7. November 2014 by swissfitchick
I am a 80’es/90’es chick and clearly, Haddaway was with me during my teens. But hey, this cover of his ‘What is Love’ convinces me. Beautiful. And it fits in this post.
I want to write this post before I forget about the real thing. A few weeks more and I survived this crazy year without one single relapse. It feels unreal. When I get asked questions regarding my disease and addiction, I realize, that I start to forget how it was like. I got used to my ‘new’ life so much and to not obsess over food 24/7, I sometimes have a hard time to remember how it all felt like. I start forgetting. I am sure I will never forget certain moments and emotions, but I became a person with interests outside of food and without anxieties around it.
So – I won’t tell you how to purge or how to apply strategies to get rid of food you ate out of control. I won’t ever do that. But I want to clarify how a bulimic feels when a binge happens – because I know that so many out there who know disordered people can not relate to the irrational fears and behaviors behind this action. As always, I talk about myself and how it used to be for me – and not for anyone else.
Ok, so Binge-Days were normally days when I was physically tired, maybe overtrained, sore, bloated etc., aka, I just felt shitty. That was a fact I could hardly stand, cause I equaled feeling shitty with being fat. So that was the first frustration and one that I projected on myself, means, I blamed my weak self, my inability of being disciplined and just ME overall about this circumstance. Normally, I tried to just stick to my meal plan, drink tons of water and tried to still master my ridiculous crazy schedules of work and training (2 hours Cardio and shit like that) – even though my body and my mind were screaming for a break, sleep and for some love.
Sometimes, there was something emotional going on too, cause the obsession over my body was generally just a cover up. Maybe it was my lack of self-love. Or it was a fight with my boyfriend back then. Or feelings I ignored to reflect on over years – like the grief over my fathers death, the caning of my ex boyfriends, the fear of dying when I was anorexic or just the feeling of being not good enough for the world. Feeling helpless, feeling an impotent anger, feeling self-hate. When in reality THAT was the problem. That I didn’t appreciate the person I am.
I always felt the ‘monster’ approaching. My focus was distracted from whatever I was doing, my mind started to think about food, about the urge to go home, lock myself up in my apartment and to literally SWALLOW all these uncomfortable feelings. To be apathetically on my own and not caring for any shit in my life. I knew it would give me relief, if only for the moment of eating. I knew I would be able to forget everything that felt so heavy. I knew I would be able to let go of the pressure, this tight feeling from all the force and obsession I had with wanting to be perfect.
It sounded wonderful. And so tempting. It’s the addiction. It woos you to eat all these delicious things you keep restricting from. It makes a nasty promise that it will bring you to a mentally safe spot. The thought of being in a moment of complete freedom without duties, without rules, without pressure, without the voice of the little devil and without guilt – it sounded like paradise.
And oh, how MANY MANY times I fell for it. COUNTLESS times I gave in to this temptation, I fooled myself with the illusion that it would make me happy, if only for a few hours and that it wouldn’t be THAT bad. And maybe, that was right. Maybe, it wasn’t THAT bad. But it FELT even worse. And mentally, it was hell.
But wait. The moment I gave in, the monster took over. It’s unstoppable. It was like a wild lion exploding and escaping from its cave. Believe me, I turned from Lucie into an addicted, auto-pilot animal. If you would have met me in this moment, you would’ve been scared – cause I wasn’t myself anymore at all. I literally RAN to the supermarket and bought all I wanted to eat like someone who didn’t have food in years and wouldn’t get any for just the same period of time. I BEGGED that I wouldn’t meet anyone I know and I actually had to force myself to wait with bingeing until I passed the check-out. It was this moment of relief and pure happiness when I finally arrived home and could isolate myself with my drugs. Me and my addiction. United in sickness. And just to clarify the dimension of a binge : I ate up to 3000 calories in 2 hours. I counted them once or twice and it isn’t a joke.
The downfall came the second when the drug-flash was over. When all the food was gone, my belly about to explode and sick, my hands and eyes swollen and my brain clearing off from the fog. The moment I realized: I did it again.
And here comes the worst part of the whole story. The emotions during that downfall are the ones that are the hardest to understand for anyone who never went through this. And they are the toughest to deal with for the one concerned. If you aren’t disordered or never have been, you might say:’ hey, I binge on chocolate sometimes too. Not a big deal. Don’t worry.’ That’s perfectly right. But it is a BIG difference between a sporadic slip on chocolate (which I have these days too, and no, it really isn’t a big deal) and a bulimia binge. The mental part behind such a binge is huge, it’s disordered and it is very very hard to handle. The downfall comes in form of despair, of huge self-doubts, of hopelessness, of depression, panic, anxiety and sadness. I usually got hysterical panic attacks about gaining tons of kilos in only a few hours and not being able to go back to my normal life. I was scared that I would die because my inner organs would explode in a second (yes, go ahead, laugh. I have to chuckle too – it really is a bizarre picture). I was desperate, cause I felt like I never never EVER would recover and be a normal girl again. I was frustrated that I was this weak and addicted person who, with my 30+ years was half-assed to get my shit together and lead a normal life. I felt like a failure all over.
Eventually, I was too exhausted to cry more or to purge or to brood over my wasted life (sarcasm right here). Cause in all seriousness, a relapse is more exhausting than a kick-ass CrossFit Advanced class, you better believe me that.
The recovery of a binge took its toll too. The nights were interrupted by waking up completely sweaty (my poor body was in a carb-fat-sugar-shock) and with a running heart rate and nightmares. When I woke up, I threw my pills down my throat and went for a forced and depressed run. The more I recovered, the shorter my recovery phases of the relapses became. They lasted from 4 days to 2 days to only a few hours to not having to recover at all, cause relapses don’t happen anymore.