Dave: It's frightening but once the first step is taken, the second and third become easier
I am a 41-year-old man who's been suffering from bulimia for over 20 years. Last year I decided to seek help.
For years I suffered in silence, either not wanting to confront it or too frightened to. Initially, it probably started because I was overweight. A sportsman in my youth I was slim and fit, a serious injury caused my activities to stop.
This inactivity saw my weight soar. Because of the length of time ago this happened, I'm not certain this was the start of the problem, but after many recent hours of talking it seems the most likely.
Marrying in my early twenties I was happy to begin with, I was at my ideal weight. Or so I thought. Then eight years ago my marriage collapsed, I divorced. My ex-wife was very bitter and turned my children against me.
My mood was low, but being by myself made it easier to disguise.
I did meet someone else and she eventually moved in with me. But three years ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, underwent surgery and months of chemotherapy.
In a way only I could reason, cancer felt like a blessing, I was so poorly it was easier to be sick. I was ill, it was expected. I was bald, thin and still my bulimia went on.
A month after my chemotherapy finished I discovered that my girlfriend had been having affairs whilst I was in hospital. Not only this, it came to light that she hadn't been paying bills, including the mortgage, also taking money from my bank account. Close to losing my house I had to fight to keep it. In debt for thousands of pounds the inevitable happened, at a time I was at my weakest mentally and physically I found myself on my own again.
Some time after this, my now fiancÃ©e walked into my life. After all my problems she was, and still is, like a breath of fresh air, so much so that for the first time I shared my problems with her and now I've gone on to share them with my family.
In September 2004 my father died of cancer. This hit me extremely hard and at times I really struggled to deal with it all. So here I am today. I suffer with bulimia and depression, haven't seen my children for a long time but I've had the courage and strength to seek help. I now have definite goals and know at last I'm heading in the right direction.
From my own personal point of view I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of talking. It's a frightening and daunting thought, I know, but once the first step is taken, the second, third, fourth etc. become easier.
My advice is simple. Confide, talk, be honest. Not just with others but with yourself.
It's a long and difficult road, but there's only one direction I'm heading. Upwards.
Page created on June 2nd, 2005
Page updated on December 18th, 2009