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Binge Addiction | Struggling to Gain Control

“There are lots of reasons why stressed people might over eat or gamble or chase after hedonic rewards. Unfortunately this new result reveals another one,” said U-M psychology professor Kent Berridge. “People who feel bad during stress cope in part by overeating or pursuing other incentives.

“Now it turns out a stress chemical also activates the same brain mechanism that goes wrong in drug addiction to make us excessively want pleasurable things.” – (Click here to read full article)

While watching “Madea Goes to Jail” I heard a counselor on the show say, “She’s a binge addict, meaning she can go weeks, even a year without using and then suddenly start using as if she never stopped.”

When I heard this definition of Binge Addiction I realized that it describes me. I’m constantly under stress that is normally induced by overcommitting to employers, friends, family and myself. I have unrealistic expectations on myself and others and when I fail at meeting what is required of me, I go into a funk. These “Funks” normally last about a month and during that time I gain about 10 pounds. (What I need during these times is a nice place for  rehab where they understand that my privacy is important.)

I will finally get out of my funk and start an excruciatingly difficult routine that requires intense discipline in all areas of my life. I pull my crap together in such a way that for a short time I feel invincible. Things will be going swimmingly and invariably something happens. A few weeks ago it was getting hit in the eye with a racquetball racquet. It was a blow that not only rocked my face, it rocked my drive and determination. I was on the bench for three days and amazingly I bounced back. I got right back in the gym and started hitting the weights hard and running and doing my 3 hour workouts without fail. Things were going awesome and then 4 days into it I strained my back. CRIPES!

For 5 days I could barely walk without excruciating pain. Getting out of the car or off the couch took minutes instead of seconds and all I wanted to do was curse God and die.

I have to watch myself sometimes because I feel the pull to question God and ask him what in the world is going on? It’s like my whole life I was taught that if you ask God for something, “He will give you the desires of your heart.”  I’ve heard that sometimes his best answser is “no”, but I don’t feel that I am asking him for anything, I just need to stay healthy so I can accomplish some goals that are both physical and spiritual in nature.

I don’t think of myself as a whiny baby or someone that feels sorry for himself, but the number of times that I have been injured in the middle of trying to better myself is astounding. A broken foot 2 years ago, before that it was a couple of twisted ankles and then last year I hurt my back on a couple of occasions. During racquetball one day I hurt my wrist so bad I couldn’t turn the key in the ignition to start my car.

Last week I wasn’t feeling very good and so I laid down and woke up with a headache that had to be borderline migraine. I bought some medicine and it started to feel better and I couldn’t help but ask myself the question, “Why is this happening to me?”

I guess I wouldn’t mind these constant setbacks if there seemed to be a purpose. Do I need to be further broken? Humbled? Am i being taught some lesson?

The problem with my life is that everythin, obviously, is interlinked and connected. Things that cause me stress put a small chink in my armor – an armor that I have built up against the threat of myself. Perhaps its not gettng paid by a couple of clients that puts me in a financial bind or an injury, or something work related that I can’t seem to solve. Chink. Chink. Chink. And the walls come crumbling down. I’m defeated and deflated. I can’t cope and so I run to food and spending money to escape from the reality of life and the failures that seem to crush me like a flood.

I’m glad I finally have a name to go with my problem and perhaps now I can find healthy ways to deal with stress when things come into my life that cripple me and threaten to sweep me away on a tide of self-destrutction. But it’s a battle that I have been fighiting literally all my life and I’m tired, so tired of fighting the battle alone.

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