The Binge-Monster

First let me state this; Anorexia is definately not something to be proud of. But, then again; What disease is?

But then there’s the bingeing. I am well convinced by now I am not the only one who dealth with/is dealing with AN-induced bingeing. I do not it’s a highly sensitive subject. Even for me, Sooz ‘Sarcasm”; my fulll name. I can joke about anything, now matter how painful the subject. If we can’t even laugh about it, then what good is it for? But it took me about a year before I was able to kid about bingeing, before that, I couldn’t even share it with the people closest to me, it was simply too painful of a secret.

What do I mean with bingeing? I am not talking about stuffing two slices of bread and half a bite of chocolate in your mouth, combined with a complete panick attack, before your shaking hands ditch the rest of the loaf and bar in the trash-bin while you cover it with an entire bottle of liquid detergent to prevent yourself from eating the rest. True story, yes. And I have many more of these lovely tales.

At least it enlightened me on how they ever chose the name bin-ge. The irony..

When I speak of bingeing, I mean bingeing.  Eating an entire loaf of bread, two entire bars of chocolate, an entire gallon of icecream (and not a single bite less) and a bag of crisps. In one single sitting. After which you cry, cry, cry and cry and promise yourself you’ll never do it again. Until about three hours later and you find yourself with your head back in the fridge again to go for round 2.

I tell you, even though AN is not something to feel proud of, this bingeing will be the the most shameful secret ever. Oh, how painfully humbling this disease is..

The bingeing is a strange thing. It feels like, now you’re finally trying to listen to your body every now and then, all it does is betray you. You give in a little, and all it will do is take advantage of it and completely ruin things. It doesn’t just make you regret ever deciding to have a bite in the first place, it makes you just want to give up on eating again completely. Why does this keep happening? Why can’t you eat like a normal person? You felt way more in control of life, your body, your eating before all this binge-misery started, so why on earth would you continue down this road to hell? If it’s done anything, it is making you feel even more lost, miserable and insecure.

It takes a long time to re-establish mutual trust between you and your body. It might even sound weird to see the two as two distinct things, but it takes the mutual trust again to reunite the two back into one whole you. You starved your body for quite some time now, and it will take a lot for it to regain health. Gaining after anorexia doesn’t just mean gaining weight. Gaining body. It’s a lot more than that. It does take a lot of intake to gain back the weight and body to get back to a healthy place again, but it also takes a lot of to regain concentration. Social skills. Emotions. Feelings. Memories. To regain strength and self-esteem. To regain all those things you’ve missed out on for so long. Moments. Parties. Laughter. It takes a lot to reefed your brain and heart. To reefed your soul. To gain yourself back. You.

Your body feels betrayed. Right now, when you let it have a minor say in your eating, it will take the opportunity to stock up as much as it can. It has lost complete faith in your ability to sufficiently do so. It feels you’re inadequate and incapable to give it what it needs. So when it sees the slightest opportunity to take some, it will. When you then decide you thus can’t trust your body to tell you what it needs (because, obviously, it’s betraying you again by way overdoing it) and therefore you’ll take back control and restrict your intake again, you will only live up to its worst expectations. And therefore, whenever it finds an opportunity, it will gorge up on anything and everything as much as it can again.

To re-establish this mutual trust, you need to keep re-feeding your body. You don’t need to ‘forgive’ your body or yourself for the binges; there is no forgiving when there’s no fault to blame.  Your body is trying to make up for long due damage, and it needs no forgiving for doing so. As long as you will not restrict afterwards, and keep continuously feed it everything it might possibly want, crave and need, it at some Point will realise you’re not that bad after all.  You need to trust your body that it will learn to trust you again. If you keep fuelling it properly, it will regain trust in you, through which you will regain trust in your body. This mutual trust will lead to a stable, healthy and balanced you again. And remember, balance isn’t something that is captured in a moment, balance happens over time.  And so does trust. Trust is something that needs building up, after which it can be used as a construction to build further upon. To build more trust, more love, more life, more you. You will first gain you back, after which you can continue to grow.

In no very particular order; Gain weight. Gain health. Gain trust. Gain dreams. Gain opportunities. Gain experiences. Gain skills. Gain feelings. Gain joy. Gain emotions. Gain love. Gain knowledge. Gain confidence. Gain life. Grow.

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41 thoughts on “The Binge-Monster

  1. Dear Sooz,
    You absolutely hit the nail on the head with this! You’ve taken the words out of my mouth. I want to applaud you for your incredible insight – I really hope you give yourself credit for being able to recognize how everything is connected and realize that the only way to progress is to keep going, although it sometimes seems insurmountable.
    You are strong! :-)

    K

  2. “You don’t need to ‘forgive’ your body or yourself for the binges; there is no forgiving when there’s no fault to blame. ”

    Touche. Nuff said.

  3. The Binge-Monster scares me sometimes, but you’re right, and that quote about forgiving is brilliant. Weight gain and restoration is so important, and if eating copious amounts of food achieves that, then good. I hope to start trusting my body to regulate itself soon enough :)

  4. This is so completely my experience of binge eating.

    It is UNBEARABLE. Truly. Not much more to say that you haven’t said… but you know you’re not alone, I hope :).

  5. Perfect attitude. Right now, it’s blatently good for you anyway. It will pass, but you have to just sit through it. You’ll get to normal eating soon enough. Right now, you’re right. It’s all about learning to trust one another again. It’s probably pretty darn good actually.

    x.

    • I think I passed the stage of it being good for me, since I’m back at my old weight. But I’ll write another one about that later. Re-gaining that mutual trust though.. Ah, so hard, but so essential!

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  7. Reblogged this on faithandmeow and commented:
    “It takes a long time to re-establish mutual trust between you and your body. It might even sound weird to see the two as two distinct things, but it takes the mutual trust again to reunite the two back into one whole you. You starved your body for quite some time now, and it will take a lot for it to regain health. Gaining after anorexia doesn’t just mean gaining weight. Gaining body. It’s a lot more than that. It does take a lot of intake to gain back the weight and body to get back to a healthy place again, but it also takes a lot of to regain concentration. Social skills. Emotions. Feelings. Memories. To regain strength and self-esteem. To regain all those things you’ve missed out on for so long. Moments. Parties. Laughter. It takes a lot to reefed your brain and heart. To reefed your soul. To gain yourself back. You.”

    This is perhaps the best post I’ve ever read on the topic of bingeing, and the importance of mutual trust between your body and yourself. Mundanebrain has helped me understand a lot better why nourishing my body is so important if I’m ever to be free from the binge monster. I think everyone should read this – so I’m reblogging for your benefit :)

  8. Trust is the key word..in your particular disease and in many others…Trusting your emotions, your ability to fit in with society and to feel at ease with oneself. For me in the past couple of years…to trust that I am free from ‘depression’. I know that I believe I am…I just work daily at ‘knowing’ and trusting, that somehow I could be not be fooled and it will return..I choose to believe it will never come back ! Diane

    • Believing in yourself is probably 85% of the solution. As long as we truly believe in ourselves, we will try to live accordingly. A (positive) selffulfilling prophecy. But getting there is a long and arduous road, isn’t it? I’m glad to hear you’ve made it to the good side of self-trust. That really is awesome! Love, Sooz

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  10. Been there, done that. ANA for 3 years, then ED NOS (binge-restrict-repeat) for about 6. Now I don’t give a shit about food, I’ve become a cocaine addict. And everything you said hit home, right here. I can’t give it up yet, my body craves it. I still love my bones in a very sick way. And I’m scared, I’m completely afraid. And yet, I GAVE IT UP for 10 days and I gained weight and I felt like my joy was back. I could smile again. Addictions are inevitable for those who are born with the curiosity for extremes. Yet there’s a middle ground (being calmer, being fatter, being normal) and that middle ground is not only desirable, it’s what will keep us alive.

    • But that’s the start! Right there! That’s the start! You managed for ten days, and felt it was worth it. Ten days is halfway! They say it takes over 20days to break a habit. You won’t be ‘cured’ after that, but at least you will have kicked some serious habit-butt.

      I HATE middleground right now. I HATE average. Intensely. But this is currently a very bad body image day I KNOW that on a good day, I won’t think about it that much. There’s so much more we’re capable of when we give ourselves (and therefore also our bodies cuz, shit, they depend on each other!) the chance!

      Now it’s ten days of good, maybe you can stretch them to more (yes yes yes you can!), and then, after every possible slip, you’ll be able to pick yourself up and get back on track more and more easily. That’s recovery. And you’ve made that awesome first step (again?) just now. Recovery and addictions are all so similar, whether its drugs, food, self harm, etc. In all instances we’re doing harm to ourselves, quite possibly to block out something else. In all instances we need to find out what that is and re-learn to deal with these things. In all instances it comes with ups and downs (unfortunately..) but in all instances, if we really commit full-force, it’s possible.

      Thanks for your words. Hope you’re well!
      Love, Sooz

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  14. Sorry, been hovering around for a while, and been reading through your blog, decided I had to comment on this!

    I am currently struggling with AN induced binges, physically and emotionally. This is brilliantly written and has articulated how I feel so well. Haha! I can relate to the detergent thing. I’ve tried so many things, not having ‘binge food’ in (I just binge on what’s in the cupboard instead, if it’s cereal and rice cakes so be it!) Cutting up my bank cards, not having food in the house at all… Once I emptied an ashtray into a jar of peanut butter just to stop myself eating it… then bought another jar!

    I just have to keep telling myself that my body isn’t supposed to be this weight, I’ve starved and damaged it with lots of horrible ED behaviours (overexercise/ purging/ laxative abuse…) and I need to let it heal. I’ve been ignoring it, and it’s finally fed up of being ignored!

    Just had a total ramble, but yeah, this post has helped me deal with bingeing better, I just need to stop beating myself up about it and accepting it.

    • At least you bought another jar of PB, I could have just as easily scooped the ash out again and eaten around it ;) Its so awful what the ED makes us do when we get to ‘that place’. I am known for eating all the things I don’t like (or am even allergic to!!) because it is ‘off limits’. And when I’m in my binge-mode, everything that’s off limits will be first up. And then anything else. Truly doesnt matter what it is.

      Your body is indeed trying to take over control when it sees the tiniest chance of doing so. And hey, can we blame it? Not like we’ve been doing an awfully good job of listening to its needs, right? So beating yourself up makes no sense, you’re only doing (or, letting your body do, as that was how I felt) what is GOOD for you. You should not beat yourself up, you should not even ‘forgive’ yourself, you should allow yourself. You need it.

      I’ve found the only (yes, very scary) way to be to really, continuously eat. Even after binges. Even when you KNOW you’ll end up bingeing MORE after it again. Keep up the regular eating routine too, it’s the only way to start building a relationship of mutual trust again.

      And please, keep ‘rambling’ here anytime!! Every comment is greatly appreciated!

      Keep up the hard work. Are you ready for the commitment yet?
      There’s a LOT of us out here struggling, and together, we’re making it out of the woods.

      Big hugs!
      Sooz

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  16. About that… lol. When I was at my lowest weights I was rooting round in bins/ stealing food just to binge on (So much shame comes with disorders and it took me a while to come to terms with the bingeing.) I’ve only just learnt to stop feeling guilty post binge, as in there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve been starving for months! Huge deficit! I did have a recent episode with a bag of cookies. Emptied the ashtray into them and threw them away. Three hours later: Fishing them out of the bin. Cookies and cigarette ash aren’t that tasty a combination.

    Recently (after dithering around/ making excuses/ tears/ tantrums) I’ve decided to embrace recovery. It was a gradual rather than a sudden decision, and yeah, found that with binges. For me restricition is the enemy (well for anyone really) By restricting I’m setting myself back some more.

    I love reading your blog, you make me laugh and smile, and I relate to so many of your struggles.

    I’m going through the feeling big stage (not fat, just big for me.) I just thew out all my ED clothes. Liberating to say the least!

    xxx

    • That is AWESOME! Some of us here discussed what to do with the clothes, donating them, making something out of them (art or a pillow to squeeze and scream into when things get rough), make it into something new (a little denim jacket for the little one) etc. Or just ritually burn them….. hihi

      Cookies&Cigarette ice cream actually does have a catchy tune to it. Could have been a B&J flavour namewise!! Peace, love and cookies&cigarettes.

      I couldn’t quite ’embrace’ most of my binges, but sometimes I could. Just by ‘allowing myself’, and rather than hoovering above the kitchen counter/cupboards making something I thought I was craving, even if it was ridiculous, even if was weird combo’s, even if it was way too much, and then eating it on the couch or whatever. That would make it feel less shamefull than stuffing myself in the kitchen..

      Thanks for saying I make you laugh. I like that :) It’s my only way of processing sometimes; turning things into a joke. Just to lighten it up a little. At least then something will be ‘light’ ;)

      Big hugs!
      Sooz

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  24. “To re-establish this mutual trust, you need to keep re-feeding your body. You don’t need to ‘forgive’ your body or yourself for the binges; there is no forgiving when there’s no fault to blame. ” –> hugs <3 I need these posts.

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