Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Control and Binge Eating

You know what? I am going to be okay. Funny, coming from ME when it is my friend who needs to be okay...

A big part of binge eating disorder and other "control issue" disorders is the dichotomy of a) feeling completely out of control as you shovel food into yourself against your own real wishes and b) feeling a sense of control when shoveling that food in because you can choose to eat ANY food you want to in whatever amount you desire to. It's like the life chaos becomes eating chaos, but somehow it translates into feeling in control because "I can have whatever I want."

For most of the past decade, I have become somewhat food-irrational whenever I am faced with a emotional crisis in my life. Loss, abandonment, fear, all of that. My father died, I flipped out. I hadn't yet learned to binge. My mother died, I flipped out, and I binged like I never binged before. Divorce, cancer scares, sick kids, I binged. I'd get triggered by some comment or thought and start feeling scared and alone and I'd shove food into my body until I couldn't even *feel* anymore. Being so big and heavy and solid and stuffed made me feel *grounded.* In control. When I was, in fact, completely *out* of control.

Last night I flipped out but I didn't eat. In fact, my stomach was in knots and I couldn't have eaten if I wanted to. My appetite has left me, although I am eating to nourish myself. But after a night of crazy dreams and tears I woke up, took a deep breath, and said, look self. This is not about you. He needs your strength and your support, and flipping out will upset HIM. This is the time to be truly *in control* of not only your actions but your emotions. He is quite ill, not a great prognosis due to other health issues. Time to be strong for HIM.

I can be sad, but I am not going to be desperate, crazy, and focused on MY issues and MY fears. For the first time in my adult life I feel like I am capable of having a normal reaction to crisis and grief. I have no desire to *eat* as a coping mechanism. I do continue wishing I could run. Maybe a good long walk will suffice for now.

I am more driven than ever to lose this weight and be healthy and beautiful and strong... to continue to be the woman he has always believed me to be... the woman I truly am.

p.s.... prayers for Dave are appreciated.

20 comments:

Helen said...

Wow Lyn! You've come a long way baby! and yes, you are going to be OK, and your strength will give your friend strength and hope. My thoughts and prayers are with you both, but i know that you will go on and accomplish your goal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

I totally understand the feeling of wanting to run when you're extremely upset. Do you ever do an elliptical machine? The movement of some of them mimics the feeling of running, for me at least. I have problems running too due to a past hip fracture so I like to go really fast on the elliptical because it kind of feels like I'm running really fast. Just a thought! You and your friend are in my prayers! God bless!

-T

Amelia said...

Your comments about binge eating are so insightful and right-on. I can definitely empathize with that.

You are an inspiring person! Your friend is lucky to have you in his life.

Ami

TB--Milwaukee said...

Hang in there. We all battle the same fight or we wouldn't be here supporting you.

thegardenweigh said...

Yes, stay strong! Your friend will need you. If you can walk, a long walk might help.

Leslie said...

Good stuff Lyn. You are on a healing path. Please keep us posted on how your friend makes out.

Bethany said...

Lyn, I'm so sorry about your friend--I will pray for you both. I get you with the feeling of wanting to run--for me, it's like the fight or flight reaction and it happens to me when I'm having an anxiety attack--exercise probably will help to a degree, perhaps to relieve the pent-up tension. *Hugs* and please continue to take care of yourself. You are amazing!
Bethany

bbubblyb said...

Prayers and good thoughts for Dave. Hope you're doing ok.

Certifiably Fit said...

Sending prayers for you and your friend.

F. McButter Pants said...

Sweetie.....so sorry about your friend. You are right, this is about him and how you can help him.

I know you can do this. You will get thru this. You are a strong woman. I have been reading your blog for almost a year and seen you go thru some pretty intense stuff (your daughter's illness).

Prayers are being offered. You might not be able to control the outcome, but you can choose how to react to it.

hugs....

Autumnforest said...

I will definitely be sending positive energy his way. I

I think you get it. Sometimes we circle around something before we figure it out. It all ultimately comes down to getting to a place in your life where you feel like "no matter what happens, I'll be okay." When you don't have that core belief about yourself, every stressor becomes this scary beast you must run from or hide from. I'd suggest doing an exercise I did that helped me a lot.

Take a piece of paper and write along the left side the years from birth until now, one atop of each other.

On a separate sheet of paper list every bad thing that happened in your life from being called a name, or snubbed by a friend, or had chicken pox for two weeks, lost a pet... whatever. Below that list, list all the good things that ever happened to you that you recall from winning an award, getting a degree, having a child, meeting someone special. Now, beside each bad thing, put a red dot. Beside each good thing put a green dot.

Go back to your list of years and beside each year, put a red or green dot for each of those things that happened that year. (It might be lots of dots each year). When you look at this chart of your life, you see the goods and bads coming and going, some years worse, some better. The important thing--you survive them. You always do. You're like a cat that lands on its feet. So, give yourself credit and know that no matter what comes your way in the future, so long as you're there, it'll be okay. You won't run away, explode, die, or go nuts. You obviously recover and often times go on to have the best moments of your life after something tragic occurs.

When you get to that place where you know you'll be okay no matter what happens and time has a way of rushing in and out like an ocean, you'll accept and not fight the inevitability of things in life. You'll be at peace. Just give yourself credit. You've had some really bad things happen and you've made it through. It's not like life can invent any new obstacles for you to practice your skills on. You've been there. Done that.

At least, that's how I like to look at life--an ebb and flow. In the spectrum of a long life, it all comes out in the wash, as they say. Today's distress is tomorrow's bliss, it comes and goes...

Vickie said...

prayers AND hugs

Susannah said...

Hi Lyn,

I am so sorry about your friend. I'm not a praying person but I most sincerely wish for strength and peace for him, his friends and his family. Yes, it is so true that you need to remain present and strong for him. You are creating a new response to crisis - a healthy response - starting down a new road. I know you can do it!

Paula said...

Lyn, sorry for what you are going through. Yes, you have come a long way for sure. Let that really sink it because the way you are processing now is huge! AND that is a big accomplishment in itself for sure! Awesome!

Salted with Shadows said...

Thinking good thoughts for you and your friend, Lyn. Strength is contagious--you should be proud of yourself.

Fattie Fatterton said...

Wonderful post, and so right on. It's so hard to reign in those reactions, but once you start, it will become easier.

Tammy said...

I will be praying fervently for Dave to be healed, and for you to have continued strength as you support him in this. Trust in God, Lyn. He specializes in tough times.

Karen In Tennessee said...

WOW...again Lyn, your post is so full of wisdom and truth. I too have had a lifetime of comforting myself with food. Of course I also celebrate with food so I was pretty much eating all the time no matter what was happening in my life!!!

As for Dave, you know Lyn, you just have to be the person you already are: Smart, Strong, Funny, Loyal, and Kind. These are the gifts you have always freely given to Dave and you will continue to do it. I bet he would blush if he knew you had written about him today...but I bet he would also be unbelievably flattered, honored, and pleased.

I truly believe you will have your best friend in your life for many years to come. Hang in there. :)

Federica said...

Dave is in my thoughts...I like to think that all our good wishes might help him!
and you are so strong and i am so proud of you!
Avoiding the food coping mechanism is one BIG step forward!
big hug

Federica

Hanlie said...

I'm thinking of both you and Dave.

You are speaking with a new voice these days - a voice of confidence and strength. I love it!