Having a Hard Time Giving Up Bingeing

By October 24, 2012

I am 24 and have struggled with anorexia or bulimia for 8 years. I am currently at a healthy weight, although cannot find peace with where I am. I am not “allowing” myself to be in the world (and by that i mean working or in school), until i feel comfortable in my body. This comfort comes when i stop bingeing, but i am having a hard time giving up bingeing in order to move on with my life. Currently, my purpose is tied to food. I am told i light up every time i talk about the bingeing and/or purging. I use so much energy going to 5, sometimes 10 food markets in a day. I have no income of my own at the moment, and am fearful of taking responsibility for myself. I have always used the eating disorder as an excuse, and am not sure I can live without it. I understand the concept of one day at a time, and have tried, over and over, to live it. I give up so easily. In my head, I want to live, but I am not sure I know how. Any suggestions for letting go and believing there is life beyond the food and body obsession? – W.

Dear W.,

The inability to “find peace”, to “let go” and/or “believe” that there is a value to life are huge dilemmas. It is possible that some persons will struggle with these questions because the answer (peace, surrendering the self desires, and seeking that which is greater then us), is actually harder to live with than the question. Real peace, real surrendering of selfishness and faith (belief) will radically change us and how we spend our time.

Obviously traveling to five, and sometimes ten, food markets in a day is NOT a path to peace. No “thing” brings peace. One can meditate and feel “calm.” One can take yoga classes and physically benefit from the movement. One can finally practice a healthy eating regimen and have good health. But only the individual who knows how they got here, why they are here and where they are going can receive Peace.

I am most interested in your choice to not “allow” yourself to be in the world until you are comfortable with your body. The language at first almost reads as a spiritual choice but ends up sounding to me as if it the choice you made to avoid making bigger decisions. Remaining in the food and body obsession is easier then beginning to take the steps that lead to real life and real peace.

Who can make that kind of decision? To not “allow” one self to work or go to school? Are you stating that you have chosen not to develop yourself, to practice other talents, to gain things you need that you pay for on your own until you are ….what? How will you know when you are “comfortable” in your body? What if it is not about your body? What if the core issue is that you do not understand how you got here, why you are here and where you are headed? What if the eating disorder is actually a mask for the real heartache? What if it is not about food but about the condition of your own heart and your fear with taking steps to claim your own value, your own life, and your own created self?

Look. I can not sugar coat this response. Even though I do not know you, I must challenge you. Your question reads as if you may have a tendency to be self righteous and self absorbed. Consider writing a resignation letter to every grocery store/market you have ever visited (even if it was just one time) and state you will be resigning your position as customer-emeritus. You will no longer desire what they put on their shelves, you will not make their stock your business, you will not assume you need to be there, you will not busy yourself with patrolling their aisles or using their store as your job.

Once you have resigned from the position you must consider writing a forgiveness letter to you. Perhaps with the guidance of a loving church, support group or a professional you can release yourself from the bondage of not being “allowed” to be in the world. Do what you need to do so that you can be in the world but not swallowed up by it.  Get honest and real with you about what you have been avoiding, what you are not sure you are ready to do, and start making decisions that gain you an identity and not mere victim status.

Wishing you the best,