Meet: A Bulimic’s Guide to the Universe

1. Don’t binge on bread. It turns hard and doughy in your stomach and is extremely difficult to throw up.

2. Desserts are easiest.

3. Don’t brush right away; you’ll just spread the acid from your stomach around on your teeth.

4. Drink lots of water, both before and after.

5. Cheese smells up the bathroom and you’ll get caught.

6. Don’t get caught. Blot your eyes and wipe your nose. Wipe the underside of the toilet seat. Let the redness disappear from your mouth and nose. Apply Chapstick to your cracked lips.

This is not living.

7. If you do get caught, people around you might not know how to help. They might force cake down your throat to satisfy their need to think you’re okay, even though they love you. So,

8. If you want to heal, it’s entirely up to you. You. You make the first choice. You take the first step.

9. You’ll think nothing is more shameful than hugging a toilet and sticking your finger down your throat.

10. You’ll be wrong.

You are a beautiful, flawed part of a flawed world. You can change. Slowly or quickly—either way, you can change.

You can.

Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys skip meals, fast, smoke cigarettes, vomit, and/or take laxatives to control weight.  Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder).  Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. (Source: ANAD)


National Eating Disorders Association

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

National Library of Medicine’s list of support groups

New York Times Health Guide


25 thoughts on “Meet: A Bulimic’s Guide to the Universe

  1. Is this something you wrote or is this reposted from one of the eating disorder associations?

    It’s so sad and misunderstood. Everyone knows about it, but no one really talks about it (in ‘real-life’). Maybe the more it appears online, the easier it will become to talk and support in person.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thanks, Regina. It’s funny, because we all think it’s for someone “out there” but, simply because of the statistics, we all know someone. Maybe we bloggers should get together and all post on the same day, or send it to a teacher or teenager we know…

    • It has to be her own standard, and she has to know that everyone else is just trying their best, too–insecurities, shame, gossiping about her cellulite and his double chin…the too-thin models, the ads that show perfect, computerized legs…none of it is real. The only real thing is, as you say, her own standard. For her. It can’t be for anyone else. Thanks for reading.

  2. When I “visited bulimia” (and anorexia) in college, I weighed 50+ lbs less than I do now. (I’m healthy now.) All I ever heard from people was how great I looked. I was killing myself and people were applauding.

  3. Such a heartbreaking condition, but thanks for posting it out there, Jessica. My best friend in college was bulimic and I didn’t catch on, but years later she fessed up. Even now, it lingers in the back of her brain as a temptation when she gets stressed. Love your approach to offering help! Keep up the great work!

  4. Wow, Jessica. Very moving – and I agree: taboo topics SHOULD be discussed. One of my friends in college, as well, was anorexic. Still struggles today, but then even the administration turned a blind eye (she was an RA) … So frustrating. To be perfectly honest, I think I’ve got my own episodes of binge eating, too. Never content to eat just three Oreos!

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