‘My Secret Life: A Memoir of Bulimia’: A face behind the statistics

6 Jan

Indeed, Waters’ account of an admittedly fond relationship with the disorder that was beginning to take over her body and mind is made only more chilling by the way in which she personifies it. Much like an imaginary friend, she morphed her disorder into a character; a rock to turn to when life’s stresses and strains got that little bit too difficult to cope with alone.

Referring to the disorder (at times, almost affectionately) as ‘she’, Waters describes how her compulsion quickly drew her in and began to take on a mind of its own. ‘She’ was the one Waters turned to, confided in when life’s stresses became too much. ‘She’ was the voice of dark encouragement, rallying her with “sweet whispers” of support in a time of need. ‘She’ became an extension of Waters’ life and a persona without whom, according to her, she “dare not think what would be left of [herself].’


Waters’ recalls how her Bulimia took on a sinister resonance in her head, encouraging and urging on her disordered thoughts and habits. [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

Of course, as the disorder began to take more and more control of Waters’ daily life and routines, the once comforting tone took on a more sinister resonance. Recalling one particular purging session, Waters refers to the total panic which consumes her as she hurries to get what little food she had eaten out of her system – all the while as ‘she’ barked orders and abuse at her:

“She had poisoned my thoughts with words and phrases I never envisioned myself ever thinking, let alone using in reference to myself. Finger down my throat and the blood rushing to my face; this was her moment of glory and when she was most alive in my life.”


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