Do you remember what it tasted like? Did you want to stop but felt like you had no control? Did you hide from people out of shame while eating it?
I answered a related question earlier and I responded with: I think knowing how you eat, and not just what you eat is important.
During binges, I won't even taste food for food. I'll eat stale bread, dig my fingers through crumbs amongst crumbs, for something more because a second without the "numbing feeling of a binge" is too much. I'll go out at 3 a.m. to binge, near tears but keep propelling because I feel like a puppet, with no control of my body.
And because of the beauty of anonymity, here are excerpts from old typed out journal entries:
If you get a twinge of emotion you can't handle, you know how to react.
It's quite simple. Drive to the
nearest fast food drive-thru. Speak
slowly, as if you're recalling a list
for four people. Ask for extra
napkins. Smile. Be polite. Beg
silently that the cashier will be a
different person, because you were
there yesterday, and the day before,
and the day before that...
You want as many people as possible to
think you're a health nut. Twenty
dollars spent in a drive-thru? Oh,
Miss Perfect would never do such a
thing. Nobody would ever suspect that
you would engage in such a crime.
They're eluded that you're perfect,
and that you have your life together.
Surely, you don't have any
overwhelming pain inside. Surely, you
are a composed young lady, and are in
complete control of your life. You
don't want to destroy that image, but
at the same time, you're crying out
for help and somebody to love and
notice how empty you are. But you're
afraid that nobody will care.
Everyone has fallen in love with the
false image of you, and you have kept
your true self hidden, suppressed.
You're scared nobody wants to know the
real you. Nobody knows who you really
are because you're buried under a
mountain of lies. Sometimes, even you
don't know where you are anymore.
So block out all the flooding
emotions, and pull your car in the
parking lot. In the dark, under the
tree, away from other cars. You have
a dirty little secret. You feel out
of control, but you also feel at home.
Binging takes away the emotional pain,
and the physical pain becomes strong
enough to steal away a few minutes so
As I talk to you online about how happy I am, I am downing cereal bars
one by one. I eat them slowly, trying
to savor them, trying to enjoy food
for food. The sweetness freezes the
anxiety. For a moment, I'm okay. But
another bar follows another, and soon,
I am in a sea of wrappers. I know
it's happening again, but I can't
stop. The first domino has been
I'm not done.
I gaze in the fridge. I'm empty. I'm
cold. I'm hollow, I'm hungry. I'm
hungry for love, affection, approval,
acceptance, freedom. This hole inside
need needs to be filled. Two slices
of cheese, slices of pizza, and a
handful of chips slide down my throat
as I tiptoe back to my room. I can't
let the roommates know.
I'm not done.
I hoover over the computer and start
to order food online. I need something
of more substance. Something that is
warm and will make me full to the
brim, numbing me. I need something
that will cloud my waking thoughts. I
want something that will take over my
mind, and give me a moment to escape
who I am. I want self-prescribed
amnesia. I listen carefully. I am
sitting by the window so I can hear
the delivery person before he/he
comes. That way, I can walk out the
door before he knocks and secretly
slip the food inside. The food is
cold, and the chicken is drenched in
too much sauce. But food is food, and
any drug will do. I eat the food,
forcing it inside myself, pushing back
the cries of my body protesting.
Pushing back the emotions. Pushing
back everything inside of me, shutting
up the emotions with more and more,
and more. But I still feel empty.
And sigh, one more...
I don't know what hungry is, or it is supposed to be. But I know what it's not. It's not supposed to be running to Subway and getting a footlong sub, dressed with ranch only because it comes up easier than Italian dressing, shoveling it in your mouth, only to walk to Dairy Queen after to get a sandwich, fries, onion rings, and a blizzard. Two spoons please, one for me and the other for my imaginary friend. And then stuffing free doughnuts, three cookies, and chocolate in your bag from the refreshment stand of the bookstore (oops, didn't buy anything) because the hole of hunger is so deep that you know you'll want those, even though you never used to like cookies or things too sweet. I know hunger isn't supposed to be ripping the box open, tearing jagged lines into the soft cardboard, and breathing everything inside without a moment to think, or blink. I know hunger isn't supposed to be using 23 packets to ketchup (maybe 22.5 packets to account for the bit that slid down your coat while you responded to an emergency need of fries to your mouth). I know hunger isn't a game of "how much can you get in an hour," where you get as much as you can, racing the clock, with a prize for the winner, yet I'm playing like it is.