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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.

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

26 replies on “Binge Addiction | Struggling to Gain Control”

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