For as long as I can remember I’ve had an issue with food. I’ve associated food with good feelings, and to have that make sense, every time after a good soccer game, we would go get ice cream. Situations like that began my unhealthy relationship with food.
As I became older I realized that when I was sad or upset, food could make me happy, or so I thought. In the long run, it has actually made me less happy, with the feeling that I can’t control what I eat or how I feel. The stressors in my life caused me to spiral down a never-ending hole of “what can I eat to numb this pain”. And for a while, I never would admit to it or would even consider bringing up the topic of how unhealthy it was. Food for me was no longer to fuel my body, it was becoming a way for me to fill the emptiness that I had felt inside for so long.
Every eating disorder is difficult in its own way. It is so hard for me when I get triggered to not go to the cake or ice cream. Food has become something that I go to for comfort when I feel any emotion. When I feel happy or sad or upset or hurt, I go to food to help me enhance that feeling. Food is like a drug, but some consider it worse because you need food to live.
Every day is a struggle that I have to push through. Some easier than others. Some days I binge multiple times a day, and others I don’t binge for three days. Every day is a struggle to recovery, and I believe I won’t ever truly be 100% recovered, but I believe I will get better and be able to fight my urges. I forget that my body needs food for fuel and not for fun. I give plants the things they need to live, compost and water, I would never give them something that is bad for them, but somehow I let myself do it to me. This is the third day I haven’t binged and while it’s a short amount of time, it’s still a step forward.
Do you use food as a coping mechanism in any way? How does food relate to your mental health?