Recovery from Binge Eating is Never Linear

binge eating recovery - image of the back of a woman hiking up a mountain; she is wearing an oversized blue sweatshirt and black leggings and her long brown hair is in a ponytail; the mountain has brown grass and some jagged rocks

Being in a state of heightened stress and anxiety is the body’s way of telling us to slow down. Slow down our thoughts, slow down our breathing, our emotions, and our physical self. There are times, not near as often anymore (thanks to binge eating recovery), when my body is so tight it feels it will not unravel. This tightness is not just a physical tightness but a tightness in my mind. The thoughts swirl tighter and tighter and it feels as if I cannot let them free. There are certain things that can set these thoughts into motion. But typically it stems back to relationships with others.

My best friend

I learned to soothe myself during this really heightened state when I was in my early twenties. I would run, literally run to the kitchen and sit with my best friend. My best friend and I would breath together, we’d cry together, and unravel together. As I unraveled, I had no idea what else was happening. I was slowly creating a very dependent relationship on food which soon felt like a best friend in those times of darkness.

My journey to Recovery From Binge Eating

Through my journey, self-awareness is one of the most enlightening experiences thus far. I have not had a trigger now in over two months, until tonight. It was the most eye opening experience I have navigated. And the most aware I have been since starting this journey. I could state the trigger aloud and was fully aware of what was occurring. I could physically feel my body tightening, my mind swirling, my emotions going out of control.

Losing my temper, I had no patience with my little ones. I could hear my words coming out with bitterness or anger. Not because I meant those words but my internal thoughts unfairly poured out. I tried to ground myself through loosening my shoulders, becoming aware of my breath, concentrating on a single task and being more present in order to allow these thoughts to subside. Hours, literally hours later, I could not slow down.

Binge Eating Recovery is NOT linear

I made my way through bath and story time, tucking in my little ones in, hugs and kisses. I sat down to reflect and faintly tasted the remnants of my actions. That one best friend that seems to sneak in when I am down, when I am struggling, and cannot breath. I did not binge tonight, I did not overeat, I did not sit down with my best friend, but I did say “hi” to him.

You see, binge eating recovery is not linear. It is not this huge celebration where you say “I DID IT! I STOPPED. I WILL NEVER BINGE AGAIN!” To be honest, I somewhat thought or hoped this is how it would be. To be even more honest, I know better. I am a seasoned Social Worker or has a wealth of knowledge regarding disordered eating. Even through this knowledge, education, experience, I still struggle with binge eating and recovery.

Recovery from binge eating, for me, is fighting every single day to not sit with that friend and to feel those feelings that need to be felt instead.

To know that there is more to life than that never ending cycle of binging, guilt, shame, and doing it all over again. Recovery is hard, it is raw, it is angry, and it is so worth it. I was able to eventually practice self-care to melt my thoughts away. And I felt my mind loosening, my chest, my back, my legs, my heart, and my tears. It all poured out.

And here I am, a warrior who did not let him win.

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