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.