THE BLOG

My Unborn Daughter Saved Me From Bulimia When I Couldn't Save Myself

Bulimia is a very scary disease. It gets embedded into your soul.

14/06/2017 10:18 AM AEST | Updated 14/06/2017 10:19 AM AEST

"Today is the day," I would say to myself knowing full well that it wasn't. The number of empty promises I made to myself during those seven years was countless. I would wake up with every intention of being in control, but the moment I had my first meal, I would spiral.

I was addicted to binge eating and purging and I wanted to be left alone with my disorder. I didn't want help or sympathy, just lots of junk food and a toilet bowl.

Bulimia had a firm hold of me and it wasn't letting me go.

I would wake up in the morning and be too afraid to eat. I knew that there was a fine line between having breakfast and starting a purging frenzy. I would try and starve for most of the day -- looking back now I think that had more to do with wanting to be near a bathroom I felt safe in before I started filling the bottomless pit that was my stomach.

Of course I'd get to the point where I needed to put something in my stomach, so I would start off slow and small. I would eat a banana, a can of tuna, or half a sandwich, so very low-calorie meals. Then I would go to the mirror, stand on the side and lift up my top to reveal my stomach. What I would see standing before me was a fat, wobbly stomach (which definitely was NOT the case). The distorted image of my stomach is all it took to open the floodgates. The next few hours, anywhere between 2-6 hours was a blur. My aim? To eat as much as I possibly could.

The moment I knew I had life in me, I stopped treating my body like a garbage bin.

I would empty the cupboards at home, there was nothing I wouldn't eat. I remember a time I ate a whole loaf of bread, another time I was so desperate for food, I went through the plastic bag on the bench that my parents had been using as a rubbish bag looking for scraps because I had devoured everything else. I was like a tornado tearing through the kitchen and inhaling all the food my parents had bought for the whole family to enjoy, knowing it would be filling the toilet bowl in a couple of hours. More often than not, I would head out to the supermarket to get more food before I would purge. Licorice, sour worms, chips, ice-cream, I finally found a way to be able to eat all these delicious foods and not put on any weight. It seemed like the best diet ever.

Then, the time would come. The time I would try to avoid by procrastinating, doing anything and everything but what I 'needed' to do. Before I locked myself in the bathroom for another round of torture, tears would start falling.

I failed. Again.

Today was meant to be the day I stopped and here I am, walking towards my torture chamber. I was ashamed, embarrassed, scared and dreading the pain that was to come. The mental pain prior to purging was probably as bad as the physical pain when I had my fingers all the way down my throat, scratching at it frantically trying to remove the day's damage. The mistake I would so often make while I was bingeing was not drinking enough water. That would make the food harder to come up -- it would all just clump together in my stomach and get stuck. That's when I would really have to put a whole hand in my mouth and I would cry and make horrible noises. That's how my mum found out I was bulimic.

Years later, after I had recovered and she was finally able to approach me about my disorder without me completely losing my mind, she told me so herself. Mum recalls the moment she knew I wasn't just sick or it was a spur of the moment thing, her whole life came crashing down. The first couple of times she had heard me, she never read into it, especially because I had an intense fear of vomiting as a child. If I got sick as a little girl, I would scream the house down and cry for hours.

Looking back, it is odd to me too that I became addicted to something I loathed. After a lot of therapy and work on myself for the last four years, I've come to the conclusion it was because I was punishing myself.

MORE ON THE BLOG:

I Wrote A Letter To My Body

Bulimia is a very scary disease. You don't often hear of people only having bulimia short-term, it is something that gets embedded into your soul. You become an addict. The irrational way this disorder had my mind thinking was, it was better to eat a dangerously high-calorie intake and then purge then leave the low-calorie meal in my stomach. I thought leaving the low-calorie meal in my stomach would make me 'fatter' then I was. I made so many failed attempts to get better, I just kept getting thrown back into the habit. It was like an out-of-body experience every single time. The thought of taking my own life came and went throughout the years, it felt like the easier option.

When I was 24, I was blessed with the greatest gift I've ever received for two reasons. The first and most important reason was, I fell pregnant to my daughter Mila. The second reason is, from that moment on, I never purged again.

Mila will probably never know that she saved me when I couldn't even save myself. The moment I knew I had life in me, I stopped treating my body like a garbage bin and started treating it with the respect it deserved. Four years on, I can gladly say that I'm still 'sober' from bulimia. That is not to say that thoughts don't cross my mind. I still have low self-esteem and confidence issues at times, especially when it comes to my body. I don't expect that will ever go away and it doesn't need to.

I'm okay with the thoughts because I now know how to overcome them, they don't overcome me.

Read more from Katerina on her blog.

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA

Katerina

More On This Topic