I often missed the essential steps to binge eating disorder recovery because, when I binged, I felt overwhelmed with shame, guilt, and sadness. It did not occur to me there may be more below the surface. I attributed overeating to lack of self-control and used it as a way to berate myself for days on end. But when I started journaling, I began to see in black and white how I spoke to myself, my mood instability, and how much pain I was in without even acknowledging it. Because of journaling, I uncovered three essential steps to binge eating disorder recovery.
Three Essential Steps to Binge Eating Disorder Recovery
Journaling about my moods by noting depression and anxiety on a scale of one to 10 and the circumstances surrounding binges gave me tremendous insight. I saw the correlation between everything. I shifted from an emotional reaction to a responsive observer. I began to look at my binge eating as a series of triggers and events. I binged when I was depressed, upset about my body, or felt out of control in my life. Once I saw my triggers, I made progress in coping.
1. Recognize Triggers
The most difficult trigger to navigate was the one about my body. I would binge because I was so upset about being overweight. Through my journal, I connected with memories that helped form my body image and feelings about myself. I never expressed the pain I was in or even tried to correct my internal monologue. “I am fat” still is sometimes a repeating track in my mind.
2. Relinquish the Illusion of Control
Even though I was so upset about my weight, binge eating paradoxically made me feel better about it. It gave me a false sense that I could do whatever I want. The reality is: I am bingeing as a reaction to a trigger, but I believed I was in control.
Bingeing gave me something to blame for my pain.
Bingeing had control of me. I would gain so much weight that I would turn to anything to start losing it. Beyond the bingeing, old painful memories and wounds had been eating me alive without me acknowledging them. A casual comment about my size could trigger days of binges while I did everything to ignore the pain.
3. Let Go of Emotional Pain Feeding BED
In this essential step to binge eating disorder recovery, through different methods: meditation, journaling, and poetry, I was able to connect with my emotions and begin to heal them. I started by acknowledging the memories because I never allowed myself to previously. This allowed me to feel all of the emotions I kept buried deep inside of me. I cried for a few days and wrote for catharsis. Ultimately, I forgave them and myself for everything that happened. It was the first time I had acknowledged I was hurting beneath all of this.
Anger is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. ~Buddha
Not Knowing the Essential Binge Eating Disorder Recovery Steps Only Hurt Me
The only person I was hurting was me, and the only person I had left to be angry with was me. I decided to forgive myself and forgive anyone who harmed me — intentionally or unintentionally. It continues to be an evolving process of acceptance, forgiveness, and most of all love. Through forgiveness, words, memories, and people lost their power over me. This has given me actual control over my reactions and responses and allowed me to let go of the past that has haunted me for too long.
When I realized binge eating was a reaction to a trigger from emotional pain, depression, or anxiety, I empowered myself to find coping skills and ways to heal. My perspective shifted from doing anything to numb or escape the pain to forgiveness and compassion for myself. I realized the importance of these three essential binge eating disorder recovery steps.