I was wondering if you had any advice at all about how you overcame eating disorder/ other problems when younger? 

Because I’m 21 and bulimic and kind of like a failed university student, as in I’m meant to be in my fourth year now of Arts/Law in Sydney, but I haven’t completed a single subject this year and have a history of withdrawing from subjects/ only doing part-time loads because I essentially feel afraid that I’m not going to do well enough so I don’t even try.

And I’m kind of at a point now where it feels like my life is over, and I have no future in anything, and I’m fat, and can’t seem to do anything and that I’m completely alone (even though I somehow have a really lovely boyfriend, but we are currently fighting because I keep feeling like he doesn’t want/ like me because I don’t feel worthy and he feels really upset that I don’t believe his words/ actions that are apparently evidence that he does like/ want me.)

I am on the 6-8 week waiting list to go to a residential/ inpatient psychiatric hospital to try and deal with the Depression/ Bulimia. But still, until then, and even after then, I just don’t understand how/ what I’m meant to do?

3 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You are not in as bad shape as you think you are.

    Don’t worry about not doing school right now. I missed two years of college being bulimic and insane and hating myself. In the long run, it didn’t matter that I wasted those two years. Those years don’t show up on your resume, you will never have to talk about them in job interviews, and no one cares how long it takes you to get through school. It’s much more important to figure out mental health issues than it is to get good grades.

    The biggest problem with your throwing up is that (I’m assuming) you are sneaky and hiding, and that’s not good for your relationship. It helped me a lot to be able to tell my boyfriend “Go away. I’m going to throw up now.” At least then he knew that I was not avoiding him for some mysterious reason. I know this sounds insane, but look, you just need some tools to get yourself to where you get mental health services, right?

    Don’t let the throwing up do long-term damage to your teeth. Rinse your mouth out with water after you throw up. Don’t brush your teeth right after. That will help lessen the damage to your teeth. Also, try to throw up food that you know will come up easily so you don’t have to torture yourself throwing up. Recognize that you are throwing up to solve some other emotional problem—it’s not about food. so you will need to solve the emotional problem to stop the throwing up. You can’t do that alone, so don’t get angry at yourself for throwing up right now. It’s a brain chemistry thing, but the problem is solvable. You have already signed up to get help. That’s the smartest thing you can do.

    i guess what I want you to remember most is that you are going to be okay. You are going to learn to not hate yourself. Other people your age are not showing how hard it is for them, but it is hard for so many people.

    Be patient with yourself. Be kind to your boyfriend if you cannot be kind to yourself. Try to be reasonable and not tell him every single thing you’re feeling. Try to keep him—keeping a good relationship is good for you.

    Make sure you get mental health services. You have to have help with this. You can’t solve it on your own. No one can.

    Penelope

  2. Sadya
    Sadya says:

    This deserves to be on your main blog. Just heartfelt, practical and reassuring talk. Hope the 21yr old Sydney girl gets healthy soon.

  3. Juliette
    Juliette says:

    I like this response, too, Penelope. I like that you tell her how to manage her condition today. I’d suggest using the system advocated by Dr. Ellie on her site: http://www.drellie.com/ I’ve used it. The first step is to use a mouthwash that neutralizes your mouth so that when you brush, you’re not scouring your teeth.

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