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Memories of my battle with eating disorders

Every Tuesday, Mama shares a personal story. This story was sent to us by an Anonymous person.

I am 22 now, and I would like to share my story about my past with eating disorders.

I was a chubby child. My mother took me to a child psychologist when I was only four years old. As I grew older my mother continued to make comments about my weight. Coupled with pressure from the media to be thin, I began my journey with eating disorders.

As I hit puberty, my weight ballooned and I became bulimic at 14. I also felt pressure to be thin because I was drum major of my band and president of several social and academic clubs in my high school.

I grew up in a wealthy family with a live in housekeeper. I always found ways to hide my bulimia from her.

I was only bulimic for two years before I realized I wasn’t losing weight and my health was declining.

At 16, my mother bought me Metabolife. (Yes, that was when ephedra was legal). Metabolife was the catalyst that started my life-long battle with bipolar disorder. I became manic and ate nothing but a snickers bar each day.

I am 5’6″ and I got pretty skeletal. When I was diagnosed, I was put on Lithium, which made me gain 60 lbs.

I moved to NYC for college at a prestigious fashion school and became manic and suicidal at the same time.

I was so mentally unstable that I got into a situation where I was slipped a date rape drug and nearly died. I woke up convulsing in St. Vincent’s emergency room, the main trauma center for 911.

Four years have passed and I am now stable and on medication. I am a healthy and muscular size 0 and food no longer rules my life.

I am an entrepreneur in the fashion industry, and even though I have reached my ideal image and have a healthy level of self-confidence, memories of my battle with eating disorders are never far from my mind.

– Anonymous

Everyday Is A New Day: my struggle to stay thin

Every Tuesday, Mama shares a personal story. This story was sent to us by Haley.

“Everyday is a new day,” I would say to myself and pretend tomorrow would be better. Tomorrow will be different. Well yeah, it’s not Monday anymore, but the same struggles and bad feelings are still there. They don’t just creep off in my sleep, but they sometimes show up in my dreams.

I suffer from bulimia. Like many people who suffer, I chose to keep it to myself. I guess that is part of the disease, to be sneaky and mysterious, but for me that is the worst thing.

I have always been open about my problems and I’ve always been able to talk to people about things most people would be embarrassed to talk about. But, I enjoy embarrassing moments, I live for them! It’s part of my quirky personality. Although, I don’t feel very honest when I describe myself anymore.

My bulimia has gotten really bad and I feel like I am mean and rudely sarcastic. I feel under pressure with the smallest tasks. I find sorry excuses to flake on people and class. All I have in life right now is school, and I can’t even dedicate myself to school. It use to make me happy, courageous, motivated and creative, but now I dread getting ready and seeing people.

I hate to leave the house, but I hate to be home alone. On times when no one is around and I have that little thought about food, I freak. I try so hard to think of something else because I can not be alone. I used to be able to be alone, actually.

Now, I don’t even know who I am anymore. I wish I could give up and turn myself in, tell someone, or go get help, but I am not as courageous. I feel like I am dying a slow death. That isn’t very courageous, now is it?

– Haley

Goodbye my friend, I am letting go

The time has come to say good bye. I still love and care about you but I’ve decided, “I just don’t like you anymore”. The past few years, I’ve done too much head shaking, wondering about your judgment, and wishing for the times of yesteryear. All too often, I wonder, “Why did she say that?” “Did she really mean that?” Too many times, I’ve thought, “Hum, the person I grew up with would have never said that. Did she change because of her career, or is it because of the husband who made her happy but few wanted her to marry?” I’m tired of wondering. No more guessing. I stare into the gaze of facts. Facts that whisper in my ear in times of loneliness and sorrow. Facts that say, “We aren’t the friends we used to be.”

I sometimes think about more simple times. Times when it didn’t matter what car we drove or the cost per square footage of our homes. Times when when we would take out the pillows of our parents’ couch to look for coins so we could go see a movie at the cheap theater.

I don’t like the “New You”. I haven’t liked the “New You” for the past few years.

Farewell my friend. I wish you the best.

– Mama

Personal Story: My battle with migraines

Every Tuesday Mama shares a personal story.
This week’s story was written by an Anonymous person

I am a 33 year old male. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was diagnosed with migraines since I was 3 years old. My migraines occur when I wake up 99% of the time. I used to get them once a week. Now I get them once every 2 weeks.

Just for the record. My family has spent thousands of dollars trying to help me with this problem. Hypnosis, Biofeedback, medications, diet, and massage therapy. Some of these things have helped, like bio feedback, midrine, and the use of caffeine (after reducing my caffeine content to two cup of coffee or sodas a day.) And Massage to help me relax, or remove stress. These have helped but have not removed the migraine problem.

I know that my migraines are triggered by too much sleep, not enough sleep, and drastic change in weather, alcohol, and stress. The one strange thing that others have not mentioned is that I also get them if I’m too happy or sad. Extreme emotion seems to trigger a Migraine. My birthdays, Christmas, and vacations have always triggered the most intense migraines. Over the years I have learned not to get too overly emotional either way. It has helped me to control the migraine attacks. I must live a drama free life!

I have also noticed that if I have a stressful situation the migraine seems to occur when I have a chance to relax. I think that is why most of my migraines occur on Saturdays, after a stressful week.

I currently take Midrine for my migraines. They do help in getting rid of an attack, as long as it’s before vomiting set in. I have also used marijuana for emergencies where I am vomiting and cannot keep medication down. I know it’s a controversial method but it helps. I keep a device called a one-hitter for these emergencies. And only use it when vomiting occurs.

Migraines have been a monster for me all my life. It has affected my childhood, my education, (especially where attendance is important) my personal life, my choices in life, (cannot be a pilot, or even management) and my career, (again with attendance). I have been fortunate to find a company that understands my situation and doesn’t use my attendance to evaluate me in reviews. But there is an understanding that a management position cannot be.

There doesn’t seem to be a pill or technique that will remove the migraines. To even reduce the severity to once every 2 to 6 months would improve my ability to function in life. I read about people complaining about the pain, but not about how they live with the problems migraines create in everyday life.

It also amazes me that after 33 years there still isn’t a cure.

Eating disorder: my struggle to stay alive

Every Tuesday Mama shares a personal story.
This week’s story was written by Kristen

My name is Kristen, I am 15 years old. If someone were to describe me they would probably say something like she’s nice, funny, and crazy. But people who know me better would not go with those words at all. Maybe that’s what I was two years ago, but now I’m far from those things.

I am suffering with an eating disorder. Over these two years that I have been struggling with this, they have been the most depressing, terrible years of my life. The problems started when I was in the 8th grade, that’s when I started puberty. I would notice things about myself and other girls that normally, I would have never paid attention to.

I was comparing myself to other girls and wishing that I could have what they had. But in 8th grade, I was so thin. I started to question that. I became obsessed with watching what girls around me would eat. I would go online and look up pictures of girls who were thin. I would hang out with my best friend and just admire the great things about her that she had that I didn’t. I would watch her eat, notice how much she would take-in and I would try to control what I ate but I would always out-eat her. But, what I couldn’t see, was that I just had a larger appetite.

As time went on, I would routinely be checking my calories. I didn’t even understand what was too much and what was good for me. I became obsessed with looking at myself in the mirror and criticizing myself and tearing myself apart. I began dieting, taking diet pills. Checking my weight many times a day. When I couldn’t lose the weight I started to become really down on myself thinking I couldn’t do anything right. I would hate myself for not being able to lose weight.

That’s when I started making myself throw up, not too much, but at least once a day. I didn’t lose weight, but it gave me a little bit of relief. At some point between the 8th and 9th grade, friends would tell me I was looking really thin. But, that was because I was thin to begin with and loosing three pounds was noticeable.

Towards the end of 9th grade, my best friend and I would start fighting a lot because she hated my boyfriend. I loved him, but this caused a lot of problems with me and her. This put so much stress on my shoulders and I stopped eating. Before summer me and my boyfriend went on a “break” and things were a little better, but things with my best friend were still not the same.

She went away in the summer to go to her beach house. I was alone at home and I started hanging out with different people, because I didn’t really have anyone to hang out with.

One day I was hanging out with one of my old friends, and she looked really thin, she told me that she was taking some new diet pills that had made her lose a lot of weight. I asked her what they were, she told me, and I went out and got them. They worked like magic. I swear I lost a pound every day. I was never hungry. It surprised me so much, because never have I ever been able to restrict food so much.

I went days without food and I felt amazing. I saw the change in my body and I loved it. I lost eight pounds and I thought it was pretty noticeable, but what really bothered me was that my mom didn’t say anything to me. She didn’t care, and she didn’t worry. That’s what I was working on, and I don’t know why, making my mom worry. For some reason I wanted her too. And when she did we began to clash. My mom was so worried, and so were all my friends and family members. I hated it, everyone would try and make me eat and I just wanted everyone to leave me alone. No one could control me, I didn’t eat and everyone knew I wouldn’t.

After about a week of my mom nagging me about eating, my family went on a vacation to New Jersey for a week. It was with my cousins, my family, and family friends. I was so excited, I thought it would be fun. It was a disaster. No one could be around me Everyone was mad at me. People were worried, and crying, hating me, and criticizing me. While in New Jersey, I fainted almost three times. I couldn’t move without everything in my vision going black. My body felt like it was heavy and dying.

When I came back from New Jersey, I immediately went to my best friend’s house, who was now home. One look at me and her eyes filled up with tears, she looked at me with surprise and fright. We sat on her couch and just talked and cried. She could feel my pain, and I could tell. But being with her made me feel comfortable.

We all decided to go out for dinner (me, her, her mom, and her sister) we got there and as I was about to order, I started crying. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t eat. I hadn’t noticed that I had got to the point that I was afraid to eat. I could not force myself to eat anything. I was scared, and I knew that I was in serious trouble.

I slept at her house that night and the next day my mom came over and told me she wanted to take me to the hospital. I laughed in her face and said no way. But, I went because everyone was insisting that I go. On the way there, I knew that this wasn’t going to be good. I knew even thought I denied it, I was not okay. We got to the hospital and they admitted me into the ER.

I had lost over twenty pounds and was less then 80 percent of my recommended body weight. I was 5’5 and I weighed 97 pounds. The doctors told me I almost died, that my pulse was so low that if I hadn’t come to the hospital that day I would have had heart failure.

I was on feeding tubes for three days untill I was moved to the rehab in the hospital. There I stayed for three weeks and I gained 6 pounds. I had to leave because my parents insurance wouldn’t pay for it anymore. I went home and the first meal I had in front of me I cried. I cried and cried for the next month.

School came and I thought people were going to think I was fat, but they didn’t. It’s been a month and a half since summer and I weight 103 pounds.

I go to therapy twice a week and to a nurse practitioner where they weigh me and check my heart and everything else. My eating disorder has almost destroyed me; it has almost killed me and I have lost almost all my friends. It is a battle everyday, but I still fight.

My name is Mama and I have an addiction

When it comes to food, I am totally addicted. A bad mood, or even worst, a bad day can be completely erased with the right mixture of meat, veggies, potatoes, and a colorful drink.

Friendships have been made and lost over food. I still remember the time I thanked a ‘distant-relative’ by taking her out for lunch. She did the unthinkable and ordered soup, salad, a martini, a lobster dinner (market priced) and dessert. I was a mere college sophomore and could barely feed myself, let alone pay for a seafood feast. Needless to say, she doesn’t get much love around the holidays.

Today, one of my biggest obsessions is Carrot, Apple, Beet juice from the Whole Foods Juice Bar. I know, it sounds awful. Who in their right mind would want to drink carrot, apple, beet juice? Me. It is actually quite tasty. Oh, and the health benefits are amazing. It is an energy booster, colon cleanser, and immunity booster all rolled in one.

What is your addiction?

– Mama

Fighting Lupus: My personal story

Every Tuesday Mama shares a personal story.
This week’s story was written by an Anonymous person

I’m a 38 year old single mom with a 17 year old son. I was diagnosed with Lupus 15 years ago and have had it come and go in and out of remission.

About six years ago it came out with a vengeance. We have tried every known medication, treatment, chemo all to no avail. Now my only hope is that a stem cell transplant will work, or that God will come and heal me. I don’t feel that my work here is done and I have been unwilling to give up the fight. But it’s been hard.

I went from doing all kinds of volunteer work with kids every day and working two jobs for me and my son, to being pretty much sentenced to a chair. I have been unable to do much, especially in the past year. The fatigue and pain gets unbearable. I cry over stupid things and wish that this was one big nightmare. But it’s not, it’s real and it doesn’t want to let go.

It’s hard on my family, especially my mom, to see me this way and I fight for all of them. But, what I do now isn’t living, especially when I used to be so active.

I pray all the time and I don’t understand why my prayers haven’t been answered. At first I said, I’ll go through this if it means one person could be helped. I still mean this, but with each passing day it gets harder to say that.

No one in my family has Lupus and I thank God for that every day. I would gladly take the pain for any of them. I spent most of 07 and 08 in the hospital. I was Lifeflighted eight times that year and they nearly lost me twice.

There are no support groups, not that I could get out anyway’s, in my area. I happen to stumbled up on this web site. If I can say one thing is that you can’t give up. You have to find that one thing in life that means everything to you and fight for it. Someday, someway, they will find the right answers to Lupus, and I hope I’m around to see and receive them.

– Anonymous

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