Fighting Food Addiction: When it’s Beating You

On of the hardest things about addiction is recovery (I know, pointing out the obvious) but really it is. It is just so easy to give up. People always say they have no will power, they can’t diet, can’t loose weight, but then you see them stick with some ridiculous fad diet for at least three days before realising the whole thing is ridiculous and moving on. A food addict would love being able to last that long with just a little effort.

Even if I manage to go one day without binging or eating gluten and sugar I count it as a win. But that win leaves you panicking; on one had you don’t want to tell anyone because you have to manage expectations; what if you can’t keep it up for another day, what if you slip, you don’t want to disappoint anyone. But then if you don’t tell anyone then they can’t know if you do cheat the next day so you’re less likely to be good.

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Recovery is full of vicious cycles. I know I haven’t written about it much – I haven’t written much of anything to be honest – so here it is: I was doing really well in January, until I wasn’t. Then I just got worse and worse. I felt so good when I was eating right at first, but the only problem was I was really struggling to focus (withdrawal is a bitch) and it was massively effecting my work. Then one day, all it took was one conversation in the office and it was all over.

I binged and I didn’t care, but at the same time I did, I wanted to stop, I kept telling myself I will start fresh tomorrow. Tomorrow never came. I woke up with good intentions every day but never managed to follow through and ended up beating myself up even more, getting more down and binging more.

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If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to binge, what that actually means, let me shed a little light. Now, it’s not the same for everyone but the process is fairly similar. I eat and eat and eat until I hurt. I don’t just mean oh my tummy’s a little too full. I mean that I eat until I am in agony, I cannot move for food, all I want to do is throw up but I know that’s going to hurt too. I feel it coming as I eat but I don’t stop, it’s like I want that pain because I’m punishing myself. If one thing doesn’t make the hurt come I’ll find something else, and another and another until I can barely move. Then what do I do? I hide the evidence, I make sure no one knows how much I ate.

Do I enjoy a binge? No. Is it satisfying? No, there is absolutely nothing satisfying about it. The entire time I am doing it I hate myself a little more with each bite. I am not strong enough to stop mid-binge, I wish I was.

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Really the long and short of it is that I fell, I failed and now I’m flailing. But not anymore, today I have woken up feeling lethargic and unmotivated, I had crazy dreams about working in The White House (we started watching House of Cards last night and got through about 6 episodes before finally going to bed), and I honestly don’t really want this week to have started already.All that being said, I’m going to do it anyway. The amount of weight I have put on since January is, without question, disgusting, I can’t stand looking at myself – even more than before, my joints are hurting more than ever, my psoriasis is worse than it has ever been and I am starting to notice signs of illness that could lead to something much worse.

What does all that mean? It means I have to do something now. I have to take control of my life before illness and disease takes control of me. I just wish I had someone to talk to who understands. I know that the people around me are more than willing to talk about things with me but I still feel alone, they can’t relate. I’m struggling on my own.

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I had never put much faith in meetings for recovering addicts but I’m finding myself wishing for one, there is no support here, and while the Facebook group that I am a part of is incredibly helpful and ‎Joan Ifland who moderates is extremely insightful it isn’t quite the same as having someone to talk to.

Despite everything though, one thing is unapologetically clear: I can’t keep making excuses for myself. I can’t keep pawning it off on tomorrow, it’s going to be today.

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