Until this month, Binge Eating Disorder was a secret – free of a definition, uncategorized, and ignored. Until this month, I was diagnosed with at eating disorder that wasn’t really an eating disorder because it had yet to receive the stamp of approval by the American Psychological Association. It’s rather difficult to understand your own feelings toward an “imaginary” disorder, so I questioned myself, which turned to judgment and morphed into a very non-imaginary bully.
I have bullied myself for so long for doing what I did – for using food to cope and then using more food to cope with the fact that I was using food to cope.
If everyone else was saying that binging was just an excuse to eat the wrong foods, gain weight without blame, and self-loathe…then why wouldn’t I grow to feel the same about myself in a world where, whether we like it or not, opinions seem to matter…too much. The APA’s recognition of Binge Eating Disorder in the DSM-V is empowering to us and frustrating as hell to our bullies. We finally have a universal understanding that we didn’t make up a reason to eat too much – we ate too much for a reason.
I have bullied myself for so long for doing what I did – for using food to cope and then using more food to cope with the fact that I was using food to cope. Confusing, right? Well I confused myself right into a rubber band ball of emotions, edibles, and emptiness.
As I slowly pull off one rubber band at a time, I’m getting closer to the nucleus of self-forgiveness. One step closer to confronting my bully and telling her where to stuff it; reminding her that just because my disorder didn’t have an accepted explanation, doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. Everything I have felt and dealt with has been real to my mind, my body, and my heart. I should never have needed to see it in print, but I’m thankful that other bullies, internal and external, now have a reference and that we now have a voice.
Do you find that the stigma around weight, food, and diagnoses, fuel your inner bully?