Thursday, May 20, 2010

There is No Such Thing as a Big Enough Binge

This week, I started the eating disorder outpatient program. Tuesday was the first group therapy session. There are 4 other women in the program and I related to all of them, which is nice because that was one of my biggest fears. That first session consisted mostly of paperwork, and then we each introduced ourselves. Everyone was very nice and welcoming, especially Amy the counselor leading the program. So, I felt good about the meeting overall, but when I left, I got very, very anxious. I kept asking myself “Am I ready for this?” “Do I want to get better?” So, right after the meeting, I binged. I picked up food at Panera, went back to my apartment, and ate as much as I could. That night, I felt even more panicky and anxious. The food didn’t help. I felt like I was going to crawl of out my skin. There was just too much pressure. This program is a big deal. It is going to cost me a lot of money, it takes up a lot of time, and I just don’t know if I really WANT to get better. Part of me wants to continue to feed my addiction and just eat more and more. After some crying, I took a bath and called my mom and she made me feel a little better. Even just hearing her voice comforted me.

Wednesday morning I woke up still feeling like shit. I drove through Chick-fil-A and ordered a #1 (chicken biscuit sandwich and tater tots)... this is one of my binge foods. Anyway, I did this ON THE WAY TO MY THERAPIST. Ridiculous... I just felt she couldn’t comfort me like the food could... I was wrong. Once I got there, she made me feel a lot better. I told her that I felt stressed and pressured and worried that I wouldn't be able to succeed in the program. I told her that maybe I wasn’t strong enough or ready to change. She told me that it was important to think about these feelings and figure out why I feel like I am not ready. She also told me that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BIG ENOUGH BINGE. No matter how much food I eat, it is never enough to take away that deprived, lonely feeling. I am not sure if that has sunk in yet. She told me to accept that this is where my work is right now: to realize that there will never be enough food!

Here are some other notes that I wrote down during the session:

  • It is very painful to think “What if bingeing really isn’t the answer?”
  • At the end of a binge, I am disappointed and angry that the binge didn’t make me feel better.
  • The deprived feeling is there whether I binge or not. It has nothing to do with food.
  • I need to make a commitment to get to know that deprived feeling, that screaming voice that wants to be heard so badly.
  • Part of me is angry that the bingeing isn’t working/stopping that feeling.
  • Maybe this program will make me realize that I am not in this all alone.

After my appointment with the therapist, I went to work for a bit and then left again for my appointment with Amy, the head of the program. She ensured me that i wasn’t the only one having these fears. She mentioned that it took years to create these habits and I cannot break them right away... it will take time. We figured out an eating plan for Wednesday and Thursday, not a diet but a plan of the normal food I would eat. I felt really good about it. We also decided that it would be best for me to go to as many OA meetings and eating disorder anonymous (EDA) meetings as possible and that I would go to one that night (yesterday).

After the appointment, my plan was shot to hell. I didn’t keep any of it. I picked up something else for lunch, and that threw off my whole plan. That night, instead of eating dinner with two of my friends and going to an EDA meeting, I went home, got in bed because I felt sad, and slept for two hours. I then woke up and binged on Chinese takeout. So, of course, I felt horrible and anxious after the binge, and then ate badly today and felt angry and guilty.

This afternoon was the second group therapy session. I thought it went really well and it made me feel a lot better. I told the group about my fears and they shared similar ones. They told stories that I could relate to. We all decided to go to the next EDA meeting on Saturday morning. I WILL ATTEND! NO EXCUSES!

After group, I met my roommate and another friend at a restaurant by my apartment. I told them about the program and they were very supportive. So, although I did some bad things this week, I also made some big, positive changes for myself and that makes me happy/proud.

1 comment:

  1. Just keep going. Stay connected to the other people in the program and use them for support. I don't know if you read my latest blog entry, but it was all about triggers. Next time you want to binge, think this first:

    My recovery is in trouble when I: (feel anxious, scared, not ready, etc.)
    When this happens I think: (I can't do it, I'm not ready, it won't work, etc.)
    When this happens I feel: (scared, alone, helpless, defeated, etc.)
    My urge is to: (binge, isolate, go off my food plan, etc.)
    I act by: (bingeing, isolating, sleeping, going off my food plan, etc.)

    Then, once you realize this, you can start to change your thinking.

    Wake-up sentence: (There's no such thing as a big enough binge.)
    New Thought: (I can do this, I am strong enough, I am worth it, etc.)
    New Action: (Go to a meeting, call a recovery buddy, read recovery literature, stick to my food plan, etc.)
    Affirmation to yourself: (I deserve to experience recovery. I am strong enough to feed my recovery and not my addiction.)