Forgive me, folks, for I have backslidden. Backslid?
Except I haven't, really, because this is different.
For some reason, today as I was walking home from work, I felt the strong desire to stock up, go home and eat till I puked. This is the sneakiness of the beast. I'm doing all well and happy, lalala, and boom! I wish to binge.
So I went looking for whatever feeling it was I was trying to displace with food.
Nothing there, apparently. That's the weirdness. I'm not upset, I'm fairly happy right now – I don't want to die rather than go to work, our court case is finished, things are quite good. So why the need (and I say "need" deliberately) for the binge?
So I kept looking, and found only the monstrous dark shape of the binge urge itself, and that kept running off.
I chased. Finally, I collared it, and it swung around and turned out to be less of a dark monster and more of a teenage girl in a hoodie. (I know, this is all getting a bit surreal, just go with me.)
"What's going on?" I said. "Why are you bothering me? I was doing so well."
She pulled some of those faces teenagers pull when they're being asked how their day was, and finally came out with something along the lines of "it's just time, you're due."
Now, part of my entire plan at the moment is that I don't try to force myself not to binge if I really want to, because that results in worse bingeing, so I went to the shop and bought a bunch of stuff, and pondered this question of why and how I could be "due" for a binge.
Prior to today (which we'll get back to in a minute), I haven't had a binge in a couple of weeks. That is pretty amazing going. I've usually not even thought about it, and that really is amazing going. So what is this sudden need that comes from nowhere and nothingness and just says, it's time? Am I that regulated by bingeing? Is this just some kind of maintenance strategy? I need to binge just because I haven't for awhile? Seriously? What the hell??
So anyway, I stocked up. I decided that I could eat as much as I wanted, but I had to pay attention to it while I was doing it, because bingeing and distraction are like peas in a pod for me – you can only have the former wrapped up nicely inside the latter. I had some beef jerky. It was okay, but didn't taste that great, certainly not as good as it tasted in my head. I had a Turkish Delight, which has long been one of my favourite treats, and that was okay, but didn't taste quite right either. And all the time, the hoodie-wearing teenage altar ego of my binge kept muttering, "seriously, you need a book or something, this isn't not working for me."
She was right, it wasn't at all. But I gave it a game old try, and had some crisps. They actually were really nice, but there also seemed to be a lot of them.
And then I had three raspberry liquorice laces. Out of a whole packet, I had three. And now I have completely run out of steam. I still have a bag full of crap, and I just don't even care. I'm also very fascinated by what has just unfolded, so much so I'm not even feeling bad about having a kind of demi-binge. It was educational.
And now I'm sitting here typing this and pondering the question of why I cannot binge consciously.
The truth is, I rarely even eat consciously, but bingeing, dear God, how impossible is it to eat ridiculously large amounts of food when your mind is actually on it? Well, I don't know about you, but for me, it doesn't work. Actually, I think it's the same kind of process as sitting with my emotions. Actually sitting with my crazy sneaky teenage girl of a binge and saying "go right ahead then" resulted in her looking at me askance and sidling off, muttering "well, I didn't really want to do that anyway..."
So what is it about consciousness that changes the way things unfold? What is it about attention that does it? Why do my emotions start tapping their feet and looking at their watches when I give them my full attention? Why does my previously desperate desire to binge huff off when I don't allow myself to immerse my brain in something while I shovel food down my throat? Is it that my attention is that boring, or that all these emotions are kind of like cockroaches who want to scatter when you turn the light on them? I don't know.
I don't really understand this process. I mean, I'm pleased with it – half a binge is not so bad, especially when it ends the way this one has – but I'm confused by it at the same time. Stay tuned to see if I have any epiphanies about it.