" I binge a lot. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to die from how I abuse my body with food. I hate the way I eat. I have a bad relationship with food." Elizabeth
I hear you Elizabeth. I’m sorry you are having this experience. It’s a truly AWFUL place to be. I had very similar feelings in my late teens. I couldn’t believe I didn’t burst or die. Part of me wanted to do both. I hated myself so much. My binges reflected both a desperate hunger to feel okay about myself and extreme self-punishment for not being the person I thought I needed to be. I went from the image on right to the image on left in around two years...
Let me encourage you Elizabeth, there is a way through and forward. It's not easy and it will take determination and effort but you can get there. You just need the right information, skills and support. Most importantly you need to hear (again and again) that you deserve LIFE and nurture and good things. You really do.
Three things that can help you right now:
1. Reach for self-compassion - it can help to imagine someone you really care about (or someone younger than you) feeling and thinking the way you currently feel and think. What might you want to say to this person? What might you want to do for them or to advise? We are often far kinder to others than we are to ourselves when we struggle in this space. Below is a link to an excerpt that chronicles this difficult time in my own journey. I offer it to help you identify with the your inner struggle more deeply in order to generate more compassion towards yourSELF.
2. Attend to your emotional hunger - binge-eating often reflects an attempt to manage (soothe, numb, distract from or cope with) emotional pain and conflict. Apart from eating regularly to reduce the physical/starvation triggers that lead to binge-eating, we need to identify and attend to our emotional hunger. Getting Beneath the Binge part 1 and part 2 are two podcasts that will help you think about this for yourself. I recommend you read the excerpt first.
3. Connect with others - nothing beats the power of a healing relationship. Connecting with people who care about you (family and friends) or who can identify with your experience (perhaps in a support group) will likely be helpful. Beyond this the therapeutic relationship offered by an experienced counselor provides a safe supportive space to explore and unpack your unique challenges in order to heal and soothe and find a more health-full and hope-full way forward.
I hold hope for you Elizabeth. There is a way forward. If you want my help get in touch: Facebook.