Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014 Cont'd

Hey, I'm just checking in. Ran a few late errands and ordered dinner when I got home. We're having chicken philly sandwiches. I ordered a 6 inch with fries for my son and a 12 inch with small onion rings for me. I'm not going to eat the entire sandwich in one sitting. I've already made late night plans for the other half. Don't be afraid. I am not going to binge out, but I will eat the other half of that sandwich.

I hope one day to be able to order a 6 inch sandwich and be satisfied or save the other 6 inches for the next day. I don't know if that day will ever come. As for tonight, I will celebrate not having a big binge. One day I will be able to celebrate not eating anything at night. I'm a long ways away from that goal, but making strides. Just add it to the long list of things to work on.

It's 10:32pm. Right now I am full from my late dinner. Not sure what time I will finish the other half of my sandwich. It could be as late as 1am.

Tomorrow is another day. I'll be one step closer to my goal of eating breakfast at or around 10am. The other part of the plan is to cut back on my late night snack as soon as I get a handle on a healthier daytime eating schedule.

One day at a step at a time. Onward and Upward!!

Good night! Sleep well. Be healthy.

February 28, 2014

It's 3:24pm. I finished eating about 10 minutes ago. I continue to make progress, even if it's baby steps. Better to move forward than backwards. It's a slow climb, but I don't think it will take too much longer. So far, the optimum time to begin eating is 10am. If I am able to eat a reasonable breakfast around that time my body will naturally cue itself for lunch, a snack and dinner. Of course I still have my premeasured snack set aside for night time. If I stay on track with my eating I'll begin feeling normal hunger sensations again. Right now I don't feel anything. I have mental cues telling me I should eat. These cues generally come much later in the day, usually around 1 or 2pm. The cues are easy to overlook. I have gotten up to get something to eat and forget to eat by the time I reach the kitchen. 

It's so easy to ignore the signs and fast forward into binging regularly. Too easy. It's been over 30 years since this disorder developed in me. In a couple years it will be a 40 year struggle. I guess that's more than enough time for something to become deeply ingrained. I don't understand what causes me to lose my ability to feel normal hunger and why the mental hunger so strong. It's always lurking. Waiting. In addition to my unhealthy relationship with food, I am still sorting out my past. My past is the beginning of this hell?

I want to paint a mental picture of the experience for you. And here is my disclaimer so you not think me insane. What I am about to describe is not an actual occurrence, but a metaphorical description of what my binge experience feels like.

I am sitting in the living room (usually) and it's late night. Unable to sleep, I mindlessly watch tv. There is an awakening of sorts. It's like an additional awareness comes into play. Now there's a feeling of hunger, but it's not a physical hunger, it's more mental or at least that is where the general location of the sensation is. My mind's eye (as I can best describe) begins to travel through the apartment, making it's way to the kitchen. It examines every inch of space as it moves towards the cabinets, drawers, pantry, fridge, freezer, every corner of the kitchen. Searching. I am still sitting on the couch. Anticipation builds as the search continues. Cravings begin. Thoughts of various foods and tastes emerge. I want something comforting, sweet, sticky, savory, maybe even warm and soothing ...I want to feed. When the mind's eye lands on something desirable, I get up to prepare the food, but it doesn't stop there. As I sit down to eat the food, the mind's eye revisits the kitchen looking for the next item to eat. If my mind's eye is not satisfied with what's available in the kitchen, it seeks other food sources, fast food restaurants, grocery stores even convenient stores. Whatever the case, I must move at its will. The hunger is insatiable. The binge takes on a life of its own. At it's worse, hours of binging will occur before satisfaction. It doesn't care how bad I feel about eating so much, as a matter of fact the binge uses my emotions to fuel it's desire. The cravings leave and the binge subsides. I am left gorged. My ribs expanded and hurting, I'm having difficulty breathing. I contemplate going to bed, but wait, there's one more thing. One more item to be eaten. Something sweet. Something quick. Just a little something to top everything off. And then I'll crawl into bed and go to sleep.

There are other times when I go through the evening purchasing and hording foods for my late night binge. I often feel an sense of excitement when hording different foods. When I get home I lay all of the foods out and fantasize about the order they will be eaten. Even though I've purchased foods throughout the evening, I will still cook a meal. Usually something like hamburger helper. I am pleased and feel a great sense of accomplishment now that I am prepared for the binge. I play with my son, give him his meds and put him to bed. And then the binge begins.

I speak of binging as a separate entity because that's how it feels. It's something outside of myself propelling myself into an action that I cannot control. It is for this reason that denial is so easy. In a way, it's like having an alter ego or another existence that you're only aware of on an as needed basis. Just enough to function for the cause. Otherwise, it is as if it never happened. By the next day, I'm starving myself again. I function completely oblivious to the binge I had the night before. I spend time with my son before going to work. My food and drink intake is at it's lowest. I may eat 1 potato chip or nibble a cookie for an hour or so before work. That is, if I have a sensation of hunger. My denial was so deep that I've even caught myself saying, "how can I be so big, I eat like a bird?" It makes sense. I only acknowledged the minuscule amount of food that I'd eat during the day and nothing else. I just didn't see it.

My most difficult time with binging was during my son's first year of life. The stress was extreme and my motherly duties endless as I had to give him medicines and care around the clock. He was so sick and frail. My will to give my son everything I had to give as a mom was the sole reason for my being able to function at all. The binge, well, that was my bonus for a job well done. It was my comfort. My mommy time that didn't mind the occasional interruption. My second life, far removed from the stressors of the day. It would always be waiting for me. I gained 100 lbs. that year and didn't realize it. I blamed the dryer for shrinking my clothes.

I imagine this will be a life long struggle, like alcoholism. There is no cure, only the count of days between binges. My gut tells me that the binging will get much better as I maneuver through my mottled past and make peace with the demons that dwell there.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 27, 2014

Today was not as bad as yesterday. I managed to eat something before 4pm. That's not saying much, but the bigger picture is that I am trying to get out of the binging pattern. Any small measure of progress is better than none. Tomorrow I will try to eat a little earlier. Whenever stress and anxiety are high I tend to want to fall back into binging trends. When I recognize the patter returning I make a concerted effort to turn it around. One of the keys to keeping this eating disorder at bay is being aware of the patterns and triggers.

Last night I had an epiphany. I was thinking about this blog and how difficult it has been taking it into a particular direction or even figuring out what to write. I though about shutting it down, but could not bring myself to do it. Last night it hit me. Out of all the blogs that I have, four to be exact, this is the one blog that I feel most organic in. I don't know why, it just is. Thinking about my last two posts and how they flowed with ease. How good it felt just to write in the moment, not straining to think of the right word or sentence structure. Not even having to think of a stupid title. Pure, open, honest sharing.

There are very few readers of this blog. Perhaps that is why I have the courage to be so open. Maybe it's because one day there may be readers. People who know suffering like I do. People who struggle with self image and food issues. If they happen upon this blog, maybe they will understand and share bits and pieces of their journey too. For now I will "write as if no one is reading." A quote that I read from a contest on the best six word memoir. I don't think six words have ever affected me more. I even printed those words out and tacked them to my office door as encouragement each time I come in here to write. A note to self not to worry about readers, but to write for me and my healing. That's what it's all about.

I cooked dinner tonight. We had collard greens w/smoked turkey sausage, baked chicken and rice. I've already set aside my pre-measured portion...just in case. My life line to a non-binge night. Memories of my past and emotions I can't quite identify are filling me. If I have trouble sleeping tonight, I may come back here and write again. I don't know...

My goals tonight are the same as every night. To seek life and not death. To survive another night without binging. To think about all of the things that I am thankful for especially being grateful for having this day. Tomorrow I get a fresh start. A chance at being better. I'm thankful for that too.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 26, 2014

I managed to get through the night without binging. A huge help was to be able to share my feeling with a friend. She responded well and understood where I was coming from. There are times when I feel being honest about myself is a detriment because people do not want to hear my truth. Thankfully my very good friend is trying to understand and takes time to really hear what I am saying.

Anxiety levels are dropping. I continue to celebrate having a cleansing conversation with a friend and running a few necessary errands yesterday. Now I can relax. I don't have to leave the house today or even tomorrow. Just the thought brings me great peace. Dealing with triggers and having to go into public areas is a cause for stress. Fortunately the stress has dissipated and my need to seek comfort has lessened.

I was a bit exhausted after my ordeal yesterday, so I ordered pizza instead of cooking. I found the strength to order only what my son and I could eat for dinner having a little left for a snack. I have to set up pre-measured snack when I am at risk of binging. It calms my mind knowing that I have something to eat waiting in the wings. If I do not have the comfort of knowing that I have clear access to a snack a binge is almost sure to occur. Another thing I do to help combat bouts of insomnia is to utilize that time to be creative. Yes, I am tired from being up all day and taking care of many tasks throughout the day, but it is better to find something useful to do rather than fight the inevitable. It is during those hours when the house is quiet and all daily tasks are done that I can focus on my most personal trials. I can put time and attention into healing the wounds of my tormented past. I sometimes think out loud at time recording it to listen to later. Other times I may attempt to write my feelings out in the form of poetry. And then there are those times where I am able to sit at my drafting table and begin sketching out visions. Focusing on expressing my thoughts in some form or format helps me not to binge. Purging my thought is kind of like letting excess air out of a balloon so it doesn't pop. It's a relief.

I ate 2 slices of pizza last night and that was enough. I don't think I'm in danger of binging tonight. To be on the safe side I will prepare a snack...just in case.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 25, 2014

It's been a very long time since my last post. My struggle with Night Eating continues. I'm still not able to wrap my mind around writing about it. I don't understand why it's so difficult for me. A few years ago, I created my first blog. It's not fairing well. There's been quite a few hits, but that's because of the name, not the content. I revisited that blog on several occasions, deciding not to determine what the blog would be. Instead I will write and allow the blog to show me. I still can't see. Perhaps, I'm blind to it. Thoughts still adrift the top leaves on my dysfunctional family tree.

How can I suffer with something for so long, but can't manage to write about it. My mind is tired and I am at a loss for words. Brain throbbing, filled with thoughts that cannot be purged. Perhaps I am plagued with the need for perfection which is something I will never achieve. Curse my parents for beating this need into me. I am enslaved to it and choked by it. With all that I am I vow to find a way. If nothing other than to write my disjointed ramblings.

As a ploy to rekindle my thirst for writing, I read my bio hoping to find something viable. Something that I can resuscitate. But there is nothing. Nothing but benign words depicting an empty space where my spirit is supposed to dwell. Still nothing there.

I try to think of clever titles for my ramblings. Can't even do that right. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. After all, I think that I am feeding off of something tangible. Truth be known there is nothing to feed off of. My life is but a misty, dusty space filled with dark shadowy figures and the ever present stench of fear.

It's 4:03pm. I've forgotten to eat again. The pattern is re-emerging. I'll eat a little something now, as my mind cruises through the kitchen cabinets, pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Oh, wait...I have chips. Deep inside I know that I am headed to a bad place. A very dark place. Moving into action as the planning begins. Systematically pairing starches by texture and taste. If I'm not careful I will binge tonight. I'll need to go out in a little while. I must be careful not to pass by any fast food places. I'm not strong enough to dry by without a taste. I'll go directly to my destination and back home. My hope is to cook a nutritious meal and set aside a snack for later. I hope I will be strong enough...

Last night I ate a large bag of chips. I hope not to do the same tonight.

It's time for the animals to begin their feed.
We sniff and scratch for signs we need.
Look over there.
Do you see what I see?
The scavenge begins.
Like worker ants we will collect our swell.
We will feast through the night and all will be well.