hi hi!!! sorry if the format is weird, this is my first time posting on a forum or anything like this. also dont know if this is the right thread - i'm sorry!! i just need a place to open up about my eating problem.
content warning: anorexia, binge eating
i'm an 18 year old girl and i'm graduating from high school this year. i still live with my parents, and i plan to go to college but still live in this house and just drive to my classes since the campus is so close to where i live. our pantry is FILLED with cheap junk food.
i have always had a problem with a constant need of control. i am a recovered anorexic. i lost weight extremely quickly and weighed less when i was 17 than i did when i was a healthy 11 year old. i have been very close to being hospitalized before the start of my recovery. i would go days on end of not eating or half a meal and then once a week i would routinely have one binge meal that would be at LEAST 4000 calories. yes in one sitting. at some points i would eat an entire pizza and a tub of ice cream and then throw up half of it and force myself not to eat for days out of guilt. i decided to recover because i need to stop putting this energy into "making my body perfect" and "having control" but rather put this effort into being a better sister, a better friend, and a better person. being hungry all of the time made me miserable and insufferable to the people around me. i was an awful person who constantly put down the people around me due to my own internal insecurities.
now that i've gained a LOT of weight (in the past 5 weeks i've gained 35 pounds) i'm 5'6 and 128 pounds currently. i look "normal." my issue is that now that i've forced myself to eat 3 meals a day i cannot stop binging. i have my first two meals at school so those are pre-packed (with healthy stuff that i enjoy!! salads, fruits, nuts) and both meals are around 550 calories. i have absolutely no problem pre planning my meals and eating them at school where i literally don't have access to a fridge or any other food. but on my third meal when i get home, i eat the whole fridge. the minute i walk into the house i go to get food. just sitting downstairs a room away from my kitchen is a trigger. i have that whole binge thing i USED to have once a week, now every SINGLE day. i've been struggling with eating for so long that my body cannot feel "fullness." i can't stop. i haven't allowed myself to eat for so long that now it feels so amazing. and its been over a MONTH. i've gained 35 pounds in 5 WEEKS. i feel so guilty and sure right now i'm "normal" but this is taking over my life. i genuinely feel trapped and stuck in this endless self harm loop of trying to be healthy and good and then coming home and binging on candy, snacks, jars of peanut butter, ice cream, donuts, etc. i'm afraid that in 2 or 3 months i'm not going to be at a healthy weight, and i will be overweight or obese. and i cannot restrict myself because i will automatically fall back into my extreme anorexic habits that i've lived through for so long. i've tried "binging on good foods" but the point of my binges is that they're out of control. sure i can start off by eating a salad and some boiled eggs but i will always end up losing control and moving on to eating donuts and awful foods for me. it ends with me miserable stuffing food in my face crying feeling guilty and miserable and praying for god to forgive me and give me the strength to stop. i pray to god before i get home too but it doesn't seem to stop my binges.
when i tell my parents and i try to open up about my problem not only am i extremely embarrassed but they just tell me "just stop eating so much." or "ohhh it's fine!! you're young! you can get away with it!" or "you don't have a problem, i mean look at you!" i literally feel guilty for the rest of the day and it's taking over me the same way anorexia did. i just really want to eat healthy and not worry about food more than anything.
my family is in poverty and i cannot afford therapy right now. another reason why i feel so guilty is that i'm wasting all of this food that should be feeding my family. i'm just trying to be a good sister, and i love my siblings so much- the fact that i'm taking away food that they would be eating for their school lunches makes me feel awful.
Any advice? ;D
TLDR; I need advice on how to stop binging after recovering from anorexia.
Normally I'd say stop buying junk foods so you're not tempted to eat them, but living with others makes that impossible. Perhaps packing a more substantial lunch will help with reducing hunger when you get home?
If you can force yourself to slow down and take your time to eat, that will also help. Good luck OP
The transition you're about to go through is tough but I think you will probably benefit from the new environment and resources available to you.
First of all, welcome to the boards. I can't remember the last time I've seen someone say openly "I'm a girl and new to forums" so I feel compelled to offer some advice you didn't request. I'm coming from a similar place. I'm around the same age as you and I'm in college. Have been on the internet way, way too long and got into online communities way before I should have. Typical stuff. There are a few girl-centered IBs out there that you will inevitably stumble into if you actively look into what IBs are, but I strongly strongly recommend against them. There are a lot of people that promote pro-anorexia through various means (even if it's against the rules) and the politics that have sprung up over the years have bred some of the least productive, most toxic communities I've ever seen. As they changed, I started to notice the way I thought about/processed the world change as well in a really negative way, and I stopped using them. Just my sincere words of advice from one stranger to another, don't let your mindset become toxically affected by any community online.
Eating disorders are so difficult and misunderstood. I'm really sorry you're going through this.
First thing is, when you get to college, you're probably going to have *free* access to mental health services. Please use them. Usually counseling in college is specially prepared for helping students with eating disorders. Yes sometimes it's hit or miss at some places but a professional environment *will* help you. A lot of times people get cold feet or feel like it won't help them after a couple of sessions. Keep pushing and attending. It sounds like you really want to make positive changes in your life and already kind of understand some of the underlying issues so it will probably be effective for you or at least start you in the right direction.
Secondly, I just wanted to say that, whatever condition your body is in or however you look, whatever weight you are, you are still of value. I know the self-hatred stuff over physical appearance is deep-rooted but sincerely, you have a disorder, and it is okay to struggle. It's okay to not be doing well. We take things one day at a time, look for the next step, and forgive ourselves for yesterday. It took me so long to learn that.
Last thing I picked up from your post was that maybe your home itself is part of what triggers your ED? Maybe it's something about the social environment? Usually when I go home from school, I backslide a bit and have to work harder to not fall into old cycles of depression and anxiety. You were in Sophomore year for your COVID year, right? You've probably been at home a long time, relatively? Try to identify if there are specific things about your environment that are pulling you into those states. It'll be hard since you're still living at home, but the added freedom you'll have will give you the flexibility to minimize your exposure.
Good luck and hope you're able to enjoy your summer if you're in the northern hemisphere.