Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Heaven help me

After talking yesterday about how helpful it is to share thoughts and feelings, and how it can help one to endure the rigors of being on the inside of a frightful binge compulsion, I totally imploded late yesterday afternoon, and just a few bites at a time entered into a bad binge. A really bad one. Worse than in months. All the behaviors returned - the ones I talked about in that post...isolation, leaving the house at night to get "more of a fix", electing to be ina different place in the house to go unwitnessed by the husband in this behavior.

I wasn't going to share it. There is so much shame, remorse and self hatred for me this morning. It's utterly ridiculous and pathetic. I don't want to sound this way. This way that I simply am right now. But I read Tammy's post (From Fat To Fab) from yesterday early this morning, and I knew I had to at least have the courage to be honest. Maybe I don't have what it takes to abort a binge before it starts when I hear the f-ing thoughts building like ominous thunderclouds, but I can tell the truth instead of my old behavior of lying to self and others about my eating. I started this blog for myself - to journal about my struggles, my crazy thoughts and my victories (of which there are way too few of late). I didn't start it to sound like Mary Mental Health, and it's a good thing because I really do feel a bit psycho. Maybe I'd feel less so than if I wasn't blogging and having to be honest. Then I'd just be engaging in the behaviors and not really dealing with them. Just accepting them as part of my hardwiring that could easily propel up the scale into weight regions I don't want to go.

Looking back on this binge, it feels like it was almost self-violence. And pointless. No hunger involved. No relief after the first few bites that signified I was going to do some no-holds-barred eating. I would never have gone out to a meeting last night except that I didn't have sufficient junk food on hand to "get the job done". So I stopped for "supplies", ate a few on the way to the meeting, and was antsy through the whole meeting knowing what was waiting in my car.

I wonder if it helps to analyze and scrutinize this? It's basically the same broken record replayed for the trillionth time. I have some stress, but nothing major. The thyroid biopsy is tomorrow morning. No I'm not thrilled about it. Yes I'm a little worried, but not that much. It'll be over by 9:30 and I'll have the day to myself. My left knee is acting up so I've not been exercising per usual. My right elbow is screwed up so I can't lift weights the way I did in the beginning of my journey. The health care crisis in America can send me into a rant for hours. We're losing the war in Afghanistan. None of it is worth the abuse I heaped on myself last night. Rather, into myself.

I don't want to have to write one more freaking confession about bingeing.

Tammy's post I mentioned earlier included her thoughts and possible fears about getting to goal. I get that big time. In every other area of my life, I am together, confident, competent, content, peaceful. But this food thing has me licked. (is that a food pun?) Can I really be all that positive stuff listed in the previous sentence and be this powerless over food addiction? I've never been the evolved person I am today AT A NORMAL WEIGHT. I've battled this for 20+ years. What will a normal weight look and feel like? I think I'm afraid it's not possible for me. I know I'm afraid of that. I'm afraid I can't have all the positive without paying a price. Like will I die as soon as I get there? I don't think I believe that, but I have to wonder what lies beneath this most recent episode in a series of relapses. Why can I stay sober, but I can't stop bingeing? Why am I a beacon of alcohol recovery, and a sad story of food addiction? Poor me.

I want to say this is it. I've said it before. I think I need to pull out bigger guns to fight my spirituality and faith. I keep that all at arm's length, because if that doesn't work, I'm really screwed. Maybe I'm afraid it will work. One thing I know for sure, what I'm doing isn't working. A normal person starting where I did in June would be in the 180s by now. And I was doing great until I hit an inner brick wall that I was hoping I'd permeated last week. But apparently there is more to do. More to uncover. More to be honest about.

So much for feelin' almost groovy.


  1. I am right there with you Leslie.

  2. Hi Leslie. I'm really struck today about the distance this thing puts between you and your husband ie you staying away from him and him leaving you to it. He must, after all, know what you're up to. Maybe you have had big to-dos about this in the past between you and thus he deems it better to just leave you to get on with it, rather than have an argument. Or maybe it is an unspoken between you.

    I'd be interested to hear about the dynamics that operate there because I think it could be important.

    My idea would be that perhaps you could engage his help on this thing, so you don't end up eating alone. Or just make a deal with yourself that you will seek out his company/ stay close to him when you feel bingey, rather than turning away from him. It actually makes me sad to think that you put this distance between you. Maybe you should let him be there for you in this particular aspect of life.

    As I say, I don't know where you two are on this so as usual I'm speaking out of turn. Sorry! Just a thought.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  3. Just know that everything you say has worth, whether it is having a successful day or confessing a horrible binge. Don't dwell in it. Say to yourself "I messed up!" Tomorrow will be better. And Don't get caught into a trap of thinking a "normal" person would weight 180 by now. Everyone has unique circumstances, and while binging is not "normal" your circumstances do make it harder. One think we've picked up in bible study these few weeks is that God is the Master of Circumstances. No matter what, He's there.

  4. I am sitting here at the computer after just having a slice of cherry pie. Didn't need it... don't know that I wanted it. I am stressed to the limit this afternoon and so, I ate it.
    Sometimes, stress throws you off course and there's just no stopping it.
    So, now we BOTH need to say, we did it. We binged.
    Now, let's start over.
    Fruit salad sounds good. :) You CAN do it!

  5. Well done for having the courage to confess the binge. But the shame and guilt you're feeling is definitely not healthy and you just (I know this is not as easy in practice as it is for me to type!) need to draw a line under it and move on. It's not going to have undone all your hard work (even though it can feel like that!) but it will if you let the guilt engulfe you and drive you to do it again (and again). Goodness know, I've been there, done that and it breaks my heart to think of someone else potentially facing the same. I used to binge between several times a week and several times a day and I've exhibited the exact same behaviour you describe. I've not binged in 3 months now and I don't know how I can say this for sure, but something in me has changed, particularly my attitude to food. I no longer get the intrusive, obsessive, MUST HAVE THIS PARTICULAR FOOD NOW thoughts that just used to appear from nowhere, and for that I am eternally grateful. I wish I could come up with some words of wisdom to help you, but if you ever want to chat, I'm only an email away...

    Also, please don't be afraid of being happy. You deserve it! :o)

    Bye for now

    Patsy x

  6. I ready Tammy's post too and I can relate to all of it. You can conquer this just like you did with alcoholism. I see so many similarities between food addiction and all the other forms of addiction. I wish there was more I could say to help but just know that there are so many of us here that have the same struggles. We really can help each other!

  7. Leslie, please don't beat yourself up like this. It is so damaging. We are all going to make mistakes at times. That's what makes us wonderfully human!

    I heard this once:

    "Each second is a new opportunity to change your life."

    So you had a moment where you ate more than you wanted to. A new second is coming right around the corner.

  8. Leslie,
    You are a "normal" person! So many of us have been there. Interestingly enough I have this self sabotage system for myself when I get close to my goal weight, so I know where you are coming from here. Arrgh!! So very, vey frustrating!!! And why is this so hard??? I'm still trying to figure that one out myself.
    Great post, and thanks for having the courage to write it!

  9. I think we all have these moments, and not one of us are crazy for it. The important thing is you realized you binged and you weren't hungry, and tomorrow is a new day and you can pick yourself back up and get back on the road to good health :)

  10. So I guess you've heard of OA, huh? Overeaters Anonymous based on the same 12 steps as AA? If AA worked for you, then maybe you'd find OA helpful.

    I know for me when I binge it's about feeling alienated in some way. Or incapable. (And I'm a really capable successful person too).

    When I overeat (a step down from binging), I often feel this kind of f-it attitude.

    Your anxiety about becoming "normal" is interesting. . . that's probably worth digging into a bit. . .

    Anyway, I can Sooooo identify with your self loathing and shame. OA hasn't been my thing. . . but I'm a HUGE believer in therapy!! :)

  11. I wrote once that I thought before that I had everything together but food. This time around I have finally realized that the only thing that gave me happiness and comfort WAS THE FOOD. In almost every other area in my life, i was accepting less because I was too afraid to ask for more. There is a laundry list of reasons why I didn't feel I could, the only place i felt I could get exactly what I wanted when I wanted it was when I ate whatever I wanted. Learning not to do that has been a process of finding true happiness and contentment in all the areas of my life that I had been accepting less in. It has been hard, ugly and messy. But I haven't binged since starting. That has been my journey. Do you think maybe there are some areas where you just aren't getting what you want? I don't know, it's just a theory or a thought or something. Never feel ashamed. It was what you did yesterday, not who you are today. Hop back on the horse.

  12. At least you had the courage to tell us and not shamefully put it away. Not just move forward. You don't like how it makes you feel, so why are you doing it? In the past I'm sure it comforted you or made you somewhat happy or something, but it doesn't sound like it's doing any of that nowadays.

    We need to recognize what no longer works for us. Something that helped or made you happy in the past may not today, and you need to get your mind to understand that. It's hard when it's such familiar behavior, but you know what you need to do. And we'll all be here for you as you figure out the ways to finally lose that weight.

  13. Please know that we care and we want to hear about what you are going through. I know all the self-loathing you feel, etc., but you are worthwhile and you can and will get past this. No more self-beatings, okay? :D Hugs!

  14. Thanks for writing this Leslie, and for leaving the comment on my last post. As sick as this sounds, it helps me to know I'm not alone...but along that same thought...we have each other. In AA, don't you have a "sponsor"? Someone you can call on when things get shaky? I know we don't live close, but thank God for the iinternet! You can email me anytime...and since I'm unemployed, I'm able to check it pretty often. I haven't checked your blog yet to see if you have an email listed, but if you don' better put one up for me!! One thing that I do know deep within me is that we WILL beat this. We will. It might take more work than it does for others, but it is not impossible. These are the times that I rely heavily on my faith. "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengtheneth me." -Phil. 4:13. I can do ALL things...that means beating the food addiction, too. We'll get there...and there may be more posts like our last 2 in the future...but let's keep at it, okay? Let's keep looking forward, and keep looking up.

  15. I have sympathy for what you wrote. I can not begin to tell you to do. But I did have several things from my own history that popped into my head as I read your words.

    I do not think that any of us can put a time line or a result date on our process. I think all we can do is to work our own plan each day. One day at a time. Maybe we can look so far ahead as to plan a week - so that we can build in our exercise days and our rest days (and maybe carb up days and carb down days if one is following a macro type of plan in conjunction with their exercise). But I think making long lists and planning our progress on the calendar is a mistake. One day at a time is best. And sometimes it is one hour at a time. . .

    I think that secrets (spending, eating, sex, or whatever) play a BIG part of the problem for many of us. It gives the power to the secret. And when we stop keeping secrets we empower ourselves.

    I could not be trusted with cash for years. Because I would buy the wrong foods with cash, but for some reason would not with a credit card or check. I suppose the cash kept the secret and the others left a record. I kept NO cash on me for YEARS. And I still keep no random cash. The only cash that I keep - to this day - is planned cash - where I need a certain amount for a certain event. And even with NO cash - I kept my purse in the trunk of my car for YEARS (I still do most of the time out of habit). I had a drive thru problem and keeping the purse in the trunk (with NO cash) was enough to STOP that. If I would have had to keep just my driver's license in the car with me and put the rest of my purse in a locked safe at the bank in order to stop my away from home eating - I would have done that. I would have done whatever it took to stop sabotaging myself.

    I spent a lot of time in self imposed time out until I could trust myself not to eat NON-food. It took me a year of solid effort to learn to eat whole foods, to eat ONLY at meal time, to eat portions, and to eat a balanced meal. I spent a lot of time sitting in the corner - staring at the wall - getting myself back under control. I understand now that this was impulse control. And I would sit and stare at the wall and BAWL over the awfulness of it. Once I started yoga and learned to quiet my mind and BE in the moment - this started to get easier and easier. But I paid my dues of learning to DEAL with the moment and the feeling - rather than stuffing it down. You will hear people say - get in the bath tub. And I did that - not to soak away in dreamy bubbles - but to literally contain myself until I could trust myself. Sometimes that meant I let out the cold water and refilled - MANY times before I could trust myself to get out and walk free in the world of food and feelings.

    I have heard people say that it is easier to stop drinking - because when you stop - you don't ever HAVE to have another drink. But eating is something that you have to do (and therefore harder - or hopeless as some people like to think). The difference for me is thinking of FOOD and NON-FOOD. Most people do not binge on food. Most people binge on NON-food. And it is possible to live a life of never eating NON-food again. Just like not drinking alcohol again.

  16. and do not under estimate what might be 'perking' inside. I think that the accumulation of things in our lives can really add up without our realizing it. Each stress-er on its own might look manageable - but all together - they add up for each of us.

  17. Girl , I don't know what to say. All your great friends have said it all . I think it is time for you to rely on your faith. You said you did not want to . But Pray , get down on those knees and pray. I will pray with you and for you . Take it one day at a time. Don't think about tomorrow. Just start the day and try to focus on what you do and what you are doing that day. Than that night you can say . I did it . I made it without overeating. Than pray some more. Love ya!