This I Believe

Bridie - Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that secrets need to be shared. As hard as this is for me to say, I have on and off struggled with bulimia. Bulimia is full of secrets. It is a secretive getaway to the bathroom, a secretive binge of thousands of calories, and a secretive escape to my room simply to cry for hours. Nobody knew my secret, and I didn’t intend on telling anyone. As I said before, secrets need to be shared.

I have had anxiety my entire life. I have also battled weight my entire life. I was called Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame. In kindergarten, I was scared of school, and in third grade, I was terrified to leave my parents’ sides because I thought something would happen to them. It was my junior year, the most stressful year of high school, many would argue, and my anxiety was at the highest point it’s been in my life. When I was younger, I couldn’t recognize what my anxiety was, but now, at age 17, I looked for ways to deal with it. I found my out, my secretive escape, the bathroom. I was sick of constant diets and had no time for going to the gym, but I had time to eat as much as I wanted and throw it up moments later. I became bulimic. My secrets and lies were constant. Suddenly I found myself lying to my parents. “Who ate all of the oreos?” My answer was never that I in fact ate the entire box along with a box of chocolates and an entire bag of chips. My answer was always blamed on my brother or sister. At the time, I even wished I had a dog to blame it on. I was that desperate. I went out and

bought food for myself so that my parents wouldn’t see the amounts of food I consumed. My secret was safe with myself. My parents worried when I came home and crashed into a deep sleep immediately after school because my body could no longer hold energy. Finally, my father confronted me. Breaking down into tears, I shared my secret with my dad, who then shared it with my mom. What has this done for me? At first, it did almost nothing. I told them I could conquer it myself and they tried respecting my decision. Then, I relapsed into what was a case of bulimia much worse than it had been before. Throwing up three times a day at times, I was worried about my own health. Lumps grew on my neck. I was inadvertently killing myself. About a month later, I admitted to my anxious parents that I needed professional help. My secret had been shared, and it saved my life.