An anonymous contributing writer submitted this post as a Reader Submission for Gurl. We love hearing your stories! If you’d like to submit your writing to Gurl, please send us an email at email@example.com.
Being a teenage girl is probably one of the hardest things in the world. There’s just so much pressure on us to be skinny, beautiful and perfect in every way at all times. This pressure causes a lot of girls to get stressed out and do things that hurt themselves just to become or stay skinny. I was one of those girls.
I used to be bulimic. I started dealing with these issues at a young age. By the time I was 13-years-old, I had already been dealing with bad depression and had been self-harming. I had low self-esteem and the fact that my two best friends were super skinny and beautiful didn’t help with that at all. I had always been slightly overweight, so I was very self-conscious, especially around them. They could wear whatever they wanted and look gorgeous in it and every guy in school wanted to be with them – but no one wanted me. I thought that guys only liked super skinny girls and that if I ever wanted to have a boyfriend, I needed to become super skinny.
At first, I tried losing weight the healthy way. I started becoming more active and eating healthier – but it wasn’t working fast enough for me. I felt like I had to take drastic measures in order to get drastic results. So I started purging. Every time I ate, I immediately went to the bathroom to make myself throw up.
The first time I made myself throw up, I didn’t know when to stop, so I just did it until my stomach hurt too bad to do it anymore. I cried the whole time and afterwards, I felt even worse than I’d ever felt before. My hands were extremely shaky, my heart was racing, my stomach hurt too bad to move and I felt sick and drained. But I thought it was worth it, so I kept doing it, every chance I got.
I thought of new places I could purge all the time. I would go to the bathroom in school at times when I knew no one else was in there. I made myself throw up in stores, restaurants, friends houses... pretty much anywhere. I felt sad that this was my “only option” for losing weight, but I thought that it was just what I had to do, that it was completely worth it.
After about two or three weeks, I started getting compliments left and right. I felt like I was on top of the world, so I kept purging on and off for about two years. I was starving myself too, on and off. One time, I actually went three whole days without eating. I was falling apart, but all I could see was that I was getting thinner every day. I never got to the point of being dangerously thin, but I easily could have.
The weird thing was that no one ever noticed that I was purging. I pretended to be perfectly happy and I guess I’m a really good actor because everyone believed me. No one noticed all of the bad side effects that were starting to show, like my hands shaking or my hair becoming really brittle and sort of falling out – none of it. No one knew about any of it until I told them.
The first person I told was my boyfriend. When we met, he made me feel like the most beautiful, sexy, gorgeous girl in the whole world. He helped boost my self-confidence by showing me how great I was. When I told him about what I was doing to myself, he was shocked. He couldn’t understand why I would try to change when in his eyes, I was perfect.
I’m not going to lie to you, I have had a few relapses – but that is just a part of recovery. Relapsing is really hard to deal with, because I really want to stay strong – not only to make my boyfriend proud of me, but also to make myself proud. I try to stay strong because of how much better I feel when I don’t purge.
Through listening to inspiring music and seeing self-love Tumblr posts, I have come to love my body just the way it is. I have embraced my curves and have taught myself that it’s okay to have them. It took a long time, but I feel like I’ve gotten through it. My boyfriend helped me through it, but I also have to give some credit to myself. Now I am comfortable in my own skin and I love myself.
To any girl out there who is struggling with an eating disorder like bulimia: you are beautiful and one day you will find someone who loves you just the way you are. You might thank that starving yourself and purging will make you pretty, but it actually takes away from your looks. Your teeth, nails and hair get yucky and brittle. You have bad breath all the time, your skin is pale and you have dark circles under your eyes. It’s really not worth it. Just stay strong and you can and will get through this.
Have you ever had to deal with an eating disorder? Can you relate to this story? How did you get through it? Tell us in the comments.