Working on the ‘just once’ strategy

I’m working with my nurse at the moment about trying to catch myself the moment before I make a choice that might (generally does) lead to b/p-ing. We tried ‘surfing the wave’ once I’ve overeaten to stop the purging but I made zero progress with that- it’s just too hard. I cannot seem to stop myself when I feel too full- it’s like I lose all power to make a rationale decision, I cannot bear the feeling. On top of that I have completely messed up my stomach/reflexes etc. so I generally vomit whether I want to or not.

So, we’re focusing on trying to stop the overeating before it happens so that the urge to purge is less. I have managed this before, but only by sticking to safe foods and being rigid in my eating, which leads to restriction and weight loss which when I then tackle this, it leads me right back to bulimia in a perfectly vicious ED cycle. So this time I’m trying to overcome it while still eating a ‘typical’ amount of calories, eating regular meals and making sure I have variety of foods, including those I see as ‘bad’ or that might be binge foods. I think the nurse and I both felt that if I managed to get my weight into a healthy range for me, and eat enough on a regular schedule without restricting any foods, that the purging might resolves itself and just fade out.

Unfortunately that has not been the case. I’m binging far less as I don’t have cravings for foods because I’m allowing myself them (yay me- massive step) but I am still overeating to some extent which is then leading to purging about 5 times a week, and sometimes multiple times a day. As soon as I am on my own in a position to purge before I know it I’m doing it. This has started to creep back into public places too (restaurants etc.) which I haven’t done for a long time and makes me so ashamed.

I’ve discussed with my nurse that I feel I have no control over the purging but there is a moment before I eat something where I know this could lead to overeating and then needing to purge. For example, I could have cereal instead of porridge for breakfast thinking I will fine with it- but then I’ll eat it and regret it so then eat 3 more bowls just so I can purge. Completely irrational. It’s not about the calories anymore (I know eating more and purging is worse than just eating 1 bowl) it’s a voice that starts screaming in my head to keep eating. Another example is that I’ll pop into the shops of the way home, promising myself I will just get what we need in the house, but if I know my boyfriend will be home later than me I’ll end up buying something just so I can eat and purge before he gets back. It’s not even that I want forbidden foods- it might just be a smoothie, but again, the voice goes off and suddenly I’m at home in the bathroom and we all know what happens.

So my goal for the next fortnight is to JUST ONCE make a different decision and not eat what it is that I was going to that might result in purging. JUST ONCE I need to leave the shop even if I don’t buy the stuff we need, or I need to not go home if I’m going to be alone, or I need to get rid of the food that I’m obsessing over. It seems like such a small goal but managing for me it’s stupidly hard- I’ve failed on 2/2 days so far but I am determined to make it happen. My nurse reckons if I can do this even once then I can try it again the following fortnight and then again eventually building up the strength to do it more than I give in. That’s in the future though, for now I need to focus on:

JUST ONCE MAKE A DECISION THAT LEADS TO RECOVERY NOT PURGING.

I’ll let you know how I get on!

PS: such a long rambly post- well done anyone that gets this far 🙂

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