I don’t deal well with feelings.
I guess I eat my feelings. Avoid my feelings. Run away. I’m actually really uncomfortable just talking about this right now.
From my own past and current experiences, these feelings encompass those of regret, anxiety, fear, shame, guilt, worry, stress and self-hate.
Personally, I feel deep, deep angst, anxiety, shame and anger over being too late to change. Since I continue to engage in destructive behaviors, I constantly worry that I am too late. Every single day that I continue to binge – yeah daily- is another day that my swollen stomach is ruined. These are the thoughts that go through my head – rational or not. I fear that I have eaten and binged for so long that my body is one giant sugar hole…just a giant blob. The feelings are reinforced every time I lift up my shirt and see my bloated, thick stomach – where I once used to have definition years ago.
What happened to me? What happened to that athletic, lean girl that would never, ever engage in such extreme and unhealthy behaviors? What happened to the girl with self-control…and self-respect.
That girl would hate who I am and have become. Would spit on her. Disgusting, vile; binging and sticking her feelings down her throat in a vain attempt to get up anything – but unsuccessful because her body won’t let her. The inability to purge leaves me feeling worse – far more bloated and full…and feeling fat, sugary…sick. Sick, very sick.
Feelings are an extremely difficult thing to face when battling an addiction – including an eating disorder from BED to bulimia to AN (note: I find it hard to talk about AN in particular; I think it makes me angry – angry that I don’t have that self-control and ability to restrict and starve myself. Yes, it makes me god-damned angry. I apologize for that). Whether you are dealing with depression, social anxiety, alcoholism, crack addiction – they all share the common characteristic of the need to escape feelings and your mind, your thoughts, your issues, your self, through the dependence of some substance.
Most people resort to addictive behaviors in order to escape feelings – escape actually feeling whatever emotion pops up, whether it be anger, sadness, loneliness, fear, etc. While some people indulge in TV, an occasional glass of wine or music, others aren’t able to do that. For a long time, and still even now, I thought that meant that I was weak, that there was something wrong and little of me to resort to ridiculously unhealthy behaviors. Why the hell couldn’t I just take a nap when I was stressed? Why couldn’t I go to a movie – without buying bags of candy? Why couldn’t I just read a book, make a nice meal when I was sad, tired or angry…why, why, why? Instead, I dove into bags, yes bags (plural) or chocolates and an entire box of cookies.
I still do this. I cannot hide the fact or even try to pretend I’m “healed”. Not even close. I say I am in recovery – but only because I am acknowledging the problems. I have not stopped engaging in them however.
I am ashamed. Every day, not just the weekend, not just two nights a week; not just a certain time of month. No.
For the last 10 to 12 months of pure, solid binging on unhealthy, horrible foods. (I’m not just talking about “good” foods).
And I hate myself.
I hate myself.
I am learning, and trying to actually believe, that it’s not a matter of something being “wrong with me” or being too weak and ignorant to not engage in these destructive habits. No, it’s about more than that.
The books and experts tell me that I am not a horrible person. Rather, they exclaim that I, the addict, cannot simply turn to healthier alternatives (such as a bath, book or a friend) because they are not strong enough right now to help me, us, face the fears, issues and deep-rooted emotions felt.
Okay, I read it.
I almost know it.
I might almost believe it.
But the voice in my head doesn’t care.
It still tells me I am a loser and will always live my life to the mercy of food and binging.
I am worthless.
That there is no way my stomach will ever be flat again and I will radiate health – not after nightly binges.
That’s the part that I’m struggling with.
That’s where I’m stuck.