When You Just Can't Stop Binge Eating

When You Just Can't Stop Binge Eating

As summer approaches, I fear that my binge eating will kick back into high gear.

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I've opened up about my experience with binge-eating disorder (BED) before. I've had my ups and downs, but I was at my worst during last summer, the summer of 2018. While right now I'm somewhat managing it, the cravings and lack of control are starting to creep back up on me.

After returning back to college after spring break, I have had at least one doughnut—if not two or three—every single day. While that might not seem like a HUGE problem to the average person, to me, it's a big red flag. Having a doughnut every single day for the past month means that I'm not only losing my self-control, but I'm also losing the ability to tell myself "no".

The thing about binge eating is that you feel like if you don't eat something right then and there that you're just going to die. You feel like if you don't consume something at that moment that you just wouldn't be able to handle it. And so you eat. And you eat. And you eat. And you eat...

...And you just can't stop.

So while as of right now the worst of my problems is eating an entirely too sugary doughnut every single day, tomorrow I fear that it might be just as bad as it was last summer. Maybe eating a family size bag of BBQ chips, a box of Cheez-its, a bowl of ice cream, a bar of chocolate, some mac & cheese, a yogurt, and who knows what else? Because that's what almost every single night of my life looked like for three months last summer. While I feel good when eating every piece of food that goes inside my mouth, the guilt that follows (and the stomachaches) is excruciating.

I know I shouldn't eat that much. I know I'm going to feel guilty afterward. But I just can't stop myself. And so then you want to do something to make all the pain go away. That's what leads to bingeing and purging.

I've never purged through vomiting. Of course, I've thought about it before, but then again, what person with BED hasn't? Then there's always laxatives, overexercising, or restricting. And trust me, I have a lot of experience with those remedies. And I'm ashamed. It only adds to the guilt that I feel and the emotional pain that I endure. Because I know I have the power to say no, but then again—I don't. And feeling powerless, in any situation, is what really takes a toll on someone. After crying almost every single time I binged last year, I dread feeling that lack of control this coming summer.

And I've said this before and I'll say it again. I HATE when people tell me that I'm skinny. Because I'm not skinny from default, I'm skinny from deceit. Anyone can intake too much fiber or too little calories or overwork their body for days on end. So don't tell me that I'm skinny and that I don't have to worry about eating too many doughnuts, because neither of those is true. Don't tell me that if you ate three donuts a day that you'd be obese, but I would be too. It's a matter of illness and eating disorders are no joke. Don't tell me that just because I look like I'm healthy, must mean I'm healthy too because trust me, I'm anything but healthy.

So while summer creeps up on us and you and your friends spend your days happy out in the sun, I fear the time I have on my hands will be spent bingeing. I'm watching my self-control slowing slips out of my hands—and I can't bear to go through that again.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Thank You, Meal Ticket, For Pulling Me And My Family Through

Feed your belly!

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Dear, Meal Ticket

I thank you for feeding me school breakfast and lunch. I thank you for feeding all the children in the neighborhood. You were one the thing all of us kids from the hood remembered. Mama told us not to forget our meal ticket. No bagged lunches around here, no money for breakfast. Just the bus stop down the corner to get us to school early so we could fill our tummies while we bent over desks scribbling want-to-be cursive on the wide ruled paper.

Thank you, meal ticket, for making it easier for our families. You took two out of the three meals off our parents' plates five days a week. How could we repay you? I could make you some spam and white rice for dinner. That dinner might not be as good as you, meal ticket, but it will fill your belly. It sounds foolish I know, but there is no way I could reimburse you. So I will sit here and praise you in gratitude for saving me and my brothers and sisters from poverty. For teaching us about the service you do for us, meal ticket.

Look at where you got me, meal ticket. I am here writing to thank you for feeding me enough so that I could sit here before you today. We were hopeless, our brains stuck in the mud, not knowing what move we had to make next to fill our tables, but you saved us. You made us excited to go to school, knowing we would be fed a plate full of food and education to get us out of the hood. So that one day we could be just as great as you are and feed the whole neighborhood with integrity.

I want to remind all of you to hold on to your meal ticket even when you find the knowledge to be your own meal ticket one day. Never forget where you came from. This meal ticket saved not only you but so many others. So turn in your meal ticket with pride. And kiss your loved ones for teaching you about the service.

Thank you, meal ticket, for pulling me out of the mud with a full belly.

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