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  • I was a fat kid, and was reminded of this on a daily basis by everyone else when I was child. Needless to say this gave me rather intense body issues, as well as a usually unrequited desire to fit in with the thin people.

    By the time I reached 20, I found the best way to fit in with people was to drink as much and do as many drugs as everyone else. After doing an eight-ball of speed, four hits of acid, and a bottle of Popov, everyone around you is a best friend. But even with all those drugs coursing through my system, eventually I would get tired, or sick, or otherwise not be able to keep up with the party. It is then I learned what the ancient Romans figured out, if you vomit everything up, you gain new momentum. All the weight, nausea, and stupor disappears, and a new, refreshed party boy appears ready for another shot, line, hit. Indeed, the finger-walking ritual actually increased my buzz, as all the blood would rush to my head as I purged. Soon after I realized that I could eat as much as I wanted, when I had an appetite, and once I got a stomach ache, a few minutes in the bathroom and I could have seconds! It was then when I started to lose my fat. Surely the ever increasing drug use contributed to my weight loss, but it wasn’t until I started throwing up on a daily basis that the pounds started to really melt away. I rarely ate, but when I did, I was gluttonous, but then everything would come back up soon after. I lost fifty pounds over the course of a summer. I was now not only thin, but, as I became the town drug dealer, popular.

    I would quit the super-druggie party life before I would quit the purging, though the weight loss plateaued. I no longer would feel the need to perform the ritual (and indeed, it does become a ritual) on a daily basis, but whenever I felt nauseous or ate too much, which was often, I would get on my knees and perform the appropriate chants into my toilet. Then I started reading about how purging rots your teeth, so I switched to Ex-Lax, and that was like eating candy.

    The purging, the vomiting and shitting, lasted for a few years, sometimes at greater intensity than others, but eventually I stopped doing it. Then in 1999, I was living and teaching in Russia, when I got a stomach ache. And not just any stomach ache, as I was used to those, but a serious pain. I won’t get into the details of this story, but I ended up losing a bunch of my intestines on the surgical floor of a Moscow hospital. My guts had simply blown up. Upon my return to the states, I went to multiple doctors, western, Asian, holistic, one lady hooked me up to her laptop and read my electronic waves, and while everybody had their theories, nobody could tell me why my guts exploded. In 2000, I got sick again, spent a couple weeks at San Francisco General, and lost more of my guts. I now am missing one-third of my intestines. Nothing bad has happened since then, but irony of ironies, I actually have to take meds now to keep me from always having to shit.

    Again, nobody knows why my guts exploded, but I am absolutely positive that the binge and purge life had something to do with it, had weakened my guts to the point they couldn’t handle Russia, then boom. I get nauseous on a daily basis, there’s a hundred foods I can no longer eat, when I see a new doctor they universally tell me my guts are too messed up for someone my age. Oh well, sometimes emotional baggage can leave deep physical scars. And now I have a completely valid reason for my medical marijuana card.

    And I never gained back the weight.
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