A quick warning: this post is going to discuss compulsive eating, self harm and alcohol. Please be careful if these topics are triggers for you.
I wanted to post about something that seems to be happening to me at the moment – namely, that my compulsive overeating is getting a lot worse, I’m drinking too much, and I’m considering self harming again. All of this has happened more and more since I’ve been seeing a new psychotherapist privately. We started working together in January.
The therapist, Diane, and my NHS psychiatrist thinks that what I am going through is a direct result of the work I’ve been doing with her. As if working through deep and difficult problems leaves a psychological rawness or exposed part of my mind that I’m trying to push down and keep away with food.
I don’t know if this is correct. Diane has stated that she wholeheartedly believes I can and will get better and stop having to use food to alter my mood. At the moment, my eating resembles something frantic, where I feel so trapped and on edge that I have to eat to calm down. Booze works better to calm me, obviously, as it’s a depressant, but I can’t drink at work so I use food instead.
That also might imply that I have some kind of control over it. I don’t. When I need to eat it’s like a tidal wave. I just can’t help but give in to it. It’s like a voice in my head telling my body to do things as my mind watches helplessly.
So, my questions are two:
1) Has this happened to you – have you ever gotten much worse in therapy before a breakthrough/getting better?
2) Have you, or anyone you know, ever fully recovered from an eating disorder (especially compulsive eating)?
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Long time no writing from me – sorry! Anyway, I wanted to write a little about something that has affected me for as long as I can remember – basically as long as I’ve been depressed, which is as far back as I can recall, and that’s food addiction.
It manifests itself in me feeling desperate to eat food at times when I feel trapped, stressed, bored, ugly, lonely or sad.
I am only really beginning to start analysing myself and how I deal with my problem. I’ve gone through one major hurdle in that now I find myself knowing, as I eat, that I am doing this for a reason – to help me cope with the feelings – and I acknowledge that I am hurting myself by doing it, but also in the short term that I am helping myself and that it is a less damaging way, perhaps, to deal with feelings than some others.
Despite this, however, it makes me unhappy; I’ve always felt too big for my natural body, as if I’m wearing a fat suit made of my anxiety and addiction all the time. I know I need to start taking time out to deal with issues whenever I feel desperate for food. I know I need to start planning my weekly diet a bit better so I’ve got fruit and veg to plough through if it gets bad, as at least that will be nourishing for me as opposed to damaging.
I want to start writing about my addiction, because I find examining it through putting it down in words helps to break up the opacity of it – a lot of the time I feel as if I’m lost whenever I do it – as if I can’t pinpoint what it is that’s making me so upset. Sometimes low levels of stress causes me to just casually overeat. Sometimes high levels of stress causes me to properly binge. But I would say I overeat most days of the week, some more than others.
It’s not going to be an easy thing to examine, but I feel that I want to start talking about it more. Any other women out there with a similar issue? Write to me in the comments!
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