I am feeling very much stalled in my recovery. Not only that, but I'm also feeling very strong in my disease lately - yesterday, I went inside a gas station while filling up my car to see if I could use the bathroom, and as I was walking in, the urge to fill myself with sugar hit. I don't know if "urge" is exactly the right word to use, even, because it was more like a little voice in the back of my head suddenly got very loud. The voice was making all kinds of delicious suggestions. Candy bars, ice cream, and all manner of other things were floating around in my head all of a sudden.
The interesting thing about food for me is that even though I'll admit that my trigger foods taste delicious, the really delicious part about them is the numbness I feel. The OA "Twelve and Twelve" talks about the idea that food addicts feel everything will be all right so long as they can get enough to eat. And isn't that the truth? The scarcity perspective I apply - did we order enough pizza? Did I buy enough sweets to tide me over? - is absolutely ludicrous. It has nothing to do with actual amounts, because a slice or two of pizza would tide anyone over as a meal. It's more like me saying, "Is there enough pizza here to drown out all of my sorrow and fill the void I've felt in myself and my life since I was 8 or 9 years old?"
There's not enough pizza in the entire universe for that.
I'm also thinking a lot about confessions tonight. I want to confess today's sins. I think part of that comes from not having been to a meeting in awhile - I haven't said the words, "I'm Sarah and I'm a compulsive overeater" in a long time. I am ashamed of what I've done and I don't want to say it "out loud," but I think I have to. Today I ate a bagel smothered with cream cheese, and I ate a sandwich, yogurt and grapes for lunch. I had a relatively reasonable portion of ribs with barbecue sauce for dinner. But I've also eaten one of those big Tollhouse cookie ice cream sandwiches, two 2 oz. Fast Break candy bars, and an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked ice cream. The empty container is on my nightstand right now, and it's mocking me, almost. It called to me with such fervor when I saw it in the freezer at Walgreens earlier today. Now it's gone, polluting my body with trans fats and carbohydrates and all that other stuff. It's mucking up my health.
And I inhaled that ice cream. It didn't matter what I was eating - it could have been pure lard or just granulated sugar, so long as it had the same calming effect on my weary mind. What is it that I look for when I overeat like this? I'm looking for silence. I'm hoping to shut my mind up. My stupid, incredibly fallible, overly analytical mind needs to leave me be. And the only time it ever gets even a little bit quiet is when I've just taken that first - or fourth, or fifteenth - bite. Eating compulsively takes my mind off of all the things that normally swirl around it and places all the focus on filling myself up. But it only accomplishes the physical aspect of filling. I am emptier than ever after a binge.
I'm beginning to realize that recovery from food addiction isn't achieved in a matter of weeks, or even months. At least not for me. I am in this journey for the long haul, and it's going to take me awhile. I don't know how to gauge my own level of "readiness" for abstinence or anything like that, but I will say that coming back to this blog and to OA meetings, no matter how much I kick and scream, is probably a good first step.