Binge eating is a complicated issue. We all know that the presence of food, smells of food, sight of others eating food can be a huge trigger. One bite cascades into hundreds; one McDonald's commercial can send a person running for the nearest drive thru. But there is something else that is very difficult for me to deal with... something that triggers something very *addict* in me.
It's reading about other people's binges.
I know, ironic, right? I have this whole blog here full of my own descriptive binges, probably triggering people right and left, yet I can't read that kind of thing myself. Heck, I can't even go back and read certain posts in my archives. I try to be sensitive to folks like me by warning at the beginning of a post like that, saying something like "If you're triggered by reading about binge foods, scroll down past the ***********'s". That's my way of trying to make my blog a safe place for everyone.
I belong to several forums online that have to do with weight loss, eating issues, and dieting. Often, there are sub-forums for binge eaters to get support. A long time ago I tried to go there and do that and be supportive, but I had to stop. I cannot read about other people's binges. What happens in my head is kind of frightening to me. I actually feel intense jealousy well up inside me. It makes no logical sense, but it happens every time. I start reading about what this person ate (and how out of control and guilty they feel about it and all the weight they gained from it) and instead of thinking, "whew, glad that is not me! How miserable!" I get really antsy and a million food thoughts rush into my head and I get jealous, slightly mad, that THEY got to eat all that and I did not.
It doesn't matter that more than half my days over the last decade have included binges on some level. I don't care that I have taken months of eating whatever I felt like eating, like a spoiled brat, without regard to the massive weight gain and health issues I was causing myself. I don't stop and think about the negatives. I just get this voice in my head, wanting, wanting, wanting... endlessly wanting, craving nothing in particular but everything in general, missing the obsession, the compulsion, the overwhelming urges and finally the sensation of succumbing to the binge, giving in and eating, eating, eating, being out of control and then, crashing into that devastation one feels when one has failed yet again.
Yes, I miss it. No, not on a daily basis, no, not now. But when I start to read someone's story about their overindulgence, I have to click the X and walk away. I get that immediate twinge of jealousy and I HAVE to shut it down IMMEDIATELY or it overtakes me and nags me until I let it happen.
Sounds like addiction, feels like rehab. It is easier to just not let it get started. then there is no battle, no fight, no argument. Just peace.
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