Hi. My name is Haven. I’m eating disordered, bulimic.
Food is my drug. My addiction.
The problem with having food as your drug though, is you can’t quit. You can’t give it up cold turkey to give yourself time to recover. That’s called starvation, which may put you back in control, but not for long before it kills you. Conundrum, indeed.
You can’t starve yourself, not when food is your comfort, something you can reach for to fill the void inside. Fill the void in your stomach and it’s like you’ve filled the void in your heart. Nourishing your stomach fills your hearts need for sustenance. Except it doesn’t last long. Usually only long enough to feel like you’ve destroyed any hold on control you had by denying yourself the fill of food. And then it becomes a desperate attempt to regain that control. Purging, exercising, punishment, painful reminders that you let slip the control that you value so rigidly.
Where does this need for control come from? It’s different for everyone. This is a deeper psychological delving than you may care to know but I remember the exact incident that sparked my downward spiral into self-consciousness. I was 12 years old, just starting puberty and beginning to fill out to the woman I would be today. As gently as they could, my parents sat me down and told me that I needed to watch what I was eating, I was getting heavier, which would reduce my performance for the multitude of sports I was involved in. I needed to weigh less to perform better.I was crushed. It was as if they couldn’t accept me, love me, if I didn’t meet their standard of physical perfection. Of course they didn’t know that this was normal because they’d never been through it before (my mom was always lanky and skinny unlike the women on my father’s side who are shorter and curvy), me being the first born and all. I felt like I had let them down, let me down. Putting on weight clearly meant disapproval. If it didn’t they wouldn’t be sitting there telling me this. If they loved me unconditionally, weight wouldn’t matter, but it did, so losing weight must translate into earning their approval. Their love. I was distraught. Because I was currently disappointing them. I left to cry quietly in my room. This was the night of my very first binge. I lashed out and railed against what they wanted. I wasn’t good enough?!? I’ll show them not good enough. Afterwards of course I felt like even more of a failure. I vowed never to let that happen again. Anorexia didn’t work for me. My relationship with food was too consuming to avoid it. About 6 months later I discovered how to purge.
Purging I finally felt a sense of control. I could eat whatever I wanted, and it wouldn’t affect my body. I could vomit up the things inside me that made me bad. Purge the evil from my body. I didn’t just purge though. I am still currently addicted to diet pills, I was a laxative/diuretic junkie, and I would/still exercise compulsively. Anything to maintain control of the thing that has such a hold over me. It works.
I wouldn’t have to if I could control what I put in, in the first place, but that’s my addiction. I can’t stop. Just one of those please, Oh, maybe a bite here, a bit there. Well I’ve already eating this much, might as well have another, and another… until all control is lost and I’ve indulged in every decadence I can stuff into my stomach. I failed. Failed my self-control. I had to regain that control. So I purged the evil from my body and everything felt fine. Again. Until the next time.