I have binge eating disorder. This has been hard for me to admit to myself, but I am at a point where I admit it and want to get better.
I wanted to write this post both for myself and to help others. I am not a medical professional!
So what have I done?
This was the hardest part of my whole journey. I spent so long thinking I wasn’t normal and I was being silly that I didn’t realise how it was affecting me (I don’t want to say ill). I wrote it all down before I went to the doctor and got it out as soon as I saw him. I didn’t really get through the whole list as I was crying and finding it very difficult, but he listened and read my notes. I think it helped that I had tried to help myself. I was a member of WW and I had my physical health checked. He could see that I couldn’t do anything more on my own and needed help.
I went onto antidepressants pretty much straight away. I took the prescription and got the tablets but couldn’t take them. So I researched and read up as much as I could and made a decision based on as much information as I could find. They have helped me. Initially they helped me sleep. I think it might be partly psychological, but that is okay with me. I started taking them knowing I don’t want to be on them forever. They are helping me in the short term so I can help myself in the long term. This was a personal decision and not an easy one to make.
After a month or so of taking the medication and seeing my doctor he referred me to the in house counsellor. This was an important step for me as this is the first time I started to talk about it and in the end reach a point where I can admit it without feeling guilt or shame. I accept where I am and want to work to change things. My counsellor was lovely and I was very lucky she was able to see me quite regularly over the summer. I feel like I made real progress with tuning in to my thoughts and feelings and linking them to behaviours. I don’t think counselling works for everyone but it has really help me. I can now talk opening to some people (not everyone) and write this post, which I would not have been able to do a month ago let alone 6 months ago.
I have done a lot of research to help develop my understanding of food and nutrition and also eating disorders. I like to be able to understand what I am doing or not doing in order to have a logical approach to things. Binges aren’t logical, but they are part of my past and present. I do not want to them to be part of my future. Reading books and internet articles has allowed me to access more information than my experience is giving me.
I have also been very lucky where I live to have a unit that runs courses on a variety of topics. I have taken a number of group course such on topics like self-esteem, changing lifestyles and stress. I found them scary to attend at first but the groups came to together as we were all there to help ourselves, even if for different reasons. The courses got easier to attend the more I went on, but the first one I was extremely anxious about and found it very hard to participate. It was very interesting hear other people experiences and work together to help each other.
Recently my counsellor referred me to work with a clinical counsellor to work through this book:
It’s an interesting book. It is about finding ways of coping and recovering from eating disorders. We have been working through several of the chapters and developing strategies that work for me and help me. I’ve been open to giving everything a go. Some things have worked, but some things haven’t and I’m okay with that. Here are the things I have been working on for the last 2 months:
- Positive Notebook
- Food/Thought Journal
- Behaviour Planning Journal
- Pros and Cons of Change
- Mindful Eating
- Distraction Activities
- Urge Surfing
I feel I have made the most progress in the last few weeks. I have taken a step back from things and have slowed down. I spend time thinking about myself and my needs/wants/thoughts/behaviours. I am trying not to over analyse, but just be more aware and take note of things without judging.
It is about the choices I make. I can make the choice to eat or not eat. I can choose what I eat. I can choose how I react to thoughts.
I have a choice!
This doesn’t mean I have stopped bingeing altogether. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but I hope so.
All I can do is keep moving forward on my journey and look back at smile at where I come from and what I have seen.