What I mean by ‘I had a relapse’

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18. February 2016 by swissfitchick

Meg and I are talking via Audiomessage daily and lately, we’ve been talking about a ‘relapse’. She wasn’t sure as to what I meant when saying ‘I had a relapse’ – also, ‘bingeing’ is a word with tons of space to interpret.

To clarify, what bingeing in an Eating Disorder means, I will tell you in detail what that includes. I will also round-up a relapse, the way I relapsed and in very rare occasions still do. This is how it was for me.

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Joshua Tree National Park, CA, December 2015

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Viewpoint Waiheke Island, New Zealand, February 2016

It happened a few times, that I tried to explain someone about bingeing, or that I had a relapse and the response was:’ Don’t worry. We all eat too much chocolate sometimes.’ – Don’t get me wrong, I am far from blaming people for their ignorance about the behaviors with such a disease. Clearly, a healthy person does not have a chance to know what a dimension a Bulimia or Anorexia has. If you weren’t there, you just can not know, you are not even close to be able to imagine what happens with someone with the disease.

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Mission Bay, San Diego, December 2015

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Beach House Waiheke Island, New Zealand, February 2015

So bingeing typically happened to me when I was emotionally unstable, stressed out, if I didn’t feel in tune with my body (felt fat, bloated, uncomfortable), if I had doubts about myself or something going on in my life. It immediately made me think of food, it immediately gave me the undeniable urge to literally swallow all these scary feelings and demons. At the point of no return, I would go to the supermarket or wherever I could get as much junk food as simply possible and rushed home. Closed doors and blinds, turned off the phone, turned on the TV.

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Ferry Ride Auckland – Rotoroa Island, New Zealand, February 2016

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Coast Walk Bondi to Cogee – Tamarama Beach, Sydney, January 2016

Starting with bread-y things like chocolate filled croissants (about four to five of them). Followed by normal croissants (about three of them). Followed by all kinds of chocolate bars (about four to five of them). Followed by a bag of chips. Followed by sweet yogurt desserts (about three of them). Back to bready things, like a cheese Quiche (about two pieces). More chocolate (maybe two more chocolate bars). Then I mixed cereal with sweet yogurt and added SUGAR. About two to three big bowls. The strategy is to eat as fast as possible, cause that way you can demolish everything you bought. Otherwise your digestion starts to work and the full feeling kicks in. Also, it is harder to get rid of everything in the toilet. I had times, when I was able to eat another ENTIRE Pizza after all this food. The more I used to binge, the more I was able to eat. At that moment I started struggling and feeling sick. I tried to finish two more croissants and another bowl of cereal. Added more milk and yogurt, so it would go down – bready things were not to be swallowed anymore. Chocolate worked too, still.I never had Ice Cream, cause frozen stuff makes me shudder.

In bad times, I would start the entire process all over again right away after getting rid of everything in the bathroom.

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Joshua Tree National Park, CA, December 2015

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VIewpoint Ocean Front, Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA, January 2016

Maybe 30 minutes to an hour passed, max. I collapsed on the couch, falling, falling, falling into that black abyss, realizing what just happened. Now the panic attack hits. Irrational anxiety that I will gain at least 15 kilos overnight and will never in my life be able to leave the house again. That my life is a mess, I am a mess, a failure, useless and do not deserve to be in this world. The panic makes me drink sparkling water like a mad woman, which eases the process of purging right after. When that was done, I walked to the kitchen to pick out the tiny Tupperware with the pills. Laxatives, Diuretics, Appetite Blockers, Boosters and Aspirin. Even if it wasn’t the time of the day when I usually took them, I added another portion of the full cocktail to this day, cause I ate all this food. Usually, I took the pills daily in the morning, no matter if I binged or not. But on ‘bad’ days, I took a second round. The night was a nightmare. Totally exhausted, I would pass out immediately, with horrible dreams, sweating, tossing and turning and a horrific stomach-ache. When I woke up, realising what happened, I felt like the worst and most disgusting woman in this world. I got up to do Cardio for at least two hours after taking another big handful of pills. I tried not to eat for at least a day. Trained double as much and lived on pills until I felt that I am ‘on track’ again.

It felt so shameful. So, so incredibly shameful.

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Avalon Beach, Catalina Island, CA, January 2016

 

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Garden at Beach House Waiheke Island, New Zealand, February 2016

I have never written this down, never in my life did I tell a person how this all happened, how much I ate and how I got rid of it all a few minutes later in the most disgusting way.

I can talk about this now, cause I am not there anymore. If I ‘relapse’, I eat a few handfuls of junk and then check it off. I do not purge and I do not eat even CLOSE to the amount I ate back then. My body can not handle it anymore. I do not take a single pill anymore and I do not compensate with hours of Cardio.

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Harbour of Catalina Island, CA, January 2016

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Bondi Beach, Sydney, January 2016

If you are in the middle of an Eating Disorder, it is hardly possible to talk about it. People do not understand why on earth someone would just eat so much and then get rid of it again. it is not rational, it is not understandable. But which addiction is? In most of them, you hurt yourself. And from the outside, it always seems senseless to hurt yourself. It is complex, and only if you lived in such circumstances, you would know how incredibly strong and dark the demons, fears, panic attacks, anxieties are and the fucking addiction is.

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Garden at Beach House Waiheke Island, New Zealand, February 2016

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Coast Walk Bondi to Cogee, Cogee Beach Trail, Sydney, January 2016

And still – in order for people around you to help, you MUST talk. Sandro was only able to give me all this support cause I gave him a detailed summary about my struggles, about my crazy disordered thoughts. We spent hours sitting and talking, when I described situations to him in order for him to somehow understand what happens. It gave him the knowledge and skill to be aware of these situations and in the end, he was able to read my face, he knew when he has to take me away from a buffet, he realised when I need him to sit next to me at a party and he knew what our pantry and fridge can look like to not trigger me. It was everything and even though I felt ashamed like hell, I was beyond grateful to have someone by my side who exactly knew what is going on, but who was also healthy. This gave me the space and trust to recover.

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Ferry Ride Auckland – Rotoroa Island, New Zealand, February 2016

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Opera House Sydney, January 2016

xxx,

Luce

16 thoughts on “What I mean by ‘I had a relapse’

  1. Ann says:

    Lucy, I love you for expressing perfectly on your blog the prison I am in right now. Thank you for your courage to be transparent. You are one of my role models.

  2. Anne says:

    Thank you for being so open about what you went through. I struggle with anorexia, so I do the opposite with food, but the same feelings are still there when I relapse–those horrible feelings of guilt after eating (and most of what I’m eating is vegetables) and the need to do way more exercise than necessary to burn off the small amounts of food that I allow myself to eat in order to relieve the anxiety of having eaten something. Thank you for this post; it is so encouraging to know I’m not the only one who has had relapses, and this lets me know I can get past them!

    • I struggled with Anorexia before I switched to Bulimia, so I absolutely know where you are. I hope you can gain all the self love and self cofidence you need to slap this ED in the face and give your soul and your body all the appreciation they deserve. Sending you lots of positive energy, faith and belief!!

  3. Your openness and honesty is refreshing. I know this post will help others in similar situations and if anything it helped me understand more where you’re coming from on this stuff.

    You are such a wonderful example.

  4. Ivana says:

    Wow! Bald! You should give yourself a pat on the back for getting yourself to the life you have now. And thank you, for sharing!

  5. You are awesome for putting all this information and experience out there. It also reveals to me how different ED’s can be – so often they all get lumped into the same category and people presume we all go through the same things. No two are the same but we can all relate to that feeling of not being in control when all we are trying to do is be in control – if that makes sense!
    Also talking is key, Only when I told David absolutely everything did anything start to get better.❤

  6. Lucie, this is amazing. Honest, raw, no sugar-coating. While I’ve never dealt with actual binges there are similarities between these and my ED behaviours. Explaining either to outsiders is the only way they can understand at least a little and offer support. If they’re open-minded and willing to help/listen, that is, but that’s another story.

    • Thank you my Dear. It took some time to be courageous enough to put it all out there, but of course when the shit is over, it is easier to talk about it.
      And there will always be people who are not willing to listen – I am guessing that some are simply overwhelmed by this disturbed thing called ED. I can understand it, but that is also the reason why I try to explain what we are going through.

  7. […] What I mean by ‘I had a relapse’ via Fit Swiss Chick […]

  8. Cora says:

    I cannot commend you enough for being so unbelievable real and raw and and honest – and for having the confidence to stand up for everything you went through. I haven’t been able to get there. I’ve never been able to fully disclose all the details, not even to my family or those closest to me. I still play the “vague” game and often deny most of what goes on. How do you get there? How do you let go of the fear that they will see you in a totally different light…
    Thank you for this❤

    • Because, when you get real, you will see who stays – and these are the ones you need to keep. If someone loves you, if this is your partner, your family or your friends, they will stay no matter if you are struggling with an Eating Disorder or not. If they realize that you in fact are in trouble, they will be there to support you in any way they can. If they don’t, then they are not your friends. There is no reason to judge someone who is struggling with this disease. Once I opened up and starting to be honest, I experienced more support, affection and love than ever before.
      I know it is not easy and supercary, but I hope you will find the courage to go for it!

  9. Tara says:

    This is a really beautiful and honest post, so thank you for sharing. I’m going to send it along to one of my friends who struggles with bingeing❤

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