Cheese. Cheshire cheese. White bread. Real butter. Full-fat milk.
I should be asleep; instead I’m nursing an uncomfortably full stomach and feeling the pangs of binge-regret wash over me. Guilt over losing control. Anger at myself for giving in to the cravings. What exactly am I playing at here? What emotion am I trying to feed? I’m not sure I know anymore. It’s just become such a bad habit.
Against my better judgement, I’ve made a descision to not purge. That includes slimming pills, laxatives and any other bizarre form of punishment I can find. Laxatives is a very easy option right now; I have a pack right next to me in my dresser drawer and could swallow a handful in a couple of seconds if I really wanted to. It’d help with the bloating, and the full-up feeling, and just generally relax and comfort me (strange words to say about laxatives, really) until I feel ready to try eating healthily again.
It’s 4.46am. I’m sitting up on my bed, waiting for the stomach pains to start. It’s my own fault; I truly can’t go on like this. Why do I have such a fucked-up relationship with food? What is it that makes me sneak downstairs in the night and grill cheese on toast, sorting wildly through the fridge for precious fat and salt?
Perhaps now is the time to admit defeat, and ask about some sort of therapy for the binging. I’ve held back because of waiting lists and shame, but I’m not sure I can beat this on my own. I know the steroids are partly to blame, and hopefully it’ll get easier when I come off them in four weeks (I’m dreading it, truth be told, they help enormously with my joint and muscle pain). I don’t know what sort of therapy to ask for – CBT was the biggest waste of time in my life – because there’s just not enough available in my area without going private. I’d have to start walking the streets to afford private therapy.
I need to be asleep, but the more I think about it, the worse I feel. I have to go to town with my mother tomorrow/today, and I don’t want yet another clapped-out zombie walking around shops experience. The people who live in the house opposite my bedroom are awake; at least, their living room light is on. It’s often on at night, perhaps there’s a fellow insomniac in the area. Or maybe they just don’t care about electricity bills.
I need to remember to get a few things in town. Hair products is the main priority; I don’t know what’s happened to my hair lately, but it’s turned into a mane of orange frizz. I’ve got a hairdresser appointment on Friday and it can’t come quickly enough. I’m far from impressed by what’s perched on my head. It means I’ll have hardly any money for the weeked, and S is also out of funds, but I need the confidence good hair gives me. Try growing up with frizzy, uncontrollable ginger hair; you soon learn to spend money on fixing it.
Okay. The urge is passing. With luck, I might get three hours of sleep if I calm down soon. It might seem a little strange that I’m typing away on a blog in the middle of a shit-don’t-purge freak out, but I suppose it’s a big enough part of my life (one of the biggest) to merit some sort of detailed mention.
I have been a binge-eater since puberty. Given that I entered puberty at nine years old, that’s a long time to be trapped in the cycle. Bulimia and anorexia took over at times, but binge-eating has always been one of my closest friends and worst enemies. I can’t remember life without it, and the idea of it not being there is a frightening one. I simply don’t know how to cope without it; and I want to, dearly. I want to be free from the need to stuff my face every time I feel the slightest emotion. I need to stop beating myself up and using calories as punishment. Somehow, binge-eating feels more shameful than anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia has that cool aloofness; a purity. Bulimia is raw and visceral. Binge-eating though… it’s just bad manners. It’s clumsy and out of control, associated with greed and a supposedly ever-growing obese society. It’s unhealthy and unattractive. Binge-eating needs to be secretive, and the feeling when you’re caught shoving cake into your mouth is like no other.
And it is so easy to let it spiral out of control.
I confess; I often long for anorexia. I don’t consider myself cured, although it’s been a long time since I truly starved myself, and I miss the feeling of utter power and control. Allthough I’m somewhat on the ‘other side’ now and can see that rationally there is no control where anorexia is concerned, there is a part of me who wants to have that ability again. The ability to ration food and memorise calorie contents. The ability to lose 7lbs in a week. I know I can’t allow myself to go down that route now; I have too much to lose. Still, I miss it. It’s like a long-distance friend I haven’t seen for too long.
- The Hidden Life of Bulimia (brokenbelievers.com)
- 14st, 2lbs (halfwaybetweenthegutter.wordpress.com)
- Binge Eating & Me (extrabulk.wordpress.com)
- Thoughts about Binge Eating Disorder and Compulsive Overeating (faithandmeow.wordpress.com)
- Journey to Health IV: Binge Eating (sweettoothrunner.com)
- The Secret Life of a Bulimic (fatlifeguard.wordpress.com)