You think you’re just sitting there, minding your own business, when the urge comes. You suddenly want cake. You know exactly what kind of cake you want. You know exactly what it looks like as you picture it in your mind, exactly what it smells like as you imagine breathing in its sugary, sweet scent, and exactly what it will taste like as the first bite melts in your mouth. Any attempts of diverting your mind away from cake fail. The whole world around you has disappeared.
You feel anxiety and tension building inside you – you need cake now, now, NOW! Thoughts such as “you’re going to regret this” or “you’ll hate yourself after” float in the background, but they have lost their power. You feel powerless. You feel like life will not move on – cannot move on – until you give in. You must give in. In what seems like a blur, you vaguely observe yourself buying a cake large enough for 12 people and a box of assorted donuts (for good measure) and eating the entire purchase in 30 minutes down to the last crumb. It feels like you’re having an out-of-body experience – you’re not really the one eating all this junk. You’re not the one in control here.
All of a sudden, reality hits. You realize what you have just done. First, the physical punishment begins. You realize that you feel like you’re about to explode. Every inch of your body aches. Your stomach feels like it’s about to burst open, your head is throbbing, your face and back are sweating, and you can barely breathe. Then the emotional punishment takes over. You are overcome with tremendous guilt, disgust, frustration, shame, and disappointment. The emotions are overwhelming. Your self-hatred reaches a boiling point – you can’t stop thinking about how fat and ugly you are; you are convinced that you are the biggest failure the universe has ever seen. You feel hopeless. You think life is hopeless. You see no point in going on.
But believe it or not, despite everything that has happened, you repeat this entire episode again the next day. Eventually, the next day becomes 4 hours later. You are slowly self-destructing, but the end always feels painfully, achingly near.
This is binge eating disorder. This is what no website or pamphlet ever tells you.