I have no idea where I'm going to go with this, I just feel the need to get it out there, offload and tell someone - anyone - everything. For that reason I must apologise that I have no idea what I'm going to say and whether it will contain details you'd rather not read.
I'm sitting in a busy food court, in a shopping mall, in the middle of Chatswood, NSW, having just binged then purged in the restrooms. How the feck did I get here?
The day started clean, I had toast and coffee for breakfast and was taken out for lunch. Lunch was disgusting taste-wise, but it wasn't too much of an issue health and fat-wise (next time anyone asks me if I like Yum Cha, please remind it's an emphatic "NO"). I was hanging out for my afternoon coffee to take away the taste. I had slight concerns that the lack of satisfaction I felt about lunch might present a potential danger for me, but it didn't prove to be a problem. I ordered a skinny cap, didn't give a second glance to the cakes and cookies and happily went back up to my desk.
So what happened?
A bloke came around the office with leftover cakes from a training course is what happened.
The tray was mostly lamingtons with a few friands sliced in half. Now I hate dessicated coconut, so if only that whole tray had been lamingtons I may have gotten through just fine, not even tempted. But no. I took a piece of friand and that's the very moment where I gave in. The first of many moments in fact, there were numerous turning points presented to me and I chose not to take the right path at each and every one.
At the taste of the almondy muffin, my brain just clicked into binge mode, "oh goody, we're bingeing, fantastic! what's next on the menu?"
I'm just so damn fragile at the moment. The slightest thing triggers the slightest thought, and then that slightest thought assumes enormous power and control.
Just two weeks ago my brain was quite happy to cope with the taste of a cake and would know to leave it there, enjoy it, but don't let it spoil all my good work. But not now.
So where was I? "what's next on the menu? I happen to know there are cookies in a jar right next to the kettle"
Off I trot to the kettle. Logically I know this is not something I want to do. Logically I know this does not meet a single need or fix a single problem. Where's the logic?
I ate 2 cookies.
I'm still reasoning with myself, telling myself just to leave it there, "it's OK, so you ate half a friand and a couple of cookies, that's OK, stop now. It's simply not a problem".
But I couldn't leave it there. It was a problem (where's the fecking logic????).
I took the lift downstairs and went back to the cafe whose cakes I'd previously ignored, ordered a toasted banana bread (indeed, bingeing on things I let myself eat when I'm being clean - now there's a personal rule broken and a line crossed) and a strawberry cup cake on the side - for while I'm waiting for banana loaf to cook of course.
At this point, I realise I'm bingeing (how passive "I realise", really? ) and there's no return so I'd best try and do something about it to make sure these calories aren't going to ruin a perfect 2 day run. This is broken perfection, this needs to be righted. I go into a second cafe so I can buy a drink "to help the medicine go down". Oh and while I'm there I might as well pick up a giant chocolate cookie.
Now I'm committed to the binge, I might as well make it a good one: eat a few of the things I've been missing and "enjoy" them (as if you actually can enjoy a binge). So I pack up my laptop and finish for the day. As I'm walking out of the building, I'm feeling pretty bloody pathetic. I was telling myself what a disappointment I am and how I'm letting myself and my husband down. Did you see how fantastic he is? That's not going to last, why would I do this to myself, why would I do it him? But telling myself how weak I am being is only serving to reinforce the weakness, it's not giving me the strength to overcome it.
Even despite the gaps in the process where I'm arguing with myself I'd decided I'm in this for the whole hog now. I go into a bakery and buy a piece of cheesecake and a caramel tart. Once consumed I scout the streets for more cafes and shops and in the next bakery I buy a second piece of cheesecake and a second caramel tart (nothing if not original). While I'm still eating, I continue to walk and find a shopping mall. I zone in on the food court. Here I order a banana crepe with banana and chocolate. I'm starting to feel pretty full and disgusting now, but still not sure if I'm quite full enough that the purge is going to be as easy as it could be. A giant caramel muffin seals the deal so that I'm fit to burst and can make my way to the restrooms to get rid of it all again.
Here's another danger point. This can end in one of two ways. Either I feel the joy of an empty stomach and the high of being back in control again after having had my cake and eaten it, or it could end with me feeling a little full and a bit of a failure, like I didn't achieve a thing and the whole process starts again. This wasn't a particularly big binge to begin with.
Like I said - how the feck?!
So what's different this week than a couple of weeks ago? Why am I stuck in this way of thinking again? What happened? How do I get back out?
I've been wracking my brain trying to work out what's going on. OK, so I'm on a stressful project (again!), I'm away from home (again!) and I've just moved house (again!) but is that really what's at the heart of this? Problem is, whatever the cause is, it's something I'm not dealing with, I'm not emotionally connecting and processing the issue, so when I question myself whether I've hit on the root cause, I'm so emotionally detached, it doesn't feel real.
I've been through eating disorder counselling of various types as well as general counselling (a fantastic counsellor I left in Perth but have reconnected with via email and the phone from time to time). I'm very self aware but yet there's a giant white elephant standing in my way that I simply can't see. I'm hoping that someone else out there can help me put form to it.
I know I'm testing everyone's patience, I'm not helping myself, I'm letting my husband down in ways that break both his and my heart. I know you'll get sick of the wolf-crier who keeps tripping up over the same damn mistakes and falling in a heap. But what do I do?
Now I'm going to stop writing and hit publish. I expect I'm going to feel very fragile and exposed after blurting out all this nonsensical rubbish - AGAIN - but I feel the need to bring my problems into the light and get a bloody good look at them.
What the fuck?!!!!!