I have suffered with an eating disorder for 25 years. This is my path through recovery.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Fed Up! What is wrong with me?! Last night I was fuller than I have been in over two years. I am really unhappy with myself, but all I could think about at the time was MORE food. This is reminding me all over that this is a sickness. My body was stuffed, but I wanted POPCORNThis is so not normal! I'm sick and tired of having abnormal eating habits - of obsessing over a steak or compulsively eating whatever's in front of me just because it's in front of me!
I had a late lunch from Taco Smell yesterday. It was too much food, but I couldn't stop myself because it sounded so good. Plus two drinks (TWO!) from Sonic: one large cherry limeade (extra lime) and one strawberry cream slush (ice cream included, of course). I ate these around 2-3 in the afternoon, knowing that at 6:00 I was going to dinner and a movie with a bunch of girlfriends.
Dinner rolls around and there we are at the Longhorn Steak House. I ordered their basic fillet with a small lobster tail, baked potato and asparagus - no salad and only one piece of bread. OK. Not a problem, right? It clearly fit into my eating plan. So - what's the problem, you ask? I WAS STILL FULL FROM LUNCH! I couldn't believe that I was eating a meal when I was full. When we were done I felt like I was absolutely overbalanced because of my overfull stomach. It disgusts me that I have no control over this part of my life. I feel like the world looks at me and KNOWS that I have just given in to this damned and bloody disease.
Of course, none of my friends knew I was feeling like this. Like all ED victims, I'm good at hiding what's going on. I comforted myself with the thought that I wasn't going to even want to have popcorn at the theater. I would simply have something to drink - maybe even just water. I was proud of making that decision in advance and felt so confident about it.
We get to the theater. (By the way, if you have the opportunity to see "Mad Money," I highly recommend it!) I pick up the preordered tickets from the kiosk, and lo and behold, what do I find? A coupon for a free small popcorn. Well, CRAP. Suddenly, stuffed to the proverbial gills, all I can think of is, "YAY!! Free popcorn!!" My next thought is, "What the hell is WRONG with me?!" Here I am in actual physical pain and discomfort from rampant overeating and all I can do is be excited at the prospect of free popcorn. Suddenly I am so disgusted with myself I want to sit down and sob right there. At that moment I called upon every reserve of strength that God had in store for me and walked past the rear concession stand (of course we had to pass it to get to our theater) without even stopping for my drink.
I detoured into the bathroom where I stood in the stall for a moment, just catching up with myself. I couldn't believe - couldn't believe - that I had been contemplating that stupid popcorn simply because it was free. For the first time in a very long time I began to come to grips with the "sickness" part of this disorder.
I always felt it was weak of me to say that I am sick - that I was somehow absolving myself of responsibility for my physical state, making excuses for myself, playing perpetual victim. After several years of therapy, I am beginning to understand the very basic tenet that this is not true. I am not absolving myself of any wrongdoing. I am not using this disease to make excuses for continuing these behaviors. I am NOT playing the victim.
What I am doing is seeking a way to break a cycle of destruction and pain. It cannot happen overnight, but it will happen. I believe this because I believe in a God Who stands behind me and lifts me up.
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."--1 Cor 10:13