xesce november 2004

Because I tried as many ways as I could think of to change my urges and behaviour and was unsuccessful, I think I tried to find ways to make the whole process less shameful for me. Eventually, I think I came to see it as almost some kind of purifying ritual, or a way to try to refocus energy in such ways as to help me access my creativity. I try to have as much control over the uncontrollable as possible. I tend to enjoy it more that way, and to feel I'm getting what I need out of it in a psychological sense. I feel better if I've performed grooming rituals: if my hair has been washed, I've applied makeup, have painted toenails and sometimes fingernails, and if I'm wearing something I like, if possible.

I try to pick foods carefully, I try to think about exactly what I'm craving and what each food might represent. I try to arrange food in appealing ways. When I just lose control and eat anything, without any preparation, grooming, choosing, reflection, attempts to focus, etc, the binge ends up feeling disappointing to me.

I either light candles and choose music, or I watch tv or a movie. Sometimes, I write out my thoughts, trying to focus them, trying to clarify my chaotic feelings and deal with them to some extent and when I have finished, I allow myself to eat.

When I feel I can't eat any more, I drink a glass of hot water. I move a few things out of the bathroom, tie my hair back, remove my rings and vomit. If I've eaten the right combo of things in the right amount of time, vomiting will be easy. It will come up quickly, in large gushes, I will move my hand to allow it, then quickly put the hand back in so as to keep a kind of steady pattern. I use three fingers or my whole hand.

I wipe up around the toilet, spray the area around the toilet with an antibacterial shower spray, and put everything back in the bathroom. I clean myself up with soap and water, sometimes having a shower. I rinse my mouth with water, and then gently swish a lump of toothpaste in my mouth with water (I always think I should get baking soda, and then I don't do it. If there's mouthwash, I gargle a bit.) Then I rinse further with water. [note: I can sometimes manage the whole vomiting and cleaning process in not much longer than it takes for a set of commercials to be over.] I don't stay there trying to get up every bit of food I can. I let the big gushes come up, and then maybe a bit longer getting up little leftover bits that start coming more slowly, depending on how I feel. Usually, it's just a relief to feel comfortable again. [At different times, these cleaning rituals have been different, when I have been too depressed to do as much.]

In the past, I was just out of control all the time, sneaking food in moments when I was alone, and I was always afraid of discovery, of people knowing, of people seeing the repulsiveness. I've had two longterm relationships in which I was completely open about my binges, about all of the behaviour. I was also lucky enough that both of these people were willing to listen as I analyzed my emotions and what I thought was behind the urges. I think this was very valuable to me, and that it led to a different stage, a stage where I had somewhat more control, less shame, and got more enjoyment out of the behaviour, more of a release. This may also have something to do with why I don't gain as much as when I was younger. The downside to this is a co-dependency issue. Both partners ended up being my sole support system, and also fetched food for me because it seemed to help. I understood that this was not a good thing, and explained it to them, but when it came down to it, I was not strong enough to make it stop. I'd feel hopeless and think I had to protect them from me, and say I needed to move out, that it was the only way. Anyway, we've had issues that kept us trapped in sickness together until a major shakeup of some kind caused a change.