No Turning Back Now

Last week I stood and stared at myself in the mirror for what felt like a lifetime. I was mid “symptom” and had started purging, but there was still more to go. So much more and I just wished I could take it all back. Turn back the clock an hour or two. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I hate throwing up. And I hate myself when I’m throwing up.

I have no idea how much time actually passed as I stood there looking into my own eyes crying. It was the first time in a while that my blood sugar levels had reacted so significantly to a binge and so, on top of feeling like revolting human being, I also was more than little light headed.

These are the times that scare me the most. They remind me of how much damage I am doing to my body. They remind me of how much damage I have already done. And so I cried and I stared and I listened to the endless stream of hurtful thoughts floating through my head. Trying not to believe them, kind of believing them, and hoping my dizziness wouldn’t last too long.

“This is who you are. Red puffy eyed, bloated and disgusting.”

“How are you still here? Still doing this? You’re pathetic”

“If only they could see you now.”

“Look at you. You are NOT beautiful.”

On this particular day my binge had started while I was still out with friends. I’d had a great morning of positive social time with good people. Nothing that should have set me into a downward spiral except that I had had more of a treat for dessert after lunch than I “should” have. This made me feel out of control and so the battle began.

It would be another hour before I went home, but the planning of a binge and fight against that planning crept into full swing almost instantly. Conversations continued around me I and wondered if they could tell I was almost entirely checked out as I pleaded with myself not to give in.

“Not this time Jamie, you’re doing so well. Its been such a great morning. You don’t want to do this. You will be so much happier after if you don’t. Just tell one of them you’re struggling. Ask one of them to stay. To ride this out with you. It will pass. You know it will pass. PLEASE don’t do this.”

Until finally,

“You fucked up, you ate too much. Now you have to go home and binge yourself sick, so you have the right to make yourself sick. You did this to yourself. There is no turning back. You deserve this.”

It started with a nut and seed bar I didn’t need and lead itself to two store bought family sized kale salads. Salad is a sneaky choice. If someone sees me buying them they’d never suspect anything because I’m eating “healthy” food.

The truth is, I was buying them so I had something to eat while I waited for my two gluten free pizzas and the large box of french fries I’d ordered from my phone before I’d even left my friends. I then washed this all down with a full bag of apples dipped in peanut butter. Another easy binge option disguised in a “healthy” package.

I enjoyed the nut and seed bar. It was a delicious treat, but by the second bite of pizza none of the food really even tasted like food anymore. Eating the food of a binge feels like a job. It’s not indulging and enjoying unhealthy food I shouldn’t be, its punishment. For what? I still haven’t quite figured out.

I didn’t actually make it through everything this time. Sometimes I do. But by the time I made it half way through my bag of apples, my stomach had reached the point of being so distended it was painful. This makes the start to purging ‘easy.’ I need to do it to alleviate the discomfort.

But then I’d started purging and there was still more to go. So much more I just wish I could take it all back. I hate throwing up. And I hate myself when I’m throwing up.

Its hard to explain how I feel when its over. Did that much time really pass? I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m lonelier than when I started. But now its time for bed. I’ll wash my face, brush my teeth and try again tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow is the day I actually manage to hold it all together…

I’ve been told so many times over the years that opening up would help me. That if anything, it would show more strength, not weakness. I heard the words, but they held no meaning because I was not ready to listen. Until now.

Holding something inside and titling it “bad” gives that secret power. It feeds the shame. It allows your thoughts to run wild and build up story after story of why you are a lesser person. At least that is what it has spent the past 10 years doing for me.

Now, I am pretty sure that this is not exactly what everyone meant by sharing, but it feels right. Breaking down that bitch inside that tells me I can’t and won’t feels good. And if I can share this and I can own this and if I can say one day I am going to defeat this, then what can’t I do?

Jamie Snow