One thing that many people don’t know about bulimia is the shame that is often associated with it. Shame ate the amounts of food consumed, shame at vomiting food, shame at “wasting” food, shame from laxative “accidents”, etc, etc, etc.
I haven’t felt that “bulimia shame” so strongly in a while as I did yesterday.
Normally, I am the one who does the laundry, at the laundromat, for the whole house. However, since I’ve had a fever of 102 and above for a few days, my parents went to do the laundry instead. I found myself in a unique situation: I was home alone. Naturally, I did what any good bulimic would do, I decided to binge and purge.
Who cares I was home with a fever? Who cares I was “supposed” to be out doing laundry? Who cares I had a terrible migraine? This was an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted!
To further add to the shame, I ordered food with money I don’t have (as in it’s been budgeted for bills). Not only that, but my parents know I’m broke, so the whole time I was waiting for it to arrive and while eating it, I was terrified they would come home and find I had ordered food.
I ordered my food and waiting anxiously. I then answered the door in my shame, hoping the delivery guy couldn’t see it oozing from my skin. I then ate quickly, trying to get everything eaten before I could be discovered.
Unfortunately, I ordered more food than I could eat, which meant I had to go purge partway through. I covered my remaining food, and went to purge. The whole time I was vomiting, I kept thinking about that remaining food, about what I’d done, about how I would explain it if I was caught.
When I finished, I went back to my room to finish. The first thing I noticed was the smell of the food. Oh, great. Even if I finished, my room still smelled like that food. Even with the window open and fan going. You’d think I would have invested in air freshener, but I don’t have any.
I sat down to finish my food, eating methodically, only half-aware of what I was putting in my mouth. I watched Parks and Recreations on Netflix while I ate to help myself zone out even further. I finished my food, purged again, hid the evidence, and prayed the smell would dissipate before my parents got home.
By the time I finished both purge sessions and downing the obligatory laxatives, my migraine was pounding and it felt like my brain was frantically trying to escape my skull. I lay there in bed, pain in my head and pain in my stomach, filled with the shame of my actions, still feverish, and zoned out until I fell asleep.