Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Binge Eating, Up Close & Personal

I have decided I am going to continue on with this Blog.

My decision to keep blogging and be real about myself.  Why would I want to create another blog to hide myself away when I have done that most of my life? I have asked myself.  I have hidden  my Mental Illnesses, which until only a short couple of years ago I had then only a name attached to each, as I had not known I had been suffering with these disorders all my life, but for the depression and anxiety.  My cries for help had been not recognized, ignored, or hushed up, causing myself to hide in shame and anguish when making wrong choices when I had been Manic, and not understanding why I was how I was, hating myself when I self medicated with alcohol, being a learned behaviour from my childhood, as that is how one dealt with their emotions, binge eating in secret to sooth myself then hating myself even more, being unable to Love myself and still trying to figure out how to quit hating myself.... guilt ridden for things out of my control, shame, hatred, self loathing, and I am certain if I sat down instead of these coming off the top of my head I could come up with many more ways how I have felt over the years, and in the now.

Sigh.... I have been a Binge Eater since a Child, as long as I can remember.  Why did I become a Binge Eater? well because they say Childhood Trauma can cause Binge Eating, as it is comforting to eat food.  And I suppose when one needs lots of comforting they consume lots of food, as I did and have resorted back to the last Year, and many times throughout my Lifetime.

Fact:  A binge eater does not have to be overweight or obese.

A few Years ago, before I had been properly diagnosed with my Mental Illnesses, Bipolar 2, Social Anxiety, PTDS, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, OCD, Binge Eating Disorder (just recently when I decided to also come "out of the closet" with it as well).... I was being, once again, treated for Depression.  For well over a Year I was prescribed numerous anti-depressants with none even denting the severe depression I was in... what they did do was increase my hunger causing me to binge eat like I had never have before in my life, like a pig up to a trough literally, it was disgusting to myself but I  had no control over the hunger was that heightened.  After two years, and how many different anti-depressants, my Doctor asked me about my Moods, wherein I described my ups and downs, my 2 hours sleep a night, occasionally crashing into a 12 hour catch-up sleep a handful of times a Year, my racing thoughts, everything I was before I crashed into such a terrible dark depression that had me feeling suicidal more days then not.  He sat, looked at me, and said, "I am so sorry I never asked you about your moods before".  Why would he say that? because I had a Mood Disorder, and I had crashed into a Bipolar Depression two years prior, not just a "Depression".  For those who do not know the difference please *click* this highlighted link "Bipolar vs Clinical Depression", which is the article I have found giving the best explanation of myself.

When I was Manic binge eating didn't effect my weight as I was on such a high, going on 2 hours of sleep quite often, so I kept it off more easily, and if I didn't I would go crazy with exercise to keep it off as I had the energy to do so.  When I literally "crashed" into a deep Bipolar Depression & was misdiagnosed the weight went up and up and up until I was 212 lbs !  I had never been over 155 lbs in my Life, and that is what I weight when in the 9th month of pregnancy with my 2nd child.  All the medication did was cause the hunger to increase, turned me into a Zombie, increased Suicidal idealizations, and more loathing and self hatred of myself.

Once properly diagnosed, along with my Doctor's support, I took control back of my eating, going down to 160 lbs, in 2 years, 10 lbs away .my Goal Weight, which I had been before the taking the incorrect medications.

Then.... something "snapped", something had gone "awry", something inside wasn't "right", as a Year ago in September the binge eating returned making a huge presence in my Life, once again.  It was slow, it snuck in, even though I was aware... the more I tried ways to "control" it the worse it got, and gets, "out of control".... do you know Binge Eaters more then not, hide the amounts of food they eat, that foods can mindlessly be stuffed into their mouths handful after handful, that even being full doesn't stop the feeling of hunger, even at times to the point of feeling sick but continuing with the binging?  Foods are hidden and eaten in secret, hate and loathing of ones self are heightened, worthlessness and not wanting to be here are a constant mind set, and there is more, again if I sat down to list them all rather then from the top of my head.... how do I know all of this? because this is ME, this is ME NOW, and I HATE MYSELF but I can't control myself which makes me HATE MYSELF even MORE.

Before I go any further, please do NOT feel sorry for me, do NOT feel you can help, all I ask for is empathy, awareness, and if possible, understanding.  AWARENESS is why I am sharing, as more people need to be AWARE, and more people need EMPATHY, NON-JUDGEMENT, as it is a real illness, just as Cancer, MS, Diabetes, or any other illness is.

I have spoken to my Doctor about my increased Binge Eating over the past Year, however he feels if I get the treatment for my other mental illnesses, as in repeating DBT, and working on my Recovery daily, that the Binge Eating will eventually subside the more stable my Mental Illness(es) recovery becomes.  Guess what? that hasn't been happening as it has gotten worse and completely "out of control"...

A small bit of shared reality of where I am in my Binge Eating right now in example of a recent day....a double serving of Steel Oats with a banana/hemp hearts, 1/4 of a Costco Kirkland brand of Dutch Apple Pie (these pies are humongous), 2 Peanut butter sandwiches (on Healthy bread mind you), an apple, another piece of Kirkland Dutch Apple Pie, 3 small bags of Veggie Chips, and a 1/2 litre of Chocolate Milk, which I am terrified to estimate how many calories all that added up to.  This for me the past month would be a moderate Binge.

I have gained 5 lbs in less then a week, 3 lbs had showed up last week in one overnight weigh in !!!  I have gained 30 lbs, and rising since last August.  A few months ago I attempted purging, but stopped myself, and had the same thought last night as I had ate until I felt sick, but still continued to binge.  On the weekend I also began laxative abuse, which I stopped doing after 2 days.  I now recognize these two attempts at controlling my out of control weight gain are unhealthy, and there is no other way to put it.

Way back when I had totally uncontrolled episodes of Binge Eating, two magnify themselves in my  mind, one when I was in my late twenties, and one in my early thirties....

The first one I recall picking up a dozen Tim Horton Donuts and eating the whole lot in front of my Mother, who couldn't believe what I had done.  I would find myself getting up at 3 am and eating a whole bag of Oreo cookies.  I was so out of control, I begin purging by making myself throw up, and then resorting to the abuse of laxatives.  I was so unhappy I also then began to self medicate with alcohol as I could drink and not be hungry, also smoking cigarettes, every time I felt hungry I had a cigarette instead.  The excessive weight I had gained at that time came off by means of what I was doing to myself.

The second time when I found myself out of control I became anorexia going down to 103 lbs at my lowest, for someone 5' 6" at that time, that was very thin.  I drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, and remember eating maybe a piece a crusty bread a day, and getting barely any sleep a day.

Both times there had been a Crisis in my Life, both times I was Manic (unbeknown to me until 5 years ago), both times I attempted suicide, both times my Brother came to my rescue, the 2nd time they could have lost me if I hadn't been brought in by a mere second I was told.  Oh my God, I could go into more detail about how amazing and strong my brother is, and what lead me up to these suicide attempts, but this is about Binge Eating at the moment.  Also back then they did NOT evaluate you for any possible Mental Illnesses after a Suicide Attempt(s), or if they did they didn't to me.

Binge Eating has always affected me when there has been crisis or unhappiness in my Life to the point where control wasn't even recognized by myself, wherein I was hopeless and in self-destruct mode.

Where am I today? in this moment?  Self hatred and self loathing is foremost, as I have never felt self love, or even remember when I have, my Doctor constantly tries supporting me in this area, even to the point of asking me to "Fake" that I love myself.  I can be compassionate, empathic, and loving to another who might be in the same situation as myself, however I am unable to give myself the same.

I have a Doctor's appointment this Friday, I have done some research, and reached out in a Facebook Binge Eating Support Group I have created, that there is a drug which has proven to help with the cravings of a Binge Eater, which I will be discussing with him.  In this moment I don't know what else to do as I have pretty much done everything else I can think of, other then continue to read a book on Binge Eating I had been gifted by my After Care Worker, when she retired, "Overcoming Binge Eating, by Dr. Christopher Fairburn".  I am going to try to keep reaching out to my husband, Rob, who has been beyond kind and understanding, I am so blessed we are in each others lives.

My personal take on my Binge Eating, Up Close & Personal? it is an extension of my Mental Illnesses.  It has at times filled a void and comforted me, however it has also created more self hatred and loathing of myself.  It is very powerful, and extremely debilitating, as most Mental Illnesses and/or Disorders are.  It is not something that you can wake up one morning and say, "I am not going to binge on food today", as I do that every day to no avail, and no Disorder is ever that easy.  I am going to continue to struggle with this and pray I can find a solution.  I also know this continuing episode, which began over a Year ago, and the extent of the Binge Eating has been triggered by something that has & is still making me very unhappy, as that is what happened those two times in previously in my earlier Life.  I have been struggling within to figure out what might be the "root" of the trigger last Year.  One possibility has come to mind, but I have to dig deeper yet.

Homewood Hospital in Guelph Ontario, which is a private hospitable, does have an Eating Disorder Program, however this time in my Life it is not feasible for me to look into the possibility of enrolling in such a program.

It is difficult some days to be honest, but to begin any recovery one has to start with being honest with themselves.  I will be doing a blog post on the outcome of my appointment with my Doctor this upcoming Friday, in the meantime....

This is all she wrote this day.....Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Disclaimer:  All is based on my own experiences, should you have similar issues with any Disorder please contact a Medical Doctor.


4 comments:

  1. Hugs, Cindy!
    One foot in front of the other. I have a cousin who is Bipolar, so I am somewhat aware of how debilitating it can be. I'm a gal who believes in the power of prayer, so I will be praying that as you and your healthcare team research and delve into past trauma, you will find the answers that you need.

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  2. Cindy, I applaud your bravery! You are so right that we need to shed light on mental illnesses, I'm not as brave as you are...yet.... but you give me courage and encouragement. Thank you for being so open and honest. I'm sending hugs your way ❤❤❤

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  3. Lots of hugs Cindy. Your story is indeed familiar.

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  4. One day at a time, Cindy. Elements of your own story resonate with mine.

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How nice of you to drop around to have a wee visit with me to see what I have been up to from time to time. I look forward to your comments as they add much brightness to my each and every day to know there are such wonderful people out there.

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