It’s no secret that I’ve been working with a therapist weekly for almost two years now. I cannot express how much good this has done me and how many issues I’ve dealt with during this time.
I’m almost a completely different person than I used to be. That is, I’m more myself than I’ve ever been because I’m not being defined by things that have happened in my past.
My therapist is a psychiatry resident, and I absolutely love her. It didn’t start that way, but I really do trust her. Since she is a resident, she gets moved around to different hospitals. I’ve followed her all over the city and we’ve really started to use these natural breaks in location to begin work on new topics.
It’s just sort of worked out like that, it wasn’t forced. Previous topics included my abandonment issues, my inability to set boundaries, my depression, my anxiety, my disassociation, and more recently, my pain and my identity.
There’s a new location switch that has brought in a new topic: eating disorders and my addiction to sugar. I brought this one up because I really feel like I need to get a handle on my eating.
Whether or not it’s an actual disorder, there is something wrong with the way that I interact with food.
Here’s some food for thought (ba-dum-tiss), I love food. Okay, so that’s not unusual for a foodie, nevermind for a chef.
Things that I’ve done that I’m not proud of when it comes to food
- I’ve eaten an entire box (yes, like corner store sized box) of chocolate bars in under two days
- I’ve eaten an entire box of family sized cereal in one sitting
- I have eaten dry packages of jello
- I’ve hidden chocolates in my jewelry box to eat “after I’ve gone to bed”
- I reward myself with sweets and when I get depressed, I use sweets to perk myself up
- I’ve eaten entire buckets of ice cream in a day
- I’ve eaten entire cakes in a day
I used to do this every single work day: On the way to work, I would buy three donuts and ask them to put each in a single bag. This was to make it seem like I was getting them for other people.
On the way to the subway, I’d eat one. If I knew that no one around had seen me eat the first one, I’d eat the second one while on the train. After waiting until I was on the bus to work, if no one had seen me eat the second one, I’d be able to eat the third one.
I crave sweets every single day. I crave them more after it gets dark; this may be because it makes my eating habits seem a little less conspicuous.
The cravings never really seemed to be a big problem for me because it gave me that relief that I was looking for: that warm fuzzy safe feeling. Food makes everything better.
I eat when I’m sad.
I eat when I’m lonely.
I eat when I’m happy.
I eat when I’m celebrating.
I eat when I’m tired.
I eat when I’m bored.
I eat when I can’t think of doing anything else other than eating.
I eat when I hate myself.
I hate myself when I eat.
The thing is that I can’t stop myself and it’s starting to become a real problem for me. Not only with my weight, but also because:
My body can’t handle sugar.
There, I said it. My body cannot handle more than 20-50g of sugar over a three day period without giving me excruciating headaches that I can’t get relief from. That’s right – no amount of pain medication, muscle relaxers, or ice to the temple can relieve this. I’ve tried.
I sabotage myself. I know that I shouldn’t have sugar, yet I sneak sips of soda, or I’ll put a hint of sugar in my tea. I will flat out lie to Gabriel, who calls me out on my sugar intake, just to get a bite of something sweet.
I have eaten the most disgusting things just to get that sugar. Stale marshmallows, bakers chocolate…I will make pancakes just to coat my breakfast in syrup.
I’m causing myself pain and I’m fighting myself to stop.
I tend to use “I deserve this because…” statements quite a bit when it comes to food.
I deserve this because I’m depressed.
I deserve this because I’m in pain today.
Oh yeah, well I deserve to live better than this.
This isn’t a big declaration that I’m going on a diet and yadda-yadda. This is me trying to figure out what to do with the fact that I’m purposely putting myself in harm’s way because I’m addicted to one of the biggest things that makes me sick.
I can’t do this alone and I’m not going to. With the help of my therapist, I will be able to find some form of control over my life.
As much as I will miss it, no more comforting cereal.