Thursday, July 2, 2009

Confession Session: The Bingeing is Back

I really am a recovering binge eater. It's been six months since my last experience. I've had a treat here and a splurge there in the past six months but I finally fell head long into a binge the other night.

It happened right on target for me too.

Usually when I start to feel really good about how I am doing or what kind of progress I am making I head straight into a binge. That is because the minute I realize things are going well or I am handling the pressure of my life I also simultaneously start to sense that now everyone is going to expect me to perform at this higher level of functionality from now until eternity. That puts a lot of pressure on me. Who wants to perform well all the time? Certainly not me. And I certainly don't want anyone to expect me to perform that well all the time.

Hence, the binge.

Bingeing gives me a headache. Literally. It plunges me into a place where darkness descends and I feel muddied and ill and terrible. It puts me in a place where all bets are off and I can't expect myself to perform because I feel so yucky, hence, no one else can expect me to perform either. At least that seems to be the nonsensical logic behind my binge. So, I get myself off the hook by bingeing. I get to step out of the racing current of life and check out.

The problem is that I have become the unmitigated master of checking out. I'm so good at it now that it nearly happens automatically. I live half a life, at half-speed, only doing things halfway. Otherwise I experience the shock, horror, pain and terror of having do things well on a consistent basis.

Bingeing gives me a chance to wrap myself in a little cocoon of oblivion and let go of the pain and the anxiety of living life at full speed and fully engaged.

It is a nasty little habit born of my unending love of avoiding all things anxiety-inducing. It is a coping mechanism that makes my life more miserable instead of better.

Yet, I went back to it this week. With all the anxiety in my gut, the terror of choices ahead of me, the pain of mistakes behind of me, this allowed me to try to disconnect from it all for the night.

It certainly gave me empathy for anyone who deals with alcoholism. Yikes! What a scary, hard place that would be. I felt like I needed to call my own sponsor last night and talk to her. Not have her judge me or flagellate me or even coax me away from my binge. But just someone to talk to about the knot in my stomach and the ache in my heart and see if they could go away without the assistance of the candy and chocolate and junk food that puts me in a state of semi-consciousness.

The truth is the binge has been coming on at least since Sunday and part of it happened Monday night and again a bit more on Tuesday and finally, finally, I did a full out binge last night.

Now, the question is: What am I going to do about it?

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