Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Anatomy of a Binge/Purge

Binges can happen for several reasons.

1. You're emotionally distraught. You might be stressed, angry, tired, anxious.
2. You're malnourished. You can be any weight, even obese, and be malnourished. You're body is in a place where it will override your willpower because it wants to survive.
3. You're bored.

Sometimes, you've already decided you're going to binge and purge before you even begin. Other times, you don't even see it coming. There's an invisible line and if you eat something that crosses that line, that's it- you HAVE to binge/purge.

During a binge, you're in the zone. I've been thinking about it, and I'm not sure you feel happy or sad or feel anything at all. At first, you taste the food you're eating and you might think it's delicious. But there's definitely a point where you stop tasting it. You're not eating for taste anymore- you're eating to fill yourself up with something. Maybe you're distracting yourself from whatever it is you don't want to face. Whether it be feelings, thoughts, situations, people- it's an escape. It's "the zone."

Then comes the guilt, the urge to GET IT OUT NOW. Sometimes I binge to purge, especially when I am feeling an extreme level of self hatred. Generally though, purging is the "problem fixer." It's your best friend when you're filled with that unique panic, when you realize how much you actually ate. It's your out from suffering the consequences, the inevitable weight gain from your binge.

No matter what though, you suffer consequences when you purge. It might not be weight gain, but it'll be dental problems, electrolyte imbalances, wreaking of vomit, bloody noses- you get the idea. But for some, those consequences are alright, as long as the number doesn't go up on the scale.

Purging does something else for me though. I feel this numbness, almost like taking a drug. I feel relaxed. It's soothing sometimes.

However, you can never do it "just once." It's a cycle and incredibly difficult to free yourself from it.

I hate bingeing and purging, but I'm still a slave to this self-destructive cycle. I have periods where I don't have those behaviors, but it's always been there, lingering, waiting for me to be vulnerable. Ever since I was 14. Nine years...I'll be free of it once day. I want that day now.


  1. I totally get the "numbness" you feel. I don't know if it's mental, from the releif that the forbidden food is no longer in you. Or if it's physical, from the tremendous stress your body was just put through. But its definitly a real feeling. And you're right, you can't do it just once. Even during the couple years I was "healthy" I purged everynow and then. To avoid feeling so full, to keep from getting too drunk at a party, even just to see if I could still do it. I feel your pain, hope it get's easier for you.

  2. after the guilt and the panic, as I am purging , I am shaking and yet I feel powerful at being able to "fix" my problem . also this wave of peace washes over me ... even though I am hurting myself I feel like everything will be ok, in that moment.

  3. You just described my life. It's good to know I'm not the only one.
    I wish people could understand this and I hope one dy we'll all be free from it.

  4. I know exactly what you mean when you say you HAVE to eat something once you've already set your mind to it, willpower is out of the question. It really pisses me off when I do that, I don't want to binge but once that thought has entered my mind I'm powerless to control the binge. You put my struggle into words perfectly.

  5. I've never been able to fully explain why I binged/purged like you just did especially when I'm trying to explain it to someone who has never had an ed. You're right, it's such a vicious cycle and way too easy to get caught up in

  6. I never thought being bored can lead to binge eating or purging. If that is really the case, then you need to make sure to keep yourself busy to be able to prevent the idea from entering your mind. If you are already experiencing eating disorder then the best thing to do is to inquire about bulimia treatment centers.