Thinking out Loud 3/3/16: My struggle with laxative abuse

March 3, 2016 in Recovery

Hi guys and happy Thursday! Going to be sharing some thoughts today as it is Thursday. Thank you Amanda for letting me share what’s on my mind today and the link up!

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A touchy subject, I know. But this blog is all about being vulnerable and sharing my story in hopes of helping others; in hopes of showing others that there is hope through our hardest times in life. So, here we go. 

ALSO: This post does contain triggering thoughts and behaviors that I once had in the midst of my eating disorder. If you are currently struggling or are on the path to recovery yet can easily be triggered; please do not read. Put yourself first and your health first- that is ALWAYS the most important thing. 

Laxatives. Yeah, I know. Most people think- ew… poop. And honestly, I did at first too. 

But with restriction came constipation, and with restriction came some pretty icky stomach problems. I mean, if you aren’t eating, you’re going to have a pretty hard time going poop. Simple as that. If there is barely any food going through your body, there’s going to be barely anything coming out. But for me, and the disordered side of myself coming out and trying to be the healthiest version of myself I could be, I read somewhere that you should poop once a day. And if you didn’t, you could gain weight. So, as I began to have some stomach issues, and as I began to become more constipated; I told my doctor and he prescribed me Miralax. You know, that little powdered stuff you put in your drink, he said that would do the trick. This was at the beginning of the restrictive cycle. So I took the Miralax as prescribed and it worked and got the job done.

But then, I began to restrict more. Because you know, that’s just how anorexia works. It just keeps going, the little game of eating less and less just continues on. So after a few months, and with a decreased intake and doctors getting involved and the official diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, this little powdered poop medicine didn’t work anymore. Fast forward a few months- a little glimpse of hope, a path on the track to recovery. Eating more, and my constipation lessened. Now let’s fast forward a little more; let’s fast forward to January of my sophomore year of high school. Back into the full-blown restrictive tendencies. Still taking Miralax, but now taking more, because with restriction comes constipation. But now? Now I found another thing to help. Another thing to help me empty out my system and help me feel lighter, because that was my top priority-feeling lighter, feeling smaller. I found a laxative pill called Dulcolax. And these pills became my eating disorders partner in crime! These along with Miralax were the ultimate dynamic duo for my eating disorder. So when I didn’t go to the bathroom “enough” I would pop one of these handy-dandy laxative pills. It started as just one on the occasion, but then as time progressed, as I played this little game of eating less and less; it increased. It became one a day. A month later it became two a day. Sometimes, if I felt gross from what I ate the day before, it became 4 a day. Alongside my Miralax of course. And now, taking the Miralax twice a day. Two full caps. Let’s fast forward to June of my sophomore year. Restrictive tendencies in full-swing, and the laxative abuse in full-swing as well. I would take these pills like candy. I didn’t care if I would be shitting my brains out in the bathroom stall at school. I needed to have the food out of my system, I needed to feel empty. Sometimes 10 pills a day. Alongside my two caps of Miralax. And in July, a new high- 12 Dulcolax pills a day along with my Miralax. With all of these laxatives came more weight loss; of course. With all of these laxatives alongside extreme restriction came dizziness, fatigue, and dehydration. Towards the middle of July, I began to have seizures and was very shaky. But the thing is, the thing is with an eating disorder and any kind of addiction; you just can’t stop- that little game I was talking about? That little game of eating less and less, that game applied to my laxative addiction as well. The game of seeing how many pills I could take and how many caps of Miralax I could down; the game of seeing how quickly I could empty out all the food in my system. But by engaging in this game, I was also stuck on the line of life and death. And I thank god everyday I got help the end of that July, because if I waited any longer than that day; I might not be here right now sharing my story. The laxative abuse took a toll on my digestion and organs that I don’t know will every be fully repaired. In treatment, I obviously stopped taking the pills. It took me 2 full weeks to poop after I stopped taking those Dulcolax. I was put on all natural constipation medicine. And to this day, I still have to take constipation medicine- but I NEVER take more than prescribed. I take a stool softener and a cap of Miralax a day. Because of anorexia and this laxative abuse, a diagnosis IBS (also genetic) was made and I still have a pretty wacky digestive system to this day. But like anything, I have learned to cope. And with recovery from anorexia helped me to understand that laxative abuse is seriously detrimental to one’s health. Now, I don’t take a poop every day; and I recognize that is okay. My medicine does help with my digestion and how often I go, but I do not feel the need to go every day or multiple times a day just to empty out my system. With recovery I have learned how to treat myself and my body; and shoving laxative pills down my throat and endless caps of Miralax is not a way to treat your body; it is not a way to give your body the love and respect it deserves. 

Laxative abuse is a topic that isn’t talked about a lot I feel like  because many think it is gross. But it is one of the issues that come along with eating disorders. It is a real thing, and it is prevalent in our society and among those suffering from eating disorders. And like recovery from an eating disorder is possible, recovery from laxative abuse IS possible.

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 To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” 

Recovery in general IS possible and attainable. 

Thank you for listening to my story and struggles with this, and thank you for always reading and listening. I love you guys so much, never forget how incredible you are!  

Hope you are having a great week guys.

Sending my love as always.

Xoxo

Lyss<3

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29 Comments

  • Reply Lynne March 3, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Lyss, thank you for this amazing real post. Laxative abuse is very real ! I am so pleased you are on the right path now. Keep being strong, you are doing great. xxx

    • Reply Alyssa March 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you so much Lynee for your kind words, truly means a lot to me!

  • Reply Stephanie March 3, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you Alyssa for sharing your story. I can attest to this and how awful it was to see you go through this. I am so grateful that you made it to the other side. Some people don’t, I was so so afraid you wouldn’t. I thank that god everyday you did!

    • Reply Alyssa March 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you mom, you are the best and I am so thankful for you!! Love you!!

  • Reply Taylor March 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Such a touchy subject that people avoid… you are so brave to talk about and I think there will be a lot of people that can relate. Good for you!!

    • Reply Alyssa March 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you so much Taylor for your support! <3 xoxo

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It March 3, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    All I can say is WOW. Your story is so inspirational, and you’re such an incredibly strong woman! I love all of your posts, but thank you for being so honest and sharing this with your readers. We both know how hard recovery is, but it definitely IS possible! You did it and you’re flourishing! <3 Once again, thank you. Your story is one that more people need to hear! xoxo

    • Reply Alyssa March 3, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Aw wow thank you marina- that means so much to me!! Amen to that, recovery is possible and we both achieved it! Thank you for your support love <3

  • Reply Kate March 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Oh my gosh I could talk about poop for hours because constipation is the bane of my life. My constant battle with restriction and laxative use led me to rectal prolapse, needing a major GI surgery, and now possibly facing more surgery or physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction. I’ve moved on from my ED and I am recovered, but I sometimes get so mad at myself for giving myself this condition. I am so glad you recognized it was a problem and weaned yourself off with the help of a physician. You are amazing for talking about this.

    • Reply Alyssa March 3, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Constipation flat out sucks. I am so sorry you had to undergo GI surgery, laxative abuse is a real problem and leads to so many horrible things. I get upset with myself too for overusing them and messing up my digestive track. But it’s all part of life and growing-we learned from our past and our mistakes and they have made us stronger. Thank you for your constant support Kate <3 truly means a lot!

  • Reply Megan March 3, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing this because I imagine there will be plenty of people going through the same thing who need your advice. It makes me so sad that this is what some of us a pushed into because of the society we live in. Keep sharing the recovery message, you are a star!

    • Reply Alyssa March 4, 2016 at 1:17 am

      Thank you SO much Megan, your support and kind words mean so much to me! I hope you are having a great day <3

  • Reply Jennifer Caruso March 3, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    You are so awesome. This is something that is not often talked about, but it does go hand-in-hand with restricting. You are so incredibly strong and I look up to you everyday. In the short time I’ve known you, you have made a tremendous difference in my life. Thank you for sharing your story and for bringing attention to this. You remind me everyday how important it is to be honest with myself and to family. I love you and this blog <3

    • Reply Alyssa March 4, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Aw wow Jen this truly made my day. Thank you so so much for your support, I am truly blessed to know such an amazing girl and I am so thankful to have you in my life! Love you to pieces beautiful <3

  • Reply Ellie March 4, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Thank you for the openness of this post Lyss. It must have been so hard for you to write about this part of your past. You are so brave and strong for overcoming this <3 <3 xoxoxo

    • Reply Alyssa March 4, 2016 at 3:04 am

      Thank you Ellie for reading and your support. You are amazing girly <3 xoxo

  • Reply Sarah @ BucketListTummy March 4, 2016 at 2:01 am

    You are so honest and so brave. To be so vulnerable shows how much you have moved on from these times, and I KNOW you are helping so many others by sharing your story. It’s sad to think that so many people are currently falling victim to this – keep speaking out, girl.

    • Reply Alyssa March 4, 2016 at 3:03 am

      Thank you SO Much Sarah!! Truly means a lot to me- hope you are having a great week!

  • Reply Sarah March 4, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Great post girl. I never struggled with laxative abuse, but I totally relate to that mindset of more, more, more. And of course the uncomfortableness. You are so inspiring love <3

    • Reply Alyssa March 4, 2016 at 3:41 am

      The mindset of more and more sucks… with an ED, it is ALWAYS more. So horrible and sad to think about! Thank you so much Sarah, you are amazing girl!

  • Reply Catherine @ foodiecology March 4, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Wow, Lyss, I commend you for your honesty and broaching a subject that is important but uncomfortable for many.

    Laxative abuse is not something you often hear about regarding EDs, but I can only imagine the toll it took on your body. I’m glad you’re here to tell your story and continue to grow in your recovery and as a person.

    And on a lighter note, I have to say that after having awful constipation early in pregnancy (common symptom), going through childbirth, and dealing with countless dirty diapers and “explosions,” the talk of poop just doesn’t bother me! 😉

    • Reply Alyssa March 4, 2016 at 3:35 am

      Thank you so much Catherine<3 Means a lot. I know this is a common problem and can be an ED behavior, so I hope my touching on it someone out there got hope that it does get better and how truly destructive laxative abuse can be! And lol constipation man... I'm glad you get the struggle too and don't get grossed out by poop talk hehe.

  • Reply Sarah March 4, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this Alyssa, I can definitely relate. I was too addicted to laxatives, and thought I was the only one.. The best thin I ever did for my self was to throw away all my pills, and recover once and for all from my eating disorder.
    Thank you so much for sharing, you are beautiful & oh so strong <3
    Sarah

    • Reply Alyssa March 4, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      I am so glad you were able to just throw out those pills and kick the addiction- I am so proud of you Sarah! Thank you for your support girl <3 xoxo

  • Reply Edye March 6, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! So glad you’re doing better <3

    Blessings,
    Edye // Gracefulcoffee

    • Reply Alyssa March 7, 2016 at 12:41 am

      Thank you for your support Edye!!

  • Reply Link Love 3/6/15 – Blissful Lyss March 7, 2016 at 12:40 am

    […] My struggle with laxative abuse […]

  • Reply Cayanne Marcus @healthyezsweet March 7, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Reading this brought me to actual tears. Because I remember the first time I was prescribed Miralax and how ashamed I felt when it didn’t work for me. And how broken I felt when even the heavy duty Dulcolax didn’t do ANYTHING to my body – it was that messed up from so much restriction. I think about you putting so much of it into your beautiful body and it just makes me want to cry, out of sadness but also out of admiration for how much you’ve overcome and how strong you are. Never stop writing. You’re an inspiration

    • Reply Alyssa March 8, 2016 at 4:05 am

      Aw wow Cayanne- thank you so so much. You are a huge inspiration to me and hearing that from someone as great as you truly made my day. Thank you for your love and support, very blessed to have a blogging friend like you!! xoxo<3

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