and ill that I had to get help. So, I enrolled in an intensive ED treatment program.
3) Age: 23-25
Weight: 140 - 220
ED: yo-yo dieting/binge eating cycle
By age 23, I thought that I had it all figured out, and that I was completely recovered. This is when my weight started to creep back up. I was overeating and not very active, but I didn't really feel like I was binge eating very often at the time. By the time I was 25, I was over 220 pounds again, and it felt like it had happened overnight and without any true ED.
The reality is that I had become a binge eater again. I tried desperately to cling to my EDNOS weight, because the doctors that I worked with while recovering all told me that was a good weight for me (I still think that was pretty shitty of them. I was on the low end of a "healthy" BMI, and you could see my ribs and hip bones, but yeah, super healthy weight!).
This was a time of yo-yo dieting and binge eating.
4) Age: 25-27
Weight: 220 - 144
ED: none! (so I thought)
When the scale showed 220, I had had enough, and decided that it was time to lose the weight again. I was determined to do it in a "healthy way" "this time". So I joined Weight Watchers, and followed it, plus a few other programs, for a couple of years, and got down to 144 pounds.
I felt on top of the world, like I had FINALLY solved my problems with food. Like I could really live now, and that my ED was in the past, where it belonged.
5) Age: 28-30
Weight: 144 -265
So I started gaining weight again, this time a bit slowly. I was back up to 165-ish by 2012, and realized in May of that year that I could easily maintain that weight. Perhaps it's my "happy weight" or even the weight that my ED counselors from years ago should have told me was okay to be, so that I wouldn't have been so obsessed with 135 for years. Anyway.
Then Mom died, shortly after my 165-is-A-OK epiphany.
And I allowed myself to take comfort in my old friend, binge eating. It all happened so quickly this time that I didn't even realize how disordered it was this time.
I gained weight so ridiculously quickly. The binges were worse than ever before. I went from 165 to over 200 pounds in a little over a month. That is NOT an exaggeration. Then I gained 60 more pounds over the next year and a half, all the while trying desperately to get back to where I was before Mom died. I was out of control.
That's where I'm at now. And looking at it this way, it's easy to see the pattern, and that I still obviously have an eating disorder.
It's not normal for my weight to have gone up and down such extreme amounts over the years. It's just not. And each time, it has been more extreme than the last.
I'm not beating myself up over this. It's clearly a problem, and it's always served a purpose. Sometimes, the alternative was worse. I'm ready to admit that I still have this mental illness. I still have the ED. It just changes every couple of years.
I need help for it. I feel pretty shitty that I was not able to get out of this on my own, but it is what it is.
I need help with my binge eating disorder, and to get OUT of this disordered eating cycle. Let's let it end this time, instead of my going back to extreme yo-yo dieting or anorexia or bulimia, or continuing the misery of binge eating until I weigh over 300 pounds (all very real possibilities if I don't get help).
Thanks for reading. Thanks for being here. I love you guys. More updates soon... For now, just know that I am going to get some real help.