“But I DESERVE it!”

This lie has lessened in me, but still lingers to this day.  There is still a small part of me that thinks that I should be “allowed” to eat whatever I want – or maybe a better way of saying it would be that I think I should be “exempt” from having to eat healthy, moderate portions of food.  Why?  So glad you asked…

First of all, because this drug-o-mine is “legal.”  I am not doing anything against the law when I eat too much or when I purchase my binge foods.  Look at all the people out there who are driving drunk and buying and using illegal drugs.  This is FOOD we’re talking about here!  What’s the big DEAL?!

Second, when I eat too much, I am not hurting anyone besides myself.  It’s not like I eat too much and then get in my car and drive erratically.  In fact, as a person who could not stop eating in her car, I’d have to say that my driving skills actually improved because I was forced to figure out how to maneuver the steering wheel with one hand, hold a sloppy Big Mac in the other, and balance a coffee shake between my legs, all while simultaneously watching traffic and obsessively making sure that none of the other drivers around me actually witnessed me putting anything into my mouth!  If that’s not “skill,” I don’t know WHAT is!

Third, I have lots of stress in my life and no other outlet.  I was always “the good girl.”  The “designated driver.”   I feel like I was always following so many rules – – I never drank alcohol, I never tried drugs, I never got high or drunk, I never even smoked a cigarette!  Doesn’t that make me entitled to at least ONE outlet for my stress?!

Fourth, it’s a cheap high.  I can go to The Dollar Store and get my fix for under $10/day, so if you have to have a drug habit, this one at least won’t break the bank!  It’s not like I was spending the mortgage money on food or anything!

Fifth,  everyone else does it!  I see skinny people all the time who can eat whatever they want, whenever they want it, and LOOK at them!  Why should I have to live my life any differently than THEY do?!

Hopefully you have recognized the sarcasm in all this.

“Back in the day,” I really believed every word of all of these statements.  But after having been through the 12 Steps, I have to ask myself…

When I said “I deserve this,” what exactly  was I saying that I deserved?

When I used to binge, I would feel horrible.  Mostly guilty and ashamed, to be more precise.  I was never the type of overeater who enjoyed food.  For all the time and effort and energy that went into my compulsion to overeat, I never took any pleasure in it.  And, let’s be honest: All the above statements were nothing more than excuses to stay in my addiction.  Whether or not my drug of choice is legal, it doesn’t change the fact that I was using it to destroy me AND my relationships with those around me.  Anyone (your inner-most self included!) who tells you that food addiction doesn’t have an adverse effect on those around you is lying to you.  And maybe I never spent the mortgage, but there were times when I spent the utility money!   And when was I EVER satisfied with the AMOUNTS that thin, normal eaters ate?

I always felt, even from a very young age, that bingeing was something that I was doing against my will – – like something beyond my control was shoving the food down my throat.  (I don’t know if all compulsive overeaters feel this way, but I did.)  And yet, the obsession would be so strong that I would always get to the the point (especially in the later stages of my addiction) where I knew that the only way to be rid of it would be to give-in to it.  This is how I went from “obsession” to “compulsion.”  The “thought” of eating would become the “action” of shoveling food in my face as fast as I could, as if I were trying to hurry-up and get it over with so I could go on with my life, pretending that there was nothing wrong.  But then it would happen a few hours later, and a few hours later, and a few hours later,…

Even at my worst, I always sensed that the very thing I wanted “permission” to do was the very thing that was destroying me, no matter HOW I rationalized it. The real irony is that now, looking back on all these “reasonings” I came-up with, I actually WAS giving myself what I thought I deserved.  Deep down inside I really thought that I was such a bad person that I deserved to live that way – – to constantly be punishing myself for not living-up to my own impossible standards by abusing myself with food.  Even though I was never consciously suicidal (I think my fear of death was the only thing that kept me from that abyss), I believe that my self-hatred had become so deeply ingrained in me that it was taking over my behaviors with the intent of killing me, one compulsive bite at a time.

The good news in all this?  Thanks to my continual pursuit of a closer relationship with my Higher Power, I have been freed from the bondage of this horrible addiction and am finally able to see that this new life of abstinence and serenity is what I (and all of us) REALLY deserve!



April 21, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Lies I've Been Living-By Tagged with:
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