“I honor your past success.”

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Denver. The wine from dinner + two nights without sleep are putting my fuel tank on E.

This is a place I am used to being.

This is not a place I want to stay.

If you ever watched “Who wants to be a millionaire”, you may remember the “phone a friend” option being one of your “lifelines.” I’ve just FaceTimed my boyfriend one of those calls.

Prior to this I was on the brink of a binge.

By definition, a binge is “a short period devoted to indulging in an activity to excess, namely food.”

For me, a binge = escape. It’s a chance to disconnect from reality. To be consumed by pure pleasure, to avoid any pain. But what am I even escaping?

When I call him, I don’t even know. I can’t even guarantee that I’ll confess my current state. I spend most time talking about everything other than the truth. As we give each other updates, I’m screaming inside. “But there’s more! There’s something I want to tell you, and I don’t know how!”

I hear him say “Okay, babe” and I know we’re at the end. It’s time to say bye. He’s ready to get back to what he was doing before.

Me? Not so much.

Somehow I manage to tell him, “I’m not okay”. (Even in a relationship I trust this shade of vulnerability is so hard.)

“I really want ice cream. Room service. Candy.”

The words come out and I almost start salivating. This is my ritual when I travel alone. Lying in a king size bed in a city I don’t know I feel free to eat whatever I want until I’m past the point of enjoyment. It’s like I’m 7 again, and my parents are out of town.

“Don’t do it,” he says.

A part of me squeels in delight. Rebel! Rebel! Rebel!

“Wait until you really want the ice cream. Enjoy it then.”

There is something so beautiful in this. It’s not deprivation, it’s permission. Permission to experience true pleasure. To fight the binge’s lie.

As I stare at our faces on the screen, I notice something has shifted. I am no longer pretending. We are connected again.

We hang up for real, though I know that I can call back if I need to. I feel slightly stronger yet weak all at once. Self-doubt spins around hope.

“I honor your past success.”

These words appear in a text message just after our call. It is everything that I need in this moment.

YES. I have succeeded before. I have overcome this dark part of myself that feels at home in suffering. I am stronger than I realize.

Instantly I feel the urge to write, this post pouring out like water from a faucet. I am freed by the reminder that I am bigger than this binge voice wants me to be.

I believe we all have our own version of this. The voice that wants to escape to a quicker resolve. For me it’s the food, for others it’s booze. Drugs. Video games. Shopping. Sex.

These are not inherently bad things. In fact, these are amazing things that can bring us pleasure and joy … when we actually enjoy them.

There is nothing enjoyable about excess. Excess is having more than we can hold. When we have more than we can hold, we explode, break down.

Ironically pleasure is not far away. It’s a matter of acceptance; “I have all that I need.”

Here in this hotel room, in a beautiful city, I have all that I need.

Following an amazing dinner, I have all that I need.

Being seen by one that I love, I have all that I need.

Loving myself, I have all that I need.