day -26 Binge eating

Urgh…. I knew this would seem “too difficult” for me to handle at some point.

Last night I didn’t feel like writing anything: I had nothing to say, except unproductive platitudes, such as “this sobriety thing is boring and repetitive and so is my life”. I felt sad and lonely and miserable. I also “forgot” to meditate in the evening, and I ended up Netflix and binge eating, went to sleep late, feeling guilty. Guilty at what?

At not being able to just sit with my emotions. Needing a crutch (in this case, food and TV shows) to get through the evening. Am I ALWAYS going to need a crutch like this? Is sober life going to feel this awful forever? Am I going to end up all alone in front of a TV, with junk food having replaced beer as my only friend?

More importantly: What is life without a crutch? Do I have to ban all entertainment, sugar, caffeine, relationships, all forms of pleasure from my life to know what it’s like to live without a “crutch”? gaaaaah! I can’t to this!

This morning I still feel guilty. I used to get so mad at myself for binge eating after having too much to drink, and thought being sober would make me miraculously lose all that weight, since I would be 1) not drinking empty calories, 2) eating healthy 100% of the time.

WRONG!

Now I can see that the disinhibiting effects of alcohol caused me to make many poor (in this case, poor nutrition) decisions, and prevented me from making more mindful ones. Drinking = WAY more likely to act on impulse. I remember a shrink who told me once that I should practice doing sober all the things I would only allow myself to do after drinking. WHAAAAAAAT? I was like “B***h, you crazy ! I’m never downing a pint of ice-cream in public, NEVER!”. Looking back, I still remember that advice, which was some of the most valuable any therapist has ever given me.

To this day I still struggle with allowing myself to do the things that liquid lubricant makes doing much easier. Even writing about binge eating here is hard. I feel so ashamed when I fail to meet the (often impossible) standards I set for myself. I’m the kind of person who eats their SINGLE candy bar in secret because even that is already too much and a “shameful” behavior.

argh.

BUT. Writing this, I can see now that alcohol was not the problem per se. It is more like the really really bad solution to a preexisting underlying problem – which it just makes worse, (John Oliver would say “and f***cks the first problem and) creates a bigger, giant, blob of a problem.

The underlying “thing” which makes me BOTH crave a drink and want to keep shoveling junk food down my mouth (and then shamefully regretting and/or hiding it the next day) is the same ROOT CAUSE. I drink because I feel sad and lonely and bored and unsatisfied. I remove drink, and switch to other forms of self-soothing, equally unhealthy. Underneath both of those behaviors lies my inability to accept reality (and myself) as it is. My belief that “ordinary” life is valueless. That feeling sad is “not ok” and must be avoided at all costs.

I wonder how I can reframe these beliefs.

I know on a factual level that yesterday I spent most of the day with a friend, helping HIM make it through a wave of depression. Boyfriend Dude is also coming back to town tonight, I am seeing him in a few hours. It’s not like I am Gollum, talking myself and biting the head off of a live fish in my cave.

If I feel lonely I think it might be because something in me still thinks it needs intensity and “exceptional” things or events to make a life “worth living”. Something which is deeply dissatisfied with anything repetitive and automatically labels them as “boring”. I think I need to work on accepting myself as I am, stop running away, and face the “boring loneliness”, aka. life without drama. BUT HOW?

OR I COULD JUST GET A CAT.

I am scared. I don’t now if I can do this forever.

Am I being too hard on myself? Is this normal?

In any case, I DID NOT DRINK last night, which makes 5 consecutive days.

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

5 thoughts on “day -26 Binge eating

  1. Hi
    I know we are in a similar situation of stopping drinking alcohol from September and I had seen some of what you wrote and thought, “sounds familiar” but this post on binge eating is 90% something that applies to me. Eerie! The gap that may appear without alcohol, confronting the uncomfortable stuff, all that and more I really connected with. Only thing I’d add is that when I stopped for 3 months earlier this year, the extra time and energy I had gave me the sense of new possibilities in my life. Knowing this makes the prospect of giving up a little easier. Reading this post of yours and how closely it mirrors my experience is strangely comforting. Thanks for sharing.
    Jim

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jim, the same thing just happened to me as I read your last post about the codependent relationship 🙂 I’m really looking forward to reading your posts when we start in September !!!

      Like

  2. I know this is an old post but I feel the exact same way at this moment. I binged today on junk food. My problem is similar to having a crutch. Now that you have 95 days or so under your belt do you have any advice on that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ooooh I feel you! Unfortunately, this still happens to me, though a lot less than when I would drunkenly binge for no special reason (apart from the “taking pleasure in doing ‘forbidden’ things” aspect of it). I think I still need to work through a vision of food where I have “good” and “bad” food categories in my mind. These days bingeing only happens to me when I am under pressure (work-related, mostly) and definitely in periods when I am not meditating as much as usual, and the anxiety feels like too much to handle. The annoying part is that I know that if I took the time to meditate in the morning (rather than start the day anxiously getting things done), I wouldn’t need the crutch as much because I would be able to keep things into perspective. But these days anxiety wins. And at the end of the day I feel like I “need something to feel better” (when in fact we already have everything we need, and just need to remember and feel that). So no advice, because I could obviously need some myself 🙂 but I suspect that the solution to all of this (exactly like going alcohol free) is to 1) keep working on healing the underlying reason that pushes us to partake in the addictive behavior in the first place (address the root cause, not the symptom), and 2) BE GENTLE to yourself (I know that for me, bingeing creates a lot of guilt and shame, which pile on and just make things worse): forgive yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a break. Learn to integrate the fact that you DESERVE to experience a life of (healthy) pleasure (this is a big one to work on for me). Do (healthy but pleasurable) things that make you feel good, practice doing that regularly, daily. And if you’re also renouncing alcohol (or some other substance/habit) at the same time, allow yourself to be imperfect and work on things one by one, step by step. Perfectionism is the enemy. So guess my advice (and man do I need it myself) is to let go of black & while thinking and learn to see the nuances/shades of grey in life: that’s also what allows us to stop a binge before if becomes a binge: eat that cookie, and enjoy it, and know that you can stop there, and don’t have to go “full on” binge because you “messed up” by eating a cookie: Be kind to yourself 🙂 Oh, and try mindful eating (plenty of books online) and self-love meditations (plenty of free ones online): they really really help! hahaha sorry for the super long response 🙂 xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow this is a super great reply! I really like a lot of what you have written here. Haven’t really meditated before except in a few yoga classes and maybe I need to give that a try. But I definitely experience the same thing with binging and found it’s worse when drinking as well. It’s hard to go easy on yourself right… that’s a skill worth working on.
        Thank you. Be well Anne 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

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