Just One Last Night

Credit: It is incredibly difficult to find binge art or photography that doesn’t caricaturize bingeing. Here’s an awesome piece of art by Flickr user Corle Howel.  Check her out here.

Last night joined a long line of nights lost to bingeing. I don’t remember my first binge, but it came at some point during 8th grade, after a yearlong period of starvation of weightloss. I have a vivid memory of an early binge in which I ate two full pumpkin pies standing over the kitchen counter, not blinking and seemingly not breathing. In other words, a medium binge.

Last night I made the dangerous decision of telling myself, “This is my last night.” This is my last night of overeating, of eating “junk” food, of eating like a glutton. So I made the most of it.

Four glasses of wine and a stomach-ripping amount of food later, I lied in bed last night dwelling in a pool of regret that’s become so familiar it almost doesn’t hurt anymore. And the thing is, I know exactly what caused the binge. It was promising myself a change in the morning, a new beginning. It was telling myself that this was the last time I could really enjoy food. It triggered the part of my brain that is terrified of starvation, and there I went.

I knew I was falling down the rabbit hole when I was standing on a dark street corner quite literally begging my boyfriend to buy me an italian sausage roll with onions and peppers. My stomach was already aching at that point, but the mind-numbing power of a binge had already clouded my judgment. I ate it without blinking.

I’ve struggled with different manifestations of eating disorders over the last decade, but the past year and a half has seen more than its fair share of binge behaviors. It’s a very standard pattern. Daily or near-daily binge episodes, often at night, followed by promises to lose weight in the morning. Calorie counting and overexercise in the day, and the continuation of the same vicious cycle. It’s caused me to gain a good deal of weight and has caused many a moment of sheer desperation when I had not a clue where to go or what to do.

With that said, the past month has been going more smoothly. The binges have decreased in frequency, which I attribute to my eating large, balanced meals throughout the day and meditating through binge urges. But last night broke the streak, and I’m left feeling, inevitably, dejected.

Still, there are some things that I’m proud of that have resulted from this episode. Today, I didn’t restrict what I ate. Today, I looked at my bloated, full body in the mirror undressed an attempted not to detest it. These are achievements for me in the process of recovery, and though they may be small, they are victories nonetheless. Which brings me to the conclusion of this post: if, like me, you’ve been the recent victim of a binge, you can still take care of yourself and love yourself. You must.

 

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