I regularly teach a series of classes on binging at Green Mountain, and I talk a lot about before, during and after the binge. Given what we’re going through here in Vermont, I find similarities with “before, during and after the hurricane.”
As the hurricane approaches there is a feeling of excitement or anticipation. Getting the lawn furniture put away, making sure you have flashlights and batteries available, as well as water and food.
This seems like a similar experience when preparing for the Friday night binge. There is a bit of jazz and anticipation to get in the goodies and perhaps the desire to just numb out.
It is right here when I was writing this blog post that the storm hit. The internet died and I was no longer in Before the Storm, but During the Storm.
And what a storm it was. In the midst of it there was nothing to do but focus on the howl of the wind and the power of the pounding rain. Distraction was not an option. The storm was all encompassing.
This experience is very much like a binge when there is nothing in the moment but the food and the inability to distract. It can feel like food addiction.
And now it is After the Storm. In fact as I write right now, the electricity still is not back on at my home (it is at Green Mountain). However, the sun is shining and there is a sense of clarity and possibility in the air.
The storm seems unreal at some level, reminding me of its existence mostly from the trail of debris. Some report a similar experience with a binge, often hiding the debris because of the sneaky quality of the binge.
How can we use this analogy to learn more about our own behavior?