Original post above.
It’s been a difficult couple of months for us. Sorry this post is kind of a word vomit, but it does have a conclusion.
Shortly after that post, my boyfriend decided to change his routine up. He decided that he would keep his workout routine, stop fasting and eat 2500 calories every day. I was really happy because he seemed to finally see what he was doing was unhealthy.
After a couple weeks he started gaining weight and things started going downhill again. He was saying that he let himself go and that he looked disgusting, despite the changes barely being noticeable. No amount of reassurance helped. I also didn’t notice at first, but he started exercising even more. He used to do this a couple times a week before, but he started getting up every morning at 6:30 to go for a run. Then he goes to work, and then gym for at least three hours after work. He goes for a run weekend mornings as well. He always tries to push himself as hard as he can, and every time he comes back exhausted, aching and faint. Yet he still woke up to do it again the next day. I didn’t know what he was eating anymore, because he stopped sharing his diet and fitness plans with me, I guess because he knew I would disapprove. He also stopped taking his shirt off in front of me, at first I thought this was because he was embarrassed of his weight gain. I decided to leave him be for the time being, because he seemed healthier than he was before and he would occasionally eat dinner with me, whereas before he would never have done that.
About two weeks ago we went for a walk together and stopped at a café on the way. I was starving and ordered a bacon sandwich. He ordered a black coffee. I said something like “oh I thought you were eating properly now” He said that he was, but he’d already planned his food for when we got back. I started trying to playfully feed him little bits of my sandwich and he actually tried it, and reasoned that he could treat himself today on his day off. He ordered a bacon sandwich, a chocolate muffin and a milkshake. I was pretty surprised. He ate it all really quickly and then I could tell he started feeling guilty and anxious. He went to the bathroom and I’m like 99% sure he made himself throw up cos i could smell it on his breath, but he completely denied it and acted like I was crazy. I think he may have been doing this sometimes when we ate food together as well.
After this I kind of noticed something about him, he never allows himself any form of pleasure anymore, and when he does he has to punish himself with increased exercise. He makes himself tasteless food that he doesn’t enjoy, he forces himself to get up when he’s only had a few hours sleep, he doesn’t allow himself to sit down and relax, he exercises until he’s in pain every day.
He always seemed to be irritated with me and we basically stopped being intimate. One week ago I caught him shirtless looking at himself in the mirror. It was the first time I had seen him without a shirt in about a month and I was shocked. I could tell by his face that he wasn’t putting on weight but I didn’t expect him to look the way he did. He still had a decent amount of muscle on his arms but his veins were prominent all over his body and he looked emaciated. I could see his ribcage and his stomach was sunken in. I knew I had to get him help right then. I cried and cried and told him he had to come see a doctor with me the next day. He really didn’t want to go, but eventually I got him to agree to come just for a health check up, probably just to prove me wrong.
He started off by telling the doctor that he knew he was healthy, that he “ran 15 miles the other day” and he “ate a balanced diet”. The doctor listened to me describe his problems while he just rolled his eyes and denied everything. Although his BMI was not quite underweight, the doctor said that his body fat was unsustainably low. She also found his blood pressure was too low. The worst thing was that his heartbeat was arrhythmic and very slow, and she said that he was at risk for cardiac arrest. They decided that because his health is in immediate risk and his mental health history (he has a very prominent scar on his body from a suicide attempt) that he should get inpatient care.
He was diagnosed with anorexia (which he disagrees with and is very embarrassed of) and has been in hospital for a few days now, though I know he hates it and thinks he can get better on his own. We had a long talk and he ended up breaking down and telling me that he felt like he had to make himself suffer to be a better person, and he didn’t deserve to enjoy himself. He said that he didn’t deserve to have NHS money wasted on him and he wished he could just die in peace. I knew he was hurting but I didn’t know how much and it broke my heart. I love him so much but he is severely mentally ill and I’ve literally spent nearly the entire relationship worrying about him. From his drinking, drug abuse, multiple arrests and now this.
I’ve done everything I can for him but I wonder if it’s ever going to be enough. Sometimes I want a partner who can support me as well, and although he is kind and listens to me, he has too many issues of his own. I’m not going to leave him though, I love him too much and he really needs support right now. I’m really glad he’s in hospital. I think it’s where he needs to be at the moment. I know this is the start of a long journey but I believe in him.
Tldr; boyfriend got worse and is now in hospital, diagnosed with anorexia. Cautiously optimistic for the future.