Eating Disorders

I’ve been thinking about doing a post on my eating disorders – plural – for a while, but. It’s a hard subject to write about.

So much of what I can say could be taken negatively. I’m not sure if I could write it down properly.

But then COR Retreat, A Food Recovery Program, sent me this infographic about Food Addiction, and I thought… what better time to do it than now?

So, what is Food Addiction? I’ll let the infographic do the talking.

Click image for full size

I want to say that food addiction, for me, started in high school, but it didn’t. It started when I was younger, when I was being abused. I’d eat in secret, often using my lunch money to buy sweets from the shop around the corner on the way to school, leaving me enough money to buy the cheapest item on the lunch menu. I used to buy packs of sweets or mints or whatever, and I could never leave any. I had to eat the whole pack.

Say, for instance, now, I buy a multipack of crisps. Chances are I will sit and eat the entire multipack – not just the entire individual pack, but the entire multipack – in one sitting.

I cope with my feelings with food. Good mood? Food! Bad mood? Food!

When I was in college, I became an alcoholic, and started dealing with my feelings with alcohol, which was an even worse method than food. When my partner broke up with me at the start of this year, my first instinct was to go to the rum in the alcohol cupboard and take a drink. I’m mostly teetotal now, but things like that happen.

If I could be teetotal, or the food equivalent, I’d be fine.

When I was in high school, I used to sneak biscuits. I used to do whatever I could to sneak them – it usually amounted to hiding them under my boobs, and then eating them when the coast was clear, sometimes in the bathroom, sometimes in my bedroom. Sometimes I’d hide them in my school bag so I could eat them when I got to school.

When I got old enough to have my own room, I started eating in it. I hated eating where people could see me. It makes eating in public restaurants very difficult. I always feel like people are watching me. “Look at the fat girl eating, oh my god!”

Because fat people don’t have to eat to survive. We just shouldn’t eat where we can be seen.

About two weeks ago, I bought a special on a pack of biscuits. Kit-Kat, I think. £1 for something like 8 double-finger bars, and I said, “that’ll do me a wee while, then, with a cup of coffee.”

Would it hell. I had a cup of coffee that afternoon, and I had no Kit-Kats left by the end of the cup. I didn’t want to eat them all, but I couldn’t help myself, either.

The last time I had a binge, was about a month ago. I’d just had my Social Welfare money paid into my bank account, and I’d been to the shops and bought my groceries, so the fridge was full, and the cupboards were full.

There was nothing I wanted for lunch.

I walked over to The Co-Operative across the road, and I bought one of their Meal Deals: sandwich, snack, bottle of soda. They had things on cheap, too, so I bought a four pack of pork pies. A yoghurt. A pack of cream slices. A bar of tablet. A pack of crisps.

And, at the time, they were selling a 4-pack of Snickers for £1.

So I bought one of those, too.

This ties into my Food Addiction. I thought, “the pork pies will do me for lunch and dinner. The rest of the stuff’ll do me at least three days.”

I sat down, and I ate the lot of it. In one sitting.

Admittedly, it wouldn’t be called a binge if I hadn’t, but.

I couldn’t stop. It was like opening a pack of biscuits: I had to eat it all. I got halfway through it – I’d eaten the sandwich, the snack (a flapjack, I think), the bar of tablet, two of the pork pies, and I was looking at the rest going, “I could leave that until later.”

I didn’t, of course.

I ate it all. And I still ate something for dinner. I could have not eaten something for dinner – I still felt stuff at dinner time, but I ate something anyway.

I’m not entirely sure why I binge eat. I wasn’t starved as a kid.

I know there was that whole, “I have to put on weight so I’m disgusting so that I don’t get abused by men again,” thing, but now? Why do I do it now?

Now that I want to be fit and healthy and have relationships and significant others and I don’t want my knees to pack in on me, and I want a job and I want my backache to go away?

Why can’t I stop binge-eating?

Why can’t I get rid of the food addiction?

I know I’ve babbled a fair wee bit for this entry, and somehow it still just doesn’t seem enough, does it?

If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, please, get help. Don’t suffer alone. Suffering alone is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through.

(Waiting for help is also hard. But not nearly as hard as suffering alone.)