Dear diary: The best binge of my life

A really great binge.

Is there such a thing?

As liberating as writing a few posts this week that I think really show how far I’ve come in recovery has been, I feel a bit of resistance. And a bit of stress with starting summer school. And that’s played out in chocolate cravings and some night time eating that is fine, but that probably should have raised a bigger red flag for me.

Anyways, it is what it is, and even though yesterday was perfection–my yoga class was fun, I hung out with a friend after, etc., I still fell into some bad territory last night. Or good territory, depending on how you look at this all (if you can follow along, you’ll see!).

Since I don’t have a deceptive bone in my body, I’m going to lay it all out:

  • went to bulk barn
  • ate some chocolate in a relaxed manner
  • got past the point of tired, got past the point of eating for pleasure/hunger, got to the point of “am I bingeing?” and stopped
  • went back to the kitchen, continued eating “I’m definitely bingeing”
  • went back to the kitchen again, tossed the rest of what I was bingeing on (telltale old dieting habit: I’m too out of control to have it around? <– that’s bull!) but ate more in the process
  • went to bed
  • felt sick
  • got up and threw up

Now, here’s what was different. NORMALLY I’d have been a WRECK over this. Does my reaction, which wasn’t to beat myself up, to plan a diet, to continue eating, to cry myself to sleep, to write epic blog posts or journals, mean I don’t care? That I’m giving up on recovery?

Hells no.

I think it means the opposite.

That binge/purge didn’t serve me at all. Not one bit. It was a waste of money, time, and energy. But it was a lesson!

…that I need to be more in touch with things: I should have went to bed. I should have done my laundry so I didn’t see it and feel bad when I walked in the door. I should have organized my notes before going out for the night so I don’t have that lingering feeling of being a slob. I should have sat down and breathed when I got in the door. But I can say should have til I’m blue in the face–it is what it is.

Today, I went back into one of my favourite recovery books — “It’s Not About Food”  and read some of the dog-eared pages:

  • “At the heart of every eating disorder…there is a cry from the deepest part of our souls that must be heard. It is a cry to awaken, to embrace our whole selves, to see past the limitations we have put on ourselves by defining our bodies or our eating habits as good or bad. … It is a call from the part of us the holds our desires and passions to grow, heal and fulfill our dreams.”
  • about trusting your process
  • reading that recovery isn’t linear
  • The authors describe recovery as a mountain with thousands of paths to the top (where things come to a head and you are tossed back and forth between the ED side and the recovered side). They use the mountain as a guideline and I see myself in it. It was helpful to read about the stages I’m not alone:
    • “The fear that you will gain a million pounds comes roaring into your life.”
    • “As you start to put your eating, your food, and your weight in the proper perspective, all the feelings that you had been overeating or underrating over come up and out. These are the feelings your have numbed with food. These are the emotions you have pushed down with obsessional thinking…It is an illusion to think that the food has made them go away.”
    • “Many times you have all your feelings and you are still overeating or starving yourself. To make matters worse, eating the food or controlling the food doesn’t numb you anymore. … Your thoughts are filled with how fat and out of control you are. You think how easy it would be to just go on one last diet, and yet you know that isn’t the answer. … As painful as it can be, this is one of th emost powerful parts of the whole journey. It will teach you about yourself and lead the way to knowing how to live the rest of your life with peace and self-love.”

The authors also offered some valuable reminders: “You will eventually eat like a normal person. You will weigh what you were meant to weigh naturally. You will know and speak your own truth.” Amen to that.

And while I see myself in that struggling place where you have behaviours and emotions and so much going on, I also connected for the first time with a stage later in their process:

  •  “Even though you may still over- or under eat or obsess now and then, it doesn’t happen as often and it shouldn’t worry you because you know that you have the tools to turn things around. You are also more trusting of yourself and this process: you know that this happens snow and then and it’s okay.”
Because today, I feel okay. I feel good. I feel like I’m going to have a great weekend regardless of that fact that this happened. I feel totally different than I ever have after a binge. I didn’t clean out my cupboards, I didn’t meticulously plan my food, I didn’t decide to only have one treat a day this weekend, I didn’t decide to do double workouts every day, I didn’t compulsively clean my apartment, I didn’t do any of the things that I used to do to try to “deal with” last night. I don’t have to.  I don’t feel like crawling into my pyjamas and hiding from the world today. I feel like getting out there and being awesome. I reminded myself: even if I gained weight from that, that weight is part of my recovery. My weight is not the issue–it never has been and it never will be (because I’m not going to forget these lessons any time soon). This all brought the realization that I don’t need to binge and purge again–it does NOTHING for me. And that carries over: I don’t need to worry about my weight — it does NOTHING (positive) for me. My ED is no longer serving me. If that’s not a huge statement, I don’t know what is. It’s like I knew that, but I had to prove it via a binge. It’s definitely worth it because it showed me just how useless my ED behaviours are. Let ED slip back in? Not an option. Let him win this weekend and make me miserable? Not happening–ED is not even a contender in my life anymore–that’s what this binge showed me! 
I kind of have this sentiment to ED: NANANANABOOBOO YOU CAN’T CATCH ME!
Turns out, I don’t need to binge!
That’s all.
If you’ve recovered, how did you know you were done with ED?
Thoughts?
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