To be honest, I started this blog for entirely selfish reasons. Yes, I want to support others facing the same disorder and insecurities that I am, but I guess I also wanted some form of support in return. I figured that by making a public journal and speaking out publicly I would have more accountability for my actions, more guilt for my decisions and ultimately more individuals to disappoint. 

For the past five months, I have been a "closet" binge eater. A few family members have occasionally stumbled into my "secret" world or come across one of my infamous hour-long binge sessions. Those who haven't had the honor of doing so can tell that I've changed; in my personality and demeanor. With each month that passed the pounds I gained ate up my lingering hopes of being "skinny" and "happy" faster than I could down a container of maple syrup. I justified my actions and attempted to "purge" a few times (luckily my body wasn't as willing to barf as I obviously was) in moments of pure desperation. The thought of death was constantly on my mind. I thought of how easy it would be. My friends wouldn't care (we'll talk about that one later) and I would be free from my refrigerator's magnetic pull (no pun intended).

Over the past months, I've learned that bingeing is an extremely hard topic to explain; especially to those who haven't experienced it firsthand (I've learned that with binge eating, it's best to avoid having an elephant like that to be in the room, it might just be too tempting to eat). You always just start with a taste, then you sample bits and pieces of whatever you may come across (claiming to still be eating reasonably), then you progress to bigger bites, another dish, different ways to eat each item, different recipes to try, new combinations, and so on. Sometimes while trying to avoid something you know will "ruin" your eating for the day, you eat substitute foods that are just as bad or worse (I usually give in and go for whatever I try to avoid in the end...curse ice cream). The foods don't even necessarily have to taste good, it's the craving that you're satisfying, not your taste buds. It's the brief measure of instant gratification that keeps you going. The world stops, but your impulses won't. Eventually, you slowly take control again, several minutes or hours later.  Slowly, you take in the reality of your actions. The extreme happiness fades and waves of negative emotions crash down like a tsunami. You're drowning in yourself. Life rafts that come in the forms of water "noodles", doughnut/ "LifeSaver" shaped water tubes and water "weenies" (that ironically look like bananas, not floating hot dogs). You still feel pulled to the food, even if your stomach is screaming in pain (I've caught myself twitching or unable to focus when I don't cave in to my wants). You go back later for more, trying to figure out what it is that will satisfy you. All too quickly, the nightmare starts again.

I began to realize just how severe my obsession with food was about two months into my new eating "habits". I tried to diet again (I had previously lost 30 lbs. the year before through diet and exercise) and with each attempt, defeat and depression followed. By the time I talked to my parents about it, I was (lightly put) a broken individual. I went to bed crying each night, I fought with those who tried to help me and ate even more to console my emotions (humiliation, desperation, depression, stress). For myself, it was especially painful because I had gone from having everything under control (including my weight), to complete and utter chaos. It was embarrassing to have been brought to my knees by something so insignificant as a box of graham crackers or a carton of sherbet. I couldn't escape my new found "enemies" because I literally needed them to live. My life now resolved around food. 

I'm hungry all the time. It's almost like a possession (imagine the Cookie Monster after eating a cookie laced with crack) that drives you to eat not only your food, but other's food, healthy food, junk food, stale food...I think you get the idea.

Binge eating is more than just simply an "eating disorder" its a disease that first attacks you physical well-being then steadily progresses to your mental health, emotional health and finally, your spiritual health. It's been placed by scientists on the scale of a meth addiction. I've found myself often questioning my faith and doubting my capabilities. I often separated myself from my family and reality. Social situations became a death sentence. My pride withered away as my body size increased.

I don't really know if there was a single or specific event that drove me to bingeing, I've decided that it was a collection of events that mutated together to form some kind of freaky Godzilla-Esq monster. Everything just happened to mash together at the wrong time and I was doomed to break down sooner or later. From friend drama (Junior year...enough said), to lice infestations (that happened to come back three times), high blood sugars (caused by bingeing), crazy homework (AP classes), family arguments (don't get me started on that one) and even just stress itself (obviously). I also admit that with all of these events aside, I was weak. I gave in. I'm still lacking the will power needed to make a change. I take full responsibility for the state that you and I now find myself in. I know that only I can make a difference in my life. It's my choice to stop. It's my choice to listen.

I hope that my words relate to anyone who is in these same, uncomfortable shoes. It's incredibly lonely to feel like no one understands you and to have no idea what to try next. For you, I'll keep posting until I've found myself "cured" or at least a pound or two smaller.
In the immortal words of my sage mother, "Life sucks and then you die." and in respect to my family's time old motto, "It could be worse.", its important to remember that life may (or always) suck and yes, everything in it could be worse, but fretting over past mistakes or worrying about the one's you're sure to make will only hinder your progress. One thing that I've had to learn the hard way is the concept of taking each day (and its disappointments) as they come and moving on from there. We need to live worthy of our futures without dwelling in our pasts.

It's really all we can do.

My family or in cheesier words, my biggest supporters

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