I Binge Eat To Shut Off My Mind

And to feel some bit of temporary bliss.

Photo by sheri silver on Unsplash

Some people are made of nothing but fluff. That’s what I feel like I am sometimes.

Back when I was a kid being treated for precocious puberty, the endocrinologist told my parents that I would never be able to help being oversensitive. He claimed it was a part of my disease.

What sounds like a ridiculous crutch became an enormous middle finger. For the rest of my life, when I was upset, I got to hear that my feelings weren’t real. “Oh, you can’t help being oversensitive. That’s what Dr. Saxena said.”

My parents never apologized to me when they were wrong. They used my “clinical oversensitivity” as an excuse at every turn.

The closest my father got to apologizing to me was in college when he ghosted me for a few months. He broke his silence eventually with a 3-5 page letter claiming that he was sorry I made him so angry that he couldn’t stand to talk to me at all. My father said he was angry when I told him I needed his financial help in school (something he previously promised).

The emotional foundation of my life was all based upon this notion that I was unrealistic and oversensitive. That I expected too much.

And couldn’t help it. “Oh, don’t mind her. She’s just a crybaby.”

As you might imagine, that was awesome for my emotional intelligence and mental health…

My home life was odd, to say the least. I never had many friends outside of school as a child or teen. My sister, Bethany Nelson-Lieser and I were always the “wrong side of town kids,” if you know what I mean.

We lived in apartments a step up from the projects. Our single mom got by on welfare, and most of our schoolmates’ parents didn’t want their children hanging out with us.

It wasn’t always overt, but somehow, we were out for being poor white trash.

The thing you have to keep in mind about me and my sister is that we didn’t know while we were growing up just how abnormal and unhealthy our lives were. It was just life.

We had two mentally ill parents and neither seemed able to give us the love we needed. Not the good, healthy, unconditional and affirming love.

There are 5 years between my sister and me, and for most of our lives, we were strangers because our family was so unhealthy. And we both eventually turned to eating addiction and other harmful behaviors to survive.

In some ways, I binge to survive. There are so many different methods to self-harm, but for me, binge eating feels the best going down.

It’s easy and accessible.

You don’t need a lot of money or resources--though you can certainly waste a lot of money on a binge.

But let’s face it. Food is easier than people or connection. There’s no being called an oversensitive crybaby.

Food doesn’t judge.

And eating (for the most part) feels good.

I’m in my second week on the keto diet, but it’s maybe the 30th time I’ve tried it. Some stupid number because I have a hard time sticking to any eating plan since becoming a mom.

It's simple... and embarrassing. I'm a lonely single mom without a great support system. Turning to food isn't a healthy habit, but it's definitely natural.

And I know I'm not supposed to talk about these things. Single moms aren't supposed to complain or admit that it's hard. Women are supposed to be strong without talking about it, right?

Social rules and cues are hard. Living in the world with masks and games is hard for me to manage. I get lost. And whenever I don't know how to manage anger or irritation pointed at me, I retreat.

Lately, I have been wanting to break my keto diet and just binge. Ugh. It's like a shitty attempt at self-care just because I'm so anxious and emotional.

I feel like I'm made of fluff and need a binge to both weigh me down and let me check out of my mind. I've realized that's why I binge. To quit thinking so damn much.

I don't even think I'm "oversensitive" anymore. A couple years ago I would have cried and apologized when someone blasted me.

The truth is I don't want to pad my words or second guess myself when I write. I want to be honest, and I don't think I care if that's naive. I know there will always be people who decide they know "the real meaning" behind every little thing I write.

But I don't want to let that stop me.

I believe in my mission to write honestly, even when it is somehow taboo.

Of course, that doesn't change how much I want to tune the whole world out and eat whatever I want with no thought to macros or tracking or anything at all.

But I can't binge.

Can't lose control in that way.

I promised myself I would make healthier choices and quit taking the "easy" way out. Even though none of this--giving in or staying on track--is easy at all.