I was married at 18, to my first husband. I hate saying that, because in my heart and in my eyes, Joe is and will be my only husband. The reality is, at 18 I was young and stupid and thought I “knew it all.” I wanted to grow up too fast, and well, that is exactly what I did.

About six months into my marriage my then “husband” decided to go to strip clubs. That is what happened. What he would tell you is “Some of the guys from work wanted to go, I waited in the car.” I am embarrassed to admit I believed him. MY husband would not go to strip clubs. HE knows how I feel. I can trust him. There is a sucker born every minute, right?

My sister and I are great at detective work. So, one night, when her husband and my husband were late coming home, we packed up our kids, and went looking for them. First stop…..the strip club. Now, it is important to note that at the time, these fools were lying to us. We were told “Mandatory overtime.” Never once did anyone offer us the truth. So, that one fateful night when I saw my “husbands” car in the strip club parking lot, and he was not in the car, I was crushed. He lied to me. Not only that, but I felt he was seeking something in these girls that I did not have. They were pretty, and sexy, and confident. All of which I was not.

Addiction comes in many shapes and sizes. This is important to understand as you continue to read the rest of this post. There are many grey areas. Addiction is not always black and white.

My sister dropped me off at my apartment which was a few buildings down from hers. I put the baby to bed and waited for my “husband” to come home from “working overtime.”This is a pivotal moment for me. I had a few options on how I wanted to handle what I felt was his betrayal. I knew better, and I was raised better. Yet, I allowed his sweet talking and “telling me what I wanted to hear” to get the best of me.

He put it on me. It was my fault I did not trust him. It was my fault that he lied to me. “I was sitting at the bar, I did not look at them.” I feel like such a damn fool for believing his lies. He fell asleep watching “Last of the Mohicans” while I was fighting my demons.I knew he was lying to me. I knew it, I felt it. What I did next would be a game changer. Something that would affect my life for the next twenty years.

I went to the bathroom and took a good long look at myself in the mirror. “I hate myself.” “No wonder he wants to see women naked.” “I am fat.” “I am so gross.” “If I could just be skinny, then everything would be okay.”

My toothbrush was laying on the counter right next to my Aqua Net hairspray and Charlie perfume. I pulled my hair back, grabbed my toothbrush and made my way to the toilet. I had only done this a few times in past, but this time was different. None of the other times mattered. With the sink faucet running, I knelt, stuck the toothbrush as far down my throat as I could, and I purged. I purged the burritos I had for dinner, I purged my feelings of failure, I purged my worthlessness. It was my way of getting rid of the bad, getting rid of everything that was not working. It was almost a high. With every gag, as the vomit was splashing against my face, after every flush of the toilet, I felt empowered. I felt a high.

Of course in hindsight, it was my “husband” that I should have purged, but….that did not come until later.

Seven years later to be exact.




What is an unpleasant experience you had eating?

As a recovering bulimic, (all though I prefer to say my bulimia is in remission) one may think that every experience I had eating was an unpleasant one.

Not even close.

Bulimics love to eat. The ritual of a binge/ purge is a reward, a really good high. We love eating. I mean you would have to enjoy eating in order to become a bulimic. What may have started out as an easy way to try to lose weight turned into a ritual of meal planning, binges, closely followed by the purge.

Even going out to eat was magical. I could eat all the good stuff knowing that I would come home and get rid of it all. No one ever suspected a thing if I ordered the biggest hamburger on the menu. All I had to do was throw in a side salad for good measure. I had many many tricks.

However, once I got my bulimia under control, what was once a wonderful magical high, became very unpleasant. We all have our trigger foods. For me, if I have a trigger food, (which is basically all the good stuff) my brain would play tricks on me and tell me “It’s okay, have all you want, you will get rid of it.” Pre-recovery, I was like “Heck Ya!” Post-recovery not so much.

One of the hardest things about recovery is going out to eat on special occasions. The trigger foods are limitless. Every table you see, someone will be eating something that if you are not careful your brain will try to convince you “Go ahead, just this last time.” It really does not work that way. If you are not careful you will go through about 2,000 “last times.” The key is to keep away from the trigger foods, and as you can imagine that is hard to do when you are in recovery. But it can be done.

I remember one time, as a family we decided to visit a nice seafood restaurant for the first time. The menu was complete hell to even read. Everything was triggering me. I was sitting there, silently praying for the strength to order something that would not trigger me. Then, a member in our party says “Hey Jen, did you see the seafood platter, that looks good.” Game over. I knew from that moment on, I was going to order to seafood platter and come home and purge. What should have been a nice evening out with lots of family, turned into me analyzing how much time I had before my food would digest. How am I going to find time to purge when I would not even be returning to my own house for the next three hours. I was pre occupied. I could not focus on anything that was going on around me, well, other than the delicious seafood platter that was large enough to feed two. That I was focused on.

Now a days things are a lot easier than they were in the early days of recovery, but it is still hard. I just know how to be better now. I will take a look at the menu online before we go out. I will go over it with a fine tooth comb and find something that I know I will enjoy without triggering me. It does get easier, but it never quite goes away.

This was a writing prompt from the wonderful Mama Kat. I would encourage any bloggers to check out her weekly writing prompts.