It is clear to me that I have relapsed. This is my first significant period of relapse since beginning recovery. I cannot stop binging.
Looking back, I think that my health challenge was a terrible idea. On that Friday in my third week when I officially blew the rest of my challenge by having an enormous binge, I hit a switch. Since then, I have binged every day, multiple times a day, for over a week now.
I said that I wouldn’t punish myself for failing my challenge by restricting or feeling guilty. But it seems I’ve punished myself another way. I’ve become a full-time binge eater again, and I have no idea how to stop. Nothing is working anymore. I don’t know what to do. I feel so helpless. I feel so hopeless.
It was nice being able to spend time with my family, friends, colleagues, and boyfriend this week and eat freely with them. It was nice being able to eat what I liked without worrying about calories or recovery or feeling guilty as I ate. But in between those times, I was out of control. I was eating, eating, constantly eating. I was unable to stop, even though I felt physically sick from eating so much.
I don’t fully understand why this has happened. I suspect it has to do with failing my challenge. As soon as I failed my challenge, I gave myself permission to be a failure. I stopped trying. I started binging. Even though I finally felt confident enough to attempt a challenge at the beginning of August, I ended up sabotaging myself, failing, and seriously regressing. And now I feel like I’m back at square one: miserable, desperate, fat, bloated, and tired.
For those of you in recovery, it may be helpful to know that relapse is not exceptional. My relapse comes 7 months into recovery. Of course, everyone’s journey is unique, so relapse may happen for you sooner, later, or perhaps not at all. But it does happen more often than not.
It helps that a new month is beginning. It always feels better to think, “Ok, new month, new start.” But this is a terrible time for me to relapse. Law school was the environmental trigger for my binge eating disorder, and now I’m returning back to that highly challenging and stressful environment. In fact, I didn’t even start to make great progress in recovery until classes were over. Once again, I’m committing self-sabotage before I’ve even had a chance to transition back to school and try coping with the stress.
So what do I do now? I don’t know. My old strategies don’t work for me anymore. I need new ones, and I welcome any suggestions you may have. I am in a very bad place right now. I have never weighed this much before in my life. I hate myself.
It’s hard for me to concentrate on the positives, though I know there are some. I know that it’s never too late to start my recovery again. Life can get better. But it seems like an impossible feat. My life needs a dramatic upheaval.