It’s not just what you’re eating, it’s also what’s eating you.
I’ve had a tough few days.
I started feeling overwhelmed/exhausted last Sunday, calling in for my DEG shift, and then struggling the rest of the week. I cancelled plans with friends, didn’t respond to texts, avoided people, skipped Jay’s going-away party, and cancelled plans with Joe.
This week hasn’t gone much better. I’ve spent the last few nights crying, sleepless yet exhausted, not sure where this darkness is coming from.
Then, today, I struggled, yet reached an epiphany through it all.
I wanted to binge today. I still want to binge.
Last night I dreamed about eating chocolate cake, about quitting, eating until I couldn’t breathe, until all I could feel was my physical pain. Rationalizing with myself that it was just one day, one day of bingeing wouldn’t ruin everything, that it was ok, that bingeing was normal behavior.
And then I woke up. And felt guilty and awful that even in my unconscious state I am battling with myself, that I can’t escape my demons.
And then the hunger gripped me today. And the negative thoughts, the self-doubt, the feelings of worthlessness, and the desire to quit.
I couldn’t muster up the strength to go to work today, so instead I laid in bed fighting the urge to devour the contents of my pantry, crying. Feeling down, low, sad. Alone.
And slowly, while thinking about food and using it to fill me, to make my pain physical, I began to realize the power food has over me and how much I rely on it.
I’m not sure why I am a complete emotional wreck, or why I can’t find happiness, but without food to fill me up, to comfort me, to use as an excuse, to cause me physical pain to distract me from my emotional pain…my emotions have nowhere to hide. My coping mechanism of food and binge eating has been under strict control for 31 days, and I am LOST.
So fucking lost.
I don’t know how to be happy, and I was using food as the reason why I was unhappy. Take bingeing out of the equation, and I have to figure out how to accept myself when all I feel is sadness and disgust.
All I want to do is give in, to quit. I want to drive to the gas station and buy cookies and a bag of chips and eat until it hurts. I want to binge so much I feel like I am an addict.
What do I rely on when food can no longer be my solace?
I have to give myself a chance, a chance to be happy. I can’t quit. Not yet, not without trying.
31 days binge-free…
I feel you seeping in, into the corners of my mind. Of my life.
How do I perpetually feel this sad and alone and lost?
Will I ever escape your clutches?
All I want is for someone to fight for me, to believe in me with all their heart.
But how can I expect that from someone else when I don’t even fight for myself and believe I’m worthless?
I need to fight. I need to believe.
There are these intense, overwhelming moments in life that take your breath away. The sweet, blissful moments of joy and ecstasy and contentment, and then the sorrowful, painful, gut-wrenching moments that make you question who you are and what you stand for.
I am on a swing, going up and down, feeling my emotions sway from the highs and the lows, the good and the bad, the joy and the agony. I’m trying to use my legs to pump my way up to the highest point, fighting for the light and the good and the positive, but my legs fail me. I’m stuck, at the bottom, my legs twitching with the want of happiness but unable to move under the weight of sadness.
I feel like I am being crushed by the weight of my life and my decisions. I can’t seem to be happy, to be content, to be ok. I’m always searching for more, and when I find it, it is still not enough. When will it be enough?
When will I be enough?
out of control.
I’m…ugh. I don’t even know.
I was having a great few months mentally and emotionally - I was finally feeling like I was breaking free from my constant dark companion, successfully shimmying out of it’s grasp. [Physically, however, I was/am still struggling, having gained about 15 pounds in a little less than two months]
I started feeling like there was a way out of the darkness, seeing glimpses of light here and there over the past month and a half. I started seeing Joe, and began to feel like someone could like me, maybe like I could finally like myself. I allowed myself to just enjoy the moment(s), live life the best way that I can, and to just relax. I wasn’t focusing on losing weight or counting calories, but wasn’t binge eating and eating because of my emotions either - I was eating when I was hungry. For the most part, my eating was atrocious: fast food, restaurants, anything (fried) that I wanted, as much as I wanted for that meal, lots of alcohol/beer. I didn’t binge eat, or eat excessive amounts beyond mealtimes, but I wasn’t eating healthy options. So I gained weight. No surprise there. My main focus was to not worry about what I was eating, but to focus on eating when my body signaled me - beyond the emotional times and the urge to binge.
Back to basics.
For most of the later part of June and most of July, I was successful in “watching” what I was eating by listening to my body’s cues. And then, the last week of July, I finally felt like I was ready to try “dieting” again - counting calories, eating healthy choices in the correct portions, and to limit my carbs and alcohol. And, of course, to not binge and/or eat based on my emotions.
The past two weeks have gone very smoothly, mostly because I feel like this time will be it for me - I’m ready again mentally to tackle this challenge and feel very strongly that I will succeed.
And then the past few days happened, and I just feel like I want to crawl into a hole and disappear. Or to be buried in a vat of food and then eat my way out of it.
Thursday turned out to be a great day - I got an ER from a Luau shift, so I got to spend the afternoon drinking beer with Joe and Mickie at Raglan Road instead of working outside in the heat. Then, later that night, I wanted Joe to come over and spend more time with me before both of our work weeks began, but he said that he was tired and wanted to go home.
I go home, and pretty much go to bed right away because I have to be up early for a dentist appointment and because I’m a little buzzed. I text Joe a quick “goodnight” note, then fall asleep.
When the alarm goes off at 6:45 am, I check my phone and see three missed texts from Joe: “Don’t hate me, but Julie and Gary asked me to come out to a bar,” “And they’re asking when they can hang with you again. :),” and “Just sorry I said I’m tired and need to go, and then go to a bar. :/”.
I didn’t really know what to think, or how to react, but I just felt kind of empty; I felt like the wind was knocked out of me. I didn’t respond, I just rolled over and went back to sleep, skipping my dentist appointment.
The whole day while I was at QA, I felt miserable. I spent the entire day over-analyzing everything that is our relationship, and came up with the conclusion that I’m just not a priority for him at the moment. Again. I fought with myself the entire night to not send him a text, to not respond to him, because if I did, I would end it. He finally texted me close to midnight asking me if I was okay, and I simply responded, “I’ll survive,” and “Everything just kinda sucks today. Not in the mood to talk about it.”
I woke up today feeling the darkness starting to creep back in. In dealing with yesterday’s stress, I didn’t have much thought of eating to placate my emotions; today, I woke up feeling empty and ravenous. The uncertainty of where I want this relationship to go is tearing me apart on the inside, and all I wanted to do all day is lay in bed, shut off from the rest of the world.
I managed to struggle through a day at DEG, fighting to concentrate, fighting myself not to text Joe an irrational message, fighting to stay motivated. Fighting myself. I didn’t have many thoughts about bingeing throughout the day, but when I got home, all I wanted to do was lay in bed, order pizza from Domino’s, and eat until I hurt physically so that I don’t have to focus on how much I’m hurting on the inside right now.
I hate that it always has to come back to food for me, like I don’t have a normal coping mechanism for stress. My resolve is strong, however, and I won’t turn to food this time for comfort - I decided to write about my feelings rather than stuff them away.
It’s a little sad for me to recognize that when things get bad for me, I just want to run away from everything and eat until I’m in physical pain. How do I recover from this?
I’m just so…hurt…right now, I can’t think straight, and my darkness is seeing an opening to seep back in. A few days, a few simple words, and one big act, made me feel completely worthless. I was doing so well, and now…I’m not. I went from feeling like I could be happy again to complete shit. I’m winning the battle of bingeing, but the urge is strongly pulling at me. I need to keep pushing forward, no matter how much I hurt on the inside.
Overall, I’m still trying to reconcile these feelings and why I feel like my feelings were hurt, to figure out if I am overreacting or if I should be hurt, or if I should just let it be.
I just wish he’d reach out to me and let me know he’s thinking about me.
Then maybe I wouldn’t feel so completely alone.
I’m having a really low day today and can’t seem to snap out if this dreary haze I’ve been in since last night.
I’m having a very bad body image day. I am just SO disgusted with my body right now (on top of being disgusted with myself for gaining 60 pounds); I hate the way I look, the way I feel physically, the way my clothes fit (or don’t fit at all), the way I feel about the way that I look, how uncomfortable I am in my body, and just the overall feelings of shame and self-consciousness. I’m just so unhappy with where I am right now physically, and am so mad at myself that when I was 60 pounds lighter, I didn’t think I was thin or looked good. I look back on photos of me two years ago and I immediately want to cry for so many reasons - I didn’t realize how beautiful and healthy I looked, how happy I looked, how healthy and in-shape I was, and I get so angry at myself that I allowed myself to gain back 60 pounds because I didn’t believe I was worth it.
I still don’t always feel like I am worth it, but I want to fight. I want to get back to where I was and squelch the negative thoughts and transcend my goals. Be a better person, inside and out.
The negative thoughts. They almost won today, when I had a moment of weakness and wanted to quit.
The darkness hit me like a freight train last night and has been hovering too closely today, so my day has been wrought with struggles and tears, all while in the company of friends. I got home this afternoon and immediately escaped into a restless sleep, and when I woke up, just wanted to find another escape.
I wanted to binge. I wanted to clear out my pantry and eat until I was in pain. Physical pain to drown out my emotion pain. I got out of bed and stood in front of that pantry, torn and miserable and aching and lost. And just stared, defeated.
This is what got me to where I was at this very moment. Food. The very thing that I want the most to ease my pain is the thing that causes me pain. Eating is what caused me to gain 60 pounds again, and didn’t fix any of my problems along the way. But the pull and the allure and the desire and the addiction try to convince me that it will help, that I will feel better.
So what do I do? How do I not rely on food, when it has been my constant companion for so many, many years? My best friend and my mortal enemy.
I struggled today. So much so that words won’t accurately describe the torment. But, I made a good decision today; I walked away from that pantry and chose to be free. If I was going to be in pain regardless, I just need to let myself feel it and process it on the emotional level. Bingeing was just going to cause a ripple of negativity in my life, and I deserve more than that.
A good decision on a bad day is a sign that things have the potential to change. I have the potential to change.
I feel a thousand emotions all at once, but the one that’s keeping me awake and making me short of breath is fear.
Fear. Such a dirty fucking word.
I feel completely out of sorts. I can’t get a grip on my mind, and my body is following suit. I’ve been dutifully feeding my emotions, and my body is responding: growing, aching, sore, bloated, screaming at me to stop, to relent, to forgive myself. But my mind has other plans for me. I can’t escape my thoughts no matter how much I stuff myself, no matter how hard I try to fill the void.
The bottomless pit that can’t be satisfied.
I’m afraid of failing. Of not trying. Of trying and failing. Of succeeding. Of the uncertainty. I’ve been down this road before, I’ve lost weight before, and I still struggled to find happiness. Fat. Healthy. Skinny. Obese. Gross. Sexy. Crooked teeth. With braces. Single. Coupled. Alone. A lack of happiness around ever corner, at every milestone. How do I change my outside when my insides are dark?
I’m afraid happiness will elude me for the rest of my life.
I feel like an outsider, disconnected from my reality, always watching everyone else and their reality, watching their happiness and joys, while I struggle to get out of bed, shower, and show my face at work. The most simple of tasks hit me at my core like a freight train. The thought of a new day seldom brings me hope, just an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and dread.
How do I find my light when my life is depicted in darkness?
Drifting out to Sea
The hardest part of depression is the inability to breathe. I constantly feel like I can never catch my breath, like my throat is closing in, along with everything else.
I feel defeated. Deflated.
The wind is knocked out of me.
My heart hurts, too; it skips a beat, the kind of skipping that makes me tremble with fear, not the kind you feel when you get kissed for the first time, the light flutter of excitement when his hand brushes the hair out of your eyes and his lips meet yours. This feels more like I’m drowning, suffocating, like I can’t get enough air and my heart is ready to explode from the lack of oxygen.
It’s been a hard, hard day.
He’s no good for me. I should be running away, far, far, far away, but I can’t. I’m a glutton for punishment, serving myself up on a platter for him to tear away at.
The cutting remarks. The joy he gets in knowing my struggle. Loving someone who won’t even give me a straight answer.
The pain. And wanting more.
I see the world around me, observe the happiness, the joys, the monumental moments of bliss, love, jubilance, all around me. Everywhere. Staring me in the face. But I have none of it.
The engagements. The weddings. The babies. The trips. New cars. New lovers.
I see my friends and family move forward, experiencing the highs of life, while I feel like I’m experiencing only the lows. The lowest of the lows.
So much love around me, but I feel empty.
There’s so much love in this world, but the one person I want to reach out to me, to love me for who I am, won’t.
He. Just. Won’t.
I don’t have much more to give. Love is not without limits.
I need to walk away before he hurts me. I’m already broken, but he will cause irreparable damage.
He’s no good.
He’s no good.
Losing the Weight (on my shoulders)
Sunday was going to be the day, the day to “start over,” begin/continue my weight-loss journey (again, again, and again). The day that marked the beginning of the end of my struggle, the road to perfection, to trying, to success, to…happiness.
The whole week leading up to Sunday, though, I was moody. Tired. Sad. Distraught. I couldn’t figure it out, didn’t understand why I was having such a hard time with…everything. Getting out of bed was difficult. Simple tasks like doing dishes, taking a shower, putting effort into the way I looked, cleaning up, paying bills. Work. Smiling. Everything. Everything was difficult, a struggle, awful and repugnant.
And then. Then. Saturday, the day before I was going to “start over,” the day before my life would change, I made the decision to pause. To take a step back, stop, let go. Just be. No pressure. Take some time to figure things out as they are, right here, and right now, without trying to lose weight, without trying to be perfect all the damn time. And I felt immediately better.
It felt like I could breathe again.
So I took a deep breath and felt free. Finally free from the pressures I place on myself, from the need to be skinny and look good on the outside, when, honestly, I am broken on the inside. I’m not happy with so much in my life right now, my job, my finances, my looks (including my weight/weight gain/my braces/my skin breaking out/grey hair), my depression, my lackluster love life, my age, me. I can’t be perfect. I can’t fix what’s broken on the outside when I’m so unhappy with who I am on the inside.
So, I’m taking a break. A break from weight loss and striving for outer perfection. I need to work on who I am, who I want to be, and everything in between. I need to fix myself inside, find inner peace and happiness on the inside first, and not rely on weight loss to provide that for me.
Today? Today I am not ready to focus on losing weight, I’m not ready to give 100% of my time and energy to eating right, working out, running, making sacrifices, and keeping commitments. I’m just not.
Am I disappointed? Absolutely. I’m absolutely disappointed that this (losing weight) is being postponed, placed on hold, and not a priority.
That’s just it: it’s temporary. I’m not a quitter, and I’m not giving up on myself. I’m simply allowing myself time to heal on the inside first, to get stronger, to be in a worthy head space, and then I will conquer this.
I’ve got this.
I am lost.
I feel like those words flit through my mind and come out of my mouth too frequently. A listless thought suspended in the air, floating around me like a thundercloud.
I don’t know who I am, what I’m doing with my life, or what I want, but I am definitive in defining myself as lost.
Unable to find one’s way.
So simple, so succinct.
So very, very true.
I have these moments of clarity in my life where my future is palpable, my passion, motivation, drive, and desire are present, where I believe in myself and believe that I can accomplish anything. And then I have these moments where the mere act of getting out of bed every day seems more than impossible, where facing people and life and myself are the most repugnant things I can fathom. My darker moments lately far outnumber the lighter ones.
And I just don’t know any more.
I keep having these brief moments of panic, moments where my life flashes before my eyes: the things I’ve done and the things I haven’t done, the choices I’ve made and the choices I haven’t made. I get short of breath, and dizzy, and tear up, and ultimately I just want to disappear. I want to fade away from this existence, like a missing page from a phone book ripped at the seams, my name amongst the others floating away in the breeze.
I don’t want this any more, but I don’t know what I want. I don’t know how to change…anything.
I had a rough week with really low moments, moments where it hurt to wake up, hurt to face the day, and hurt to face myself. So I avoided it all. I just skipped everything, laying in bed for countless
hours days, wasting time, wasting my life, and wasting away. My week ended with an amazing day with NP, reliving our glory days of the summer of 2010, discovering new tequila, and talking the night away.
And then the next day hit me like a bus: very little sleep, a major hangover, nausea, and a 15-hour workday lay ahead of me.
The highest of highs, and the lowest of lows.
The logical thing to do would have been to avoid it all, sleep away the day and sleep away how bad I was feeling physically, but I couldn’t. I had missed too many days at work already, and one more would be close to termination. Too close.
Work was what was to be expected, the same mundane task at the same ridiculous job. In an overheard conversation, I came to realize that Aaron would be working that night. With me.
I almost threw up.
I spent the rest of the day in a sweaty, nauseous panic about what it would be like to see him again, to talk to him, to face him.
You don’t try, you do.