Confronting my Eating Disorder - Anorexia Bulimia

One month before I hit bottom!
One month before I hit bottom!

Wasting away my life…LITERALLY!


I stepped on the scale and it read 105 lbs. I began to scream, shake and cry uncontrollably. I was in a full blown panic attack and couldn’t seem to get my thoughts together. This is what it took for me to realize I had a serious problem.

This all began when I was only 13 years old. I can still, to this day, visualize my grandmother trying to explain to me that I would always have to be conscious of my weight. She never meant any harm by what she said. She was simply stating the obvious, which was that my build was more like the people on her side of the family.

I’m not sure how many heart attacks she had already had at that point in her life, but I know that it was more than 1. Add to that, the fact that both of her parents, and most of her siblings had already died of heart disease. Everyone one them had a weight problem, and she wanted to prevent me from suffering the same fate.

So at 13 years old I began controlling my food intake. I also began drinking alcohol very heavily; therefore consuming all of those fluids enabled me to feel full most of the time. Not one day would go by when I wouldn’t step on that scale, both in the morning and at night. In my mind, going over 110 lbs was not an option. I am 5’3”, and every single thing I read about weight/height proportions suggested that 110 lbs would be at the bottom of the scale of where I should be.

On those rare days, usually during my menstrual cycle, when my weight went over, I would just fast. It got to the point where I could very easily go 2 to 3 days eating only 6 Saltine crackers with a couple of slices of American cheese. I would drink water, but not too much, during the day…yet at night and during the weekends I never cared about how much alcohol I consumed.

I spent my whole high school career doing this to myself. I remember always feeling self confident when I was out in public, but never feeling good about myself when I was at home. I was a very outgoing teenager with a lot of friends. Yet, at home I never felt like I belonged. I know this wasn’t the case, but up until just a couple of years ago, I never felt like I was good enough for my family.

I know how strange this all sounds because most people carry those feelings into the outside world, but not me….I felt accepted by outsiders but not by my loved ones.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I gained 69 lbs. I was horrified! I did not leave my house, unless I was going to visit my mother, from the beginning of November until I gave birth to her on December 28th. I felt disgusting and ugly. Before the pregnancy I had ALWAYS maintained that size 5 frame. That is when I began having anxiety attacks.

Any woman who has given birth knows that you are supposed to wait at least 6 weeks before doing any serious exercising. Well, exactly 1 week after she was born I threw myself (full force) into 2-3 hour workout marathons…DAILY. I was doing anywhere between 500 – 1000 crunches a day, along with every workout video I could find, while at the same time falling right back into my very low calorie intakes.

I went through 2 more pregnancies doing the same thing. Always maintaining those 110 lbs and the size 5 jeans. Not once throughout all of those years did it ever occur to me that there was something wrong with me. In fact, in my twisted mind, the people who didn’t care about their weight were the ones with the problem.

After my father died in 2004, I began to put on some weight. No matter what I did, none of my old tricks were working to take off this weight. So every pound that I put on would cause me to work out even harder, which just turned everything into muscle. This went on for about a year. Finally my psychiatrist, who was treating me for Anxiety/Panic Disorder, started me on one particular medication that would keep me from gaining weight (from all of the other medications I was on.)

Well it worked! And with all of the working out and calorie cutting, I was well on my way back to where I thought I should be.

In July of 2006 I quit drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes (for good!) Other things started to become more important to me than working out, such as spending time with my granddaughter, attending AA Meetings, and just trying to get well.

During this process I was just learning how to feel again. Emotions weren’t something I was accustomed to and they were beginning to kick my butt. The way I see it, as do most recovering addicts, I was at the emotional level of a 13 year old kid (which is when I began drinking.) Things started getting tough and my weight started to plummet. The angrier I became at any given situation the more I felt like purging…only my way of purging was by taking excessive amounts of laxatives.

It got to the point where, on some days, I would swallow up to 8 laxatives during an 8 hour period. I was also getting ready to have surgery on my neck at this time. I was in a lot of pain and found it very hard to move. Therefore, the more I had to stay still, the more laxatives I took. My weight was fluctuating between 95 – 101 lbs…and I thought it was great!

I had my surgery in the fall of 2007, after which I spent about 2 weeks on my couch not moving at all. I found myself in one of the darkest places I’d ever been. I wasn’t drinking, but my healing process had come to a complete halt.

So when I stepped on that scale, on that sunny morning, and saw the number 105, I had a complete meltdown. After calming myself down (only slightly) I did the only thing I knew how to do…I called my sister (who is also a recovering alcoholic) and asked for help.

It’s been almost 2 years since I got out of Rehab, and I have my share of both good and bad days…but just the thought of having to be dropped off at that rehab again scares me enough to be aware when my weight starts to go down.

Every now and then I see pictures that were taken of me when I was at my worst with this disease. It is not pretty…bones and protruding rib cages are not attractive. I thank God and my loved ones for whatever part they took in my intervention…I am alive, and happy!

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Comments 32 comments

Alicia 6 years ago

Mom that one was really good!!


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you Alicia.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas

Wendi, this is quite an accomplishment in more ways than one. The writing is great. I was engrossed from the first sentence. The story was valuable to tell. No matter how many stories are out there, someone will always relate to yours better. I hope you’re planning more hubs on this topic.


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you rmcrayne. I can't tell you how much this means to me, coming from you.


Mom Marshall 6 years ago

Bravo Wendi. You have more strength than you will ever know.

Love you baby.


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thanks mom, I'm getting there. This is all part of my healing process.


wyanjen profile image

wyanjen 6 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

Keep on writing Wendi. Let it all pour out - it's healthy.

I don't have the nerve to let other people read my own personal writing, but getting it on paper is enough for me. As I mentioned before, you are a brave person and I will continue to read your work.

Peace to you

Jen


lyricsingray 6 years ago

Wendi, nice job. Really well written. My sister has suffered from this most of her life and I feel so helpless. Thank you for spreading awareness on such a way to often problem. Kimberly


Aqua profile image

Aqua 6 years ago from California

Very powerful Wendi. I do hope you write more on this topic. It will be good for you and for others too.


Aqua profile image

Aqua 6 years ago from California


Aqua profile image

Aqua 6 years ago from California


Cheri 6 years ago

Awesome, Wendi! I love you more than words can say and I'm am so proud to have you as my sister. I feel like we're making up for all of the years we were apart.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Love, Cheri


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you everybody for all of the encouragement...as difficult as this was to write, it was even more difficult to actually publish. However, I do feel a little better now that it's out there.


Kat60 6 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story Wendi. You are brave and most importantly alive! While I do not suffer with this terrible affliction, people close to me- sister,roommate and brother-in-law suffered immensely with this disorder.

My brother-in-law actually died d/t years of abusing laxatives. God Bless you and remain strong!


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you Kat, I'm so sorry about your brother-in-law. I am very thankful for the people in my life who helped me get through this...most of all though, I am thankful to be alive and healthy.

And Cheri, this goes without saying...I love you too!


Lapis Lazuli profile image

Lapis Lazuli 6 years ago from Seattle, Wa

Your daughter, your mother, your sister and your friends all posted a comment in here. Wow !

Your hub moved me and the comments of your loved one touched me deeply. I am very new at Hubpage, I still have not published my first Hub. I am too busy reading many hubs. Today I read about E=MC2 and tonight I am reading about your challenges with life.

Your story is one I will remember because you dared expose your greatest secret " your vulnerability " with your addictions. We are all afflicted with addictions and the worst of them all are emotional addictions. My hat to you lady, you dared speak on all of our behalf.

It is people like you that inspire many of us to believe that persistance is the hope we all seek. The secret you reveal in your hub is that in order to pull yourself out of a deep and dark wormhole, you must become your own best caregiver to your body and your mind.

Wendy, I am 5'2" and once upon a time, I weight 199 pound. Can you imagine how I felt. Then one day, I decided to take charge of my life and to change how I eat. As a result, I lost 69 pounds and not only did I feel better in my body, I was much happier in my mind.

The obsession of weight loss is the curse of America. At the same time, we have a serious epidemy of obesity where 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight. I see many women who weight between 350 to 450 pounds. It breaks my heart to see how much out of control they are with their bodies and their addictions.

Wendy, you were from the other side of the scale and you did indeed conquer your greatest nemesis. It does not matter which side of the scale we are on, what matters is to learn to respect the human body we wear. We only have one body and one chance in life.

I will never forget your story.

Go Wendi Go !

BTW Greetings from Seattle

Caroline


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you so much Caroline. I have been through a rather hard life, most of which I did to myself, and it is feedback like yours that is giving me the strength and courage to write about some of the challenges I've had.

BTW most of what you wrote in this comment, about your own accomplishment, would be a great blog.

Also...welcome, this is great place to meet some wonderful people.

Wendi


Lapis Lazuli profile image

Lapis Lazuli 6 years ago from Seattle, Wa

I just got home and I hoped you had left a comment to my comment. You did and as a result you put a big grin on my face.

I want to write a hub but I still can't figure out where the heck I am supposed to post it so I can preview it before I publish it. I have asked the help of 3 hubbers so far, and each one is trying the best they can to help me. To no avail.

I was told to write my hub in Words first then post it but where. I have followed all the steps necessary and the last step asked me to post a picture or a text in an empty capsule. Is the empty capsule where I post my Hub ? I am that green with the computer world. I must be able to preview my Hub before I publish it. That is why I have not published anything yet, because I don't even know how to delete it in case I can't preview it.

I must tell you that you are very fortunate to have such a close family. I understand the tragedy you have survived and I am also a witness to the love that surrounds you.

I am an avid researcher and my drive is to inspire many to become aware of themselves, in all respects. I had to wake up first in order to help those who cross my path.

I discovered in my researches that what we eat greatly affects how we think and how we feel. I also discovered that we become addicted to alcohol and drugs because of the chemical reactions and addictions it induces in our brain.

When we quit smoking, quit drinking and quit chemical addictions induced by over the counter drugs or prescribed drugs, we reprogram the connections in our brain that made us an addict. It is possible to reprogram with inadequate resources and the results is severe mood swings.

Think of your brain like a forest of trees. You are on a paved road with huge trees on each side of the road. Sometimes, the branches of the trees touches one another from each side of the road and form a tunnel and sometimes the branches do not touch each other. Well, when you quit an addiction, you pruned the branches so much that they no longer touch each other. The darkness cast on the road by the shadows of the branches no longer exist and now the sun is blarring in your eyes.

Will alone made you force yourself to stop what was destroying you. Will is simply a drive, it is not necessarily knowledge.

The main reason why too many fall back into alcohol or drug/chemical dependancies is because they have a chemical imbalance in their blood stream. What you eat becomes the blood that pumps your heart. Remove all the sugar contained in alcohol from your diet and soon enough, it will be replaced with sugar found in fast food and sugar drinks. The side effects of processed sugar is impatience and the root of anger is impatience. We get impatient because we pretend we must follow a deadline, or else !

I almost died of a massive heart attack in 2006 and I flat out refused to call 911. My blood type is the rarest one (O Neg) and if I had called 911, I would have been DOA at the emergency room. The only way I can survive any surgery is with a blood donor on my side. I know no one who would dare. I know very few of the same blood type as mine, so I had no choice. Instead, I did the same as you did, I took responsibility for my ignorance towards the way I had been treating my body. I was a heavy smoker and ate junk food everyday, eventhough I thought a Salad from McDonald was healthy. There is more sugar in a salad from McDonald than there is sugar in Chicken McNuggets. They keep us ignorant because they make a lot of money from our ignorance.

2 Days after my heart attack, I finally quit smoking because I could no longer breathe. Ding bat I was. I took no drugs, no medications and my acute pain actually became my barometer to my healing. First the pain was the size of a grapefruit in my heart, 24/7 pain, and after 3 years, now the pain is the size of a mustard seed in my heart, on occasions. I followed the voice inside of my head and I retrained myself to eat healthy. Really healthy. I only quit drinking coffee a little over a year ago. A little bit at a time goes a long way. Life cannot be all lived in one day. The road to recovery is a most rewarding journey there is. One step at a time, it is the only way we know how to walk.

Today, when I have a sugar craving, I take a spoon full of unstrapped molasse that is on standby in my fridge. It is loaded with iron.

I am telling you all of this so you too, learn to feed your body in such a way, that you no longer have mood swing for no reasons. Yesterday, I started reading a book about Microbiotics upon the insistance of my roomate. She wanted to show me how right on I have been about my eating habits simply by following the voice within me. Like me, Wendi, you need proof that you do indeed listen to the voice inside of you.

Wendi, you are aware today so you get to enjoy your grandkids. You are so true to the spirit inside of you, you are more alive today than ever before.

Yes, I do write long comments because I can and it rejuvenates me. I used to have a huge following with my blogs on Yahoo360 because I made many think. And as a result, they made me think as well. I lost all the blogs I wrote, many were stolen and I did not saved any. I have too much to say and the more I write, the better I feel. I have so much to say, I never had the time to reread what I wrote. I wrote too many blogs. Now, I must discover the world of Hubs and learn how to post a hub. Why is it so challenging when it seems like a piece of cake to all of you.

The more I wrote, the more I forgot about my physical pain. My healing remedy has been my keyboard.

I feel akin to you somehow. I feel as vulnerable as you.

And believe it or not, I am laughing in joy simply by allowing my self to write the longest comment ever on your HUB. Heck, why not. I am the only one who can make my rules, my way.

Before my mother died last year, I told her that I flat out refuse to die because I flat out refuse to let anyone tell me I should die, especially upon their deadlines.

I am alive today because I never let a doctor tell me I had 4 months to heal of my heart attack or else I would die. My brain dictates how to heal my body and my body cannot and will not heal on a deadline. Deadlines are the curse of our reality.

Wendi, you and I have gone this far with our lives, that is how awesome we have become.

We have under our skull the smartest machines of all times. So smart is the brain, not one human can reproduce it in a lab. So smart is our brain, it can heal us from any diseases, addictions and sorrows that have contaminated us once upon a time.

We are indeed a bag of emotional addictions and we have yet to discover that the greatest emotion we have yet to discover is the unconditional emotion called love. All the emotions that are conditionals, all have deadlines. Love is i.e. is without conditions.

To simply love is to be in the moment, regardless of the past, the future and the deadlines.

Your last comment to my comment is that you welcomed me and you told me that the HUBPages is a great place to meet wonderful people. If only you knew you were talking about yourself, you too would be laughing right now as I am.

I am a psychic, a trained psychic for many many years. I follow my heart and I listen to the voice inside of me.

I LIKE your energy, I have yet to discover why ?

lol

lol

Greetings again, this time, from my humble living room. I have a fire burning in my fireplace as today we had our first frost of the season.

Wendi, a pleasure indeed to have crossed your path.

As you can see, I am one of your newest fan, because I could not resist. You see what really happens when you have fans, they can chat non stop into your comment box.

A Bientot Belle Amie

Un tres grand plaisir d'avoir fait ta connaissance

Caroline Couture Taylor


Lissa Lynn profile image

Lissa Lynn 6 years ago from upstate NY

Wendi-Wow, what an amazing woman you are. My little sister struggled with bulimia when she was younger and I know what a horrific journey it can be. Kudos to you on being sober and healthy again! Thanks for sharing your story!


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you Lissa, but I had a lot of help...when I was ready to ask for it.


Manly Man profile image

Manly Man 6 years ago

That was a well-written and moving autobiographical piece. I hope many others read it and avoid similar problems. The models for women's clothing also contribute to these kinds of problems from what I've read. Fortunately, I don't have any experience with bulimia, but I did have an uncle who died of alcohol-related problems at an early age.


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

My dad died of alcohol-related problems at the age of 65, I didn't want my life to end the way his did.


Suzie Parker profile image

Suzie Parker 6 years ago

Wendi M,

Thanks for sharing your story. I wish you all of the best :)

Suzie


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you Suzie.


NaomiR profile image

NaomiR 6 years ago from New York

Congratulations on having the courage to ask for help and get through this. Wishing you all the best.


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

Thank you for sharing your story, for people who have not experienced this problem (themselves or a loved one) it is very difficult to understand the very real dangers. It sounds like you experienced a very severe experience with this problem, I too had problems with my weight and eating and thankfully got help before I could do myself real and lasting damage. My diet is still very important to me but its a healthy diet I aim for as I know that by eating junk food, over eating or under eating can all lead back to depression and I do not ever want to go back there!


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you kirsten, and I agree with you about the "not ever wanting to go back there" with both the eating disorder and drinking!


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 6 years ago from Georgia USA

You are an inspiration to us all. Amazing, thank you for sharing this story!


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you Ladybird.


AdviceDoctor 6 years ago

You should be going to schools with educational presentations to teenagers. Show them what alcohol & obsessive fear of gaining weight can do.

You're amazing.

You've had a traumatizing life, yet you managed to pull yourself up.

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. !


organized living profile image

organized living 3 years ago from Magnolia, AR

Great article! It has left me with the feeling of having walked a block or two in your shoes. If that was your intention well done! I think anorexia is very hard for people to empathize with, if they have had no personal experience of it. Your writing brings the experience home and that can only help us understand the seriousness of this condition. Again, great work, and well done!


Wendi M profile image

Wendi M 3 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thank you so much. Yes, most of my hubs are to, not only help me work through my feelings, but help others as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Wendi

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