Monday, March 31, 2014

Rubberbanding

I usually try to keep to positive things on here, but I decided this go around, I wanted to be real.  I wanted to explore those recesses of my mind that I generally keep hidden away.

I think there's something very therapeutic about confession to your loved ones.  When you shine light into those dark corners, you find something you never thought you ever would: support, love, and encouragement.

So, here goes.

I have an addiction.  I've battled it my entire life.  Before I can even remember.  Some people nay-say this addiction and like to pretend like it's not as detrimental as it is, but it's very real to me, and it's a war that I wage every single day.

I'm addicted to food.

This isn't just a momentary thing that endures because I ate too much popcorn.  This is a debilitating disease wherein I have to fight not to cram a million things into my mouth as quickly as I can in one sitting.  And I fight this... every. single. day.

At my worst, I would consume 4000-5000 calories a day.  I didn't think anything about eating an entire pizza, scarfing an entire pie in one day, or eating 2/3 of the cookie dough I was supposed to bake up for the boys' snacks that week.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  It doesn't stop there, and it would never stop there.  I was never full unless I was sick.  And it continued until I really became sick in May of 2013.

I began getting dizzy for no apparent reason.  I suffered a horrible panic attack in late May and noticed ever since then, that the dizziness recurred.  This wasn't the diagnosed pleurisy that the doctor said it was.  This was something different.  

I went through round after round of tests.  I checked my heart.  I checked my gall bladder.  I checked everything that I could think of that was making my chest hurt and making me so dizzy.  I would be sick for hours on end, and the only way to combat it was to lie down.  This was serious business, and it was beginning to affect my daily living.

That's when they found the fatty liver.

Long story short, when I ate fatty foods (which was every single meal), I would become ill for two to three hours afterward.  Walking a block was nigh impossible.  And having tipped the scale at 410 lbs, I realized that either I was going to continue on this path and die a ridiculously early death, or I was going to have to start taking care of myself so I could take care of the people that meant most to me.

So, this should be easy, right?  Eat less, exercise more.  It was a simple prescription.  But I found I couldn't do it.  Not long term.  I did really well for about four months.  Had nearly lost 50 lbs.  But then Mom died, and suddenly I fell back into bad habits.  I've been struggling ever since.  That made me realize just how much my eating disorder had nothing to do with food.  I was feeding the pain and anxiety I've lived with for 35 years.

So here I am again.  Rubberbanding.  Doing really well, and then relapsing again.  The difference is that I keep picking myself back up.  Keep trying.  The more and more I learn about this addiction, the more I learn about the lies that accompany it.  The more I learn about the ways I constantly sabotage and hurt myself and why I do that in the first place.

I'm not looking for sympathy.  I've no one to blame but myself.  It's no one's fault but mine.  But I'm beginning the long road to recovery.  The long road to being clean.  And it's a hard road.  It's definitely not something that will occur overnight, and I -- in my immediate gratification seeking self -- am learning what it means to be patient.  What it means to wait, to work the program, and to actually reach out and ask for help from others.

Today is day one for me again.  

And I'll keep battling this beast until I finally win.

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