I feel strongly about bringing more awareness to the struggles of binge eating. The “Stuffed With Emptiness” series delves into details and thoughts of significant moments of my past journey. If this topic could be triggering to your own thoughts and experience in any way, please read with caution or wait to visit FFF later.
Catch Up With Previous Stuffed With Emptiness Posts:
It all started in March of 2005. Over the following months I encountered the two following scenarios above. In the fall of that year, I turned to other destructive habits. It was my senior year of college and I wanted nothing less than to escape my home life. I wanted to pretend that I had full control over my life and my decisions. I wanted to act differently than I ever had.
For about six months (thank God only that long), my life revolved around alcohol, parties, and sleeping around. Up until then, I had never really drank and had kept intimacy an act within a serious relationship. I found myself binging less on food and more on a sensation of freedom.
I sought a lack of control with getting so drunk I barely remembered details of the night not just on a rare occasion…or even just weekend nights…but 5 or 6 nights out of the week. Most of these nights ended with me “hanging out” with one of the guys I had “connected” with during that time. It embarrasses me today to remember the lack of respect I had for myself and my body during that time.
I thought it was what I wanted. To say I didn’t care. To say I was happy. Deep down I knew I didn’t feel fulfilled…and when my practicum for teaching began I knew I needed to sober up. Somehow over the months between January and May of 2006, I didn’t find myself struggling as much. I still faced the occasional binge during particular emotional times, but the desires to end my life overwrought even the desire for food. I found solace in dreaming of my suicide instead of hoarding packages of cookies.
One night, my father and I ended up in another particularly grueling argument. It had become the standard occurrence. We enjoyed pushing each others’ buttons in the masochistic games we played, craving to hurt the other’s ego just a wee bit more.
I remember the argument had something to do with the fact my mother had found me writing a suicide note and my dad wondering why. What made me think I had thingsso bad. I tried to explain, but the acidity of fear kept the words from coming easily.Yet it didn’t compare to the speechlessness I would feel moments later as my father said even worse words to me than the other set of syllables that have forever stained my heart.
That night, I locked myself in the bathroom. I scrounged for the bottle of hefty pain pills I had hidden away for such a need. My mother had taken it earlier that day. I then was screaming and crying, looking for anything…anything…to help. A razor? A bottle of cold medicine? There had to be something!!!!
I felt so alone and unloved…despite the calls, cries, and banging coming from the other side of the door as my mom and sister shouted for me. Pleaded with me to please come out. Please don’t hurt myself. I somehow could not see the love glaring right at me for the abyss of hatred that pulled me so deeply a few doors down the hall. I just wanted it…life…over. Gone. Done.
I finally came out. Feeling defeated. The way I viewed it, I couldn’t even have success at taking my own life. I remarked about that to my father. Telling him he could find another way I failed. Perhaps that triggered something.
Things with him began to change then. Not too long after that night, he told me “I’m Sorry” for the first and only time I ever heard those words cross his lips. A few nights before my college graduation. I will forever cherish hearing that unrequited, no excuses apology.
I moved out about a week later. I met Peter that same time. Over the next months my dad began seeking some help for his own needs and we continued to treat our relationship with more care and caution. Eventually, forgiveness came and a new relationship.
I traveled for a couple months to Europe and led a healthy lifestyle while there – eating fresh foods and walking everywhere.
I returned feeling healthier and happier than ever. I believed I had moved past my demons, but it turns out I hadn’t. In the months that followed, I realized just how much binging still controlled me. It wasn’t just an emotional coping mechanism, but a full fledged addiction.