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Eating Disorder Stories

Stories of Victims of Anorexia

Voices--Not Bodies: What on earth does this mean?
When I was first hospitalized for anorexia, my doctor said to me "Claire, you are obviously in a lot of pain. Why don't you try using your voice instead of your body to tell me that you are hurting, to tell me what you need." This baffled me at that time--I didn't need anything.

Blinded By The Light Bulb
I just woke up and turned on the lamp next to my bed. Since it's nighttime I was blinding by the brightness of the bulb. A while back I experienced the same type of effect in my life.

The Skeleton In My Closet
My graduation dress made a surprise appearance from the back of my closet last spring. The kids dug it out in an effort to supply vintage clothing for a fashion show the local high school was hosting. The fabric was brittle with the accumulated filth of thirty years; the yellow chiffon muted under a layer of dust. The green velvet ribbon around the empire waste had faded to a melancholy gray, the elongated bow dropping like the ears of a well loved stuffed toy.

Kathy Carey
Kathy Carey used to rise each morning before her husband and children, even before the sun, to go on a ten mile run. Many of her friends admired her for her athleticism and physical appearance. She often heard people comment "I'd love to have legs like yours." Her husband frequently told her how proud he was of how she looked. Even her doctor said that she was impressed with her ability to drop the weight so quickly after giving birth to her third child.

Holly: A Student's Story of Hope
I look like a normal, well-adjusted 15-year-old high school sophomore. I like talking to friends on the phone, riding my bike, watching TV, and spending time with my boyfriend. I make above average grades and like math and science classes the best. However, about a year ago, my weight dropped to 72 pounds. I lay in a hospital bed with unkempt hair, fragile limbs and a sunken face. I was seriously ill. The villainous disease was not cancer or AIDS. I had anorexia, a condition which afflicts many teens and young adults, especially young women.

Down The Rabbit Hole
"You've ruined everything. You gave in. You're weak," I whispered fiercely. The eyes in the mirror filled with tears. I looked away from her, allowing her the space to cry. My eyes fell on the red door to the handicapped stall of the stark bathroom. I walked slowly toward it, wiping my eyes on my sleeve. I took a fateful step into that stall, and tumbled down the rabbit hole.

Diary of an Anorexic
A poor self-image. A low self-esteem. A yearning for a better body. A loss of control. These are things that most anorexics have in common. I know, because all these things once described me. The following excerpts from my journal cover all phases of the disorder: how I fell prey to it, my conflicted feelings during recovery, and the revelation of how even now—more than a decade later—my experience with anorexia has forever changed me.

My Story
I don't really know how it happened. It had been a very bad weekend and I had come home, screaming at my mother in the car the whole way, walked inside, slammed the door, headed for the fridge and took out a Marie Calendar's frozen cheese ravioli dinner, even though I really wasn't hungry. I microwaved it, grew impatient, and ate it half frozen. And then I felt sick. I could feel the slushy tomato sauce rotting in my stomach. And I wanted to throw up.

My Story of Anorexia  
I had this disorder for 3 years. The reason no one know about the anorexia is because I was like that in the summer of 97. I can tell you it won't go away on its own - it just causes you more emotional, social and psychological problems. I got the bulimia after my grandma died and at the time my family member was in Vista, a 3 month program.

How Anorexia Feels
Eating disorders are diseases of silence. We are all silently screaming for something: attention, love, help, escape or forgiveness. Although we might be looking to fill different voids, we never ask for the things we need. We feel unworthy, that for some reason we don't deserve them. So, we play the game of guess what I need from you. You're inability to guess just feeds our feelings of worthlessness.

Back from the brink of an eating disorder
I come from San Francisco, California, where I grew up in a family that most people would consider "normal" in most respects. But to me, it was a quite painful family situation. My parents and all of my four brothers and sisters are compulsive-addictive types, and each of us has battled attachments to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, food, sex, sports, or other vices. Many of us continue to struggle with these addictions.

Finding balance between the extremes of denial and indulgence.
During the winter of 1991, I began experiencing chronic digestion problems. The main symptoms I experience when this occurs are that I get very bloated after meals and sometimes feel like I have a rock in my stomach. I become very lethargic, low-energy, and depressed. I am not sure whether, when this occurs, there is some sort of obstruction to the food's passage, but digestion is obviously very disturbed and seriously slowed if not virtually halted at times. When it first began, I would sometimes get these awful-tasting burps like food was rotting in my gut.

The Elisa Project
I am your excuse, your outlet for pain and your best support. You've needed me to survive the last years. I make you isolate and forget your problems. I numb your feeling and make you warm inside. I protect you from the world which can be so bitter and heartless. I make you miss out on the "precious present." I make you sick. I make you cry. I make you emotional. I make you crazy. I make nothing else matter. And, if you don't let go, I WILL MAKE YOU DIE.

Dad and Me
He was the bravest smartest and strongest person in my eyes. He was the one who taught me how to swim, ride a bike, and climb trees. He was my father. I remember how he would carry me in his strong and loving arms, how we would go to the park nearby and climb our favorite tree. How he would play his guitar all day and I would never tired of listening to him. He was my idol, my hero.

The Picture of Anorexia
My senior year in high school, I was on the honor society, a valuable member of the track team, well-liked by all my friends, I lived in a comfortable middle-class home, and seemed to have had a pleasantly normal childhood. Regardless of all the comfort one would think I possessed as a result of my upbringing, I was uncomfortable in my own body. I hated myself. I thought I was fat and as a result I had very low self esteem. I just had this idea that all anorexics have which is, everything will be fine if I'm thinner. It wasn't something I planned but that year in high school I became anorexic.

Email to a Friend
My name is Jill and my situation is a lot like yours in many ways, however, these days I am trying hard to recover and have decided that I no longer want bulimia to be a part of my life, because life with it pretty much sucks.  And life without it (from what I've experienced a short time) seems so much more peaceful and real.  And a hell of a lot less confusing! Anyway, I have been bulimic since I was 12 and I am now 27.

First Time I Purged
I wanted to write about the first time I ever purged. I was very traumatized over an incident that happened to me a month earlier with a young man. I was going to restaurants with a friend that was bulimic for five years when we met. She was trying to teach me how to purge. I watched her and tried to copy her techniques but I wasn't able to do it. I finally bought some ipecac syrup ,it worked but i felt like my heart was going to burst. Needless to say I continued to try to purge myself. I remember the first time I was able to raise the undigested food from my stomach. I was so happy I was crying. (or so I thought)

Katherine's Story
As I entered the Colony Ballroom last Thursday night, I was filled with hope. There I saw hundreds of students gathered to hear a lecture of the mass media's negative affect on women's body image and eating disorders. As I waited for the lecture to begin, I thought about how much progress has been made in raising the level of awareness of eating disorders in recent years. I felt comforted to think of the support that would be given to those who suffer from eating disorders on our campus from the men and women who demonstrated sensitivity enough to participate in this event.

Mary's Story
My anorexia became full blown at 13. I battled food issues for years before that, however. Mom was always on one diet or another, and I often was hooked into becoming her dieting partner--and oftentimes, competitor. Both of our food struggles, I see now, only diverted our--and the entire family's--attention from the emotional turmoil permeating our household.

Student's Story
For nearly 10 years, Jason Burroughs, a senior neurobiology and physiology major, has been fighting for his life. Burroughs has fought to control his weight since middle school, along with an estimated eight million American men and women who suffer from eating disorders. Burroughs has always been active. He was involved in gymnastics in elementary school, which contributed to his "skin and bones" appearance.