18. February 2016 by swissfitchick
Meg and I are talking via Audiomessage daily and lately, we’ve been talking about a ‘relapse’. She wasn’t sure as to what I meant when saying ‘I had a relapse’ – also, ‘bingeing’ is a word with tons of space to interpret.
To clarify, what bingeing in an Eating Disorder means, I will tell you in detail what that includes. I will also round-up a relapse, the way I relapsed and in very rare occasions still do. This is how it was for me.
It happened a few times, that I tried to explain someone about bingeing, or that I had a relapse and the response was:’ Don’t worry. We all eat too much chocolate sometimes.’ – Don’t get me wrong, I am far from blaming people for their ignorance about the behaviors with such a disease. Clearly, a healthy person does not have a chance to know what a dimension a Bulimia or Anorexia has. If you weren’t there, you just can not know, you are not even close to be able to imagine what happens with someone with the disease.
So bingeing typically happened to me when I was emotionally unstable, stressed out, if I didn’t feel in tune with my body (felt fat, bloated, uncomfortable), if I had doubts about myself or something going on in my life. It immediately made me think of food, it immediately gave me the undeniable urge to literally swallow all these scary feelings and demons. At the point of no return, I would go to the supermarket or wherever I could get as much junk food as simply possible and rushed home. Closed doors and blinds, turned off the phone, turned on the TV.
Starting with bread-y things like chocolate filled croissants (about four to five of them). Followed by normal croissants (about three of them). Followed by all kinds of chocolate bars (about four to five of them). Followed by a bag of chips. Followed by sweet yogurt desserts (about three of them). Back to bready things, like a cheese Quiche (about two pieces). More chocolate (maybe two more chocolate bars). Then I mixed cereal with sweet yogurt and added SUGAR. About two to three big bowls. The strategy is to eat as fast as possible, cause that way you can demolish everything you bought. Otherwise your digestion starts to work and the full feeling kicks in. Also, it is harder to get rid of everything in the toilet. I had times, when I was able to eat another ENTIRE Pizza after all this food. The more I used to binge, the more I was able to eat. At that moment I started struggling and feeling sick. I tried to finish two more croissants and another bowl of cereal. Added more milk and yogurt, so it would go down – bready things were not to be swallowed anymore. Chocolate worked too, still.I never had Ice Cream, cause frozen stuff makes me shudder.
In bad times, I would start the entire process all over again right away after getting rid of everything in the bathroom.
Maybe 30 minutes to an hour passed, max. I collapsed on the couch, falling, falling, falling into that black abyss, realizing what just happened. Now the panic attack hits. Irrational anxiety that I will gain at least 15 kilos overnight and will never in my life be able to leave the house again. That my life is a mess, I am a mess, a failure, useless and do not deserve to be in this world. The panic makes me drink sparkling water like a mad woman, which eases the process of purging right after. When that was done, I walked to the kitchen to pick out the tiny Tupperware with the pills. Laxatives, Diuretics, Appetite Blockers, Boosters and Aspirin. Even if it wasn’t the time of the day when I usually took them, I added another portion of the full cocktail to this day, cause I ate all this food. Usually, I took the pills daily in the morning, no matter if I binged or not. But on ‘bad’ days, I took a second round. The night was a nightmare. Totally exhausted, I would pass out immediately, with horrible dreams, sweating, tossing and turning and a horrific stomach-ache. When I woke up, realising what happened, I felt like the worst and most disgusting woman in this world. I got up to do Cardio for at least two hours after taking another big handful of pills. I tried not to eat for at least a day. Trained double as much and lived on pills until I felt that I am ‘on track’ again.
It felt so shameful. So, so incredibly shameful.
I have never written this down, never in my life did I tell a person how this all happened, how much I ate and how I got rid of it all a few minutes later in the most disgusting way.
I can talk about this now, cause I am not there anymore. If I ‘relapse’, I eat a few handfuls of junk and then check it off. I do not purge and I do not eat even CLOSE to the amount I ate back then. My body can not handle it anymore. I do not take a single pill anymore and I do not compensate with hours of Cardio.
If you are in the middle of an Eating Disorder, it is hardly possible to talk about it. People do not understand why on earth someone would just eat so much and then get rid of it again. it is not rational, it is not understandable. But which addiction is? In most of them, you hurt yourself. And from the outside, it always seems senseless to hurt yourself. It is complex, and only if you lived in such circumstances, you would know how incredibly strong and dark the demons, fears, panic attacks, anxieties are and the fucking addiction is.
And still – in order for people around you to help, you MUST talk. Sandro was only able to give me all this support cause I gave him a detailed summary about my struggles, about my crazy disordered thoughts. We spent hours sitting and talking, when I described situations to him in order for him to somehow understand what happens. It gave him the knowledge and skill to be aware of these situations and in the end, he was able to read my face, he knew when he has to take me away from a buffet, he realised when I need him to sit next to me at a party and he knew what our pantry and fridge can look like to not trigger me. It was everything and even though I felt ashamed like hell, I was beyond grateful to have someone by my side who exactly knew what is going on, but who was also healthy. This gave me the space and trust to recover.