I did something interesting this morning. I (first) published this post, which is written in the present tense, and failed to mention that it’s from a journal from 8 years ago. It’s been amazing getting so many messages and emails of support this morning and it means a lot to me. I do want to clarify, however, that with professional help and a lot of mental battling, I did overcome bulimia in my mid twenties. Thankyou for your support 🙂
Warning: this post contains explicit language; which I have never before used on my blogs (and try not to use in everyday life!). I thought about changing it to something tamer, but to be honest it just changed to ‘rawness’ of how I felt when I wrote this piece. U
This is Part 3 of the series I’ve been sharing on my history with binge eating. The series is based on extracts from my journals. I’m not necessarily posting them in order! You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
Fuck you bulimia.
Today I stared down the barrel of mindless emotional eating followed by purging, and for one of the very few (but slowly) increasing times I won. It feels like coming up for air after being trapped underneath water. I wanted so so badly to just give in to the relief of stuffing down mouthful after mouthful, not stopping to think about what I’m tasting or even to really chew. To skim read some sort of crappy chick lit without paying any particular attention to what I’m reading. The story doesn’t matter, I’ll read anything so long as it’s mildly engrossing and banal enough for me to tune out of having to think. About my life. Tuning out of life, really.
There’s a certain point in most days when I feel it (bulimia) coming for me. Like a little devil on my shoulder or the ‘naughty’ side of my conscience, it tempts me. Telling me that it doesn’t matter. That one more time won’t hurt. That it’s not really affecting me anyway. And reassuring me that of course I can quit tomorrow. That I’m totally in control, and that only by succumbing to it’s call can I prove that to myself.
Most of the time, I give in. And the relief? It’s instant. Exhilarating. I have my escape; nothing else matters. Stress, overwhelm, self-doubt – they can’t touch me.
And then I start to feel the fullness. The burn of too much sugar in the back of my throat. Sometimes the little cuts in the roof of my mouth start stinging; if what I’m eating is something like chips. It’s not as though I let them become pulpy before I swallow them. I don’t have time! I just have to eat more and more and more until suddenly –
The shame. The guilt. And I’m pissed off at myself for giving in again. For being so weak. For breaking so so SO many promises to myself. And for the realisation that now I just have to go through it all again; I have to start afresh at trying to quit. And I WILL do it this time, I tell myself. That really was the last time. After all, I feel disgusting. Not just physically, from the racing heart and shaky hands – a combination of the sugar and just the speed with which I’ve eaten – but mentally I feel vile.
This is good – it makes me so so certain that I’ll be able to with resist the call next time around. Why would I want to feel like this again? Why would I want to do this to myself again? I wouldn’t! And I won’t.
Until I forget, of course, which happens all too quickly. I’m trapped by this illness or weakness or whatever you want to call it, and I don’t know if I’ll ever escape.
Except today, I did. And I forged just the tiniest of bonds to a new Katrina. To choosing NOT to listen to that little voice. Choosing to eat like a normal person, even if just for today. And tomorrow I know I’ll have to deal with it all over again, but that bond I just made? It’s tiny but I think it’s strong. And I’m going to cling to it like nothing else, because ultimately I choose freedom from my fears and from the bonds that have held me so tightly up until now.
Ultimately, I choose life.
Thankyou for letting me be honest with you about my eating history. Even though it’s tough for me to do, I think it’s important to share this story as I know that so many women relate to it. And I must admit it is also liberating for me. Please note that I have overcome the battle with bulimia that I fought years ago, I now feel more comfortable sharing my story. At some point I will write about the methods and professional help I used to win the battle.
I will share more of the story when I’m ready.
Life is Now. Press Play.