For many years I have been binge eating and drinking alcohol to numb the pain and emotions. To have time where I can forget myself and the life around me and just be.
I have been battling depression since I was a teenager. I always thought this was because I needed to accept that I am a lesbian. Yes that was a difficult journey but little did I know that there were a lot of other things lurking inside me.
I started seeing a counsellor when I was 18 years old. This was to help me come to terms with being gay. Unfortunately I had the wrong counsellor who thought she would tell me she thought I was going through a phase…. It’s a long bloody phase. I’m now 43 years old. Nope, i’m still 100% part of the lesbian rainbow crowd.
I was screaming out back then to be heard. I was also referred to a counsellor who specialised in alcohol addiction. I thought it was a waste of time. I didn’t drink that much right!?!
Only now, 25 years later, I can see it for what it was. Alcohol abuse!
Recently my therapy with Rape Crisis came to an end. The therapist was there for me for 18 months allowing me to vent, cry, have panic attacks but most of all help me through what I can safely say has been one of the toughest times of my life.
When I registered to the waiting list for a Rape Crisis therapist I needed to talk to someone about an incident that had been brought back to the forefront of my mind. The memory of a sexual assault when I was a child. Little did I know that once I unearthed one memory more would come flooding back.
After all of these years I was remembering being sexually assaulted and raped as a child from 7 years old until I was around 17 years old.
If that wasn’t enough after talking to my therapist about my previous two relationships it was apparent that I had been sexually assaulted by my partners at the time. I was lucky to escape their controlling behaviours.
I know that not everyone who has been through trauma turns to something like food or alcohol to lose themselves. Unfortunately I did. I feel that I wasn’t strong enough to let the feelings free. I didn’t want to feel them.
So for a number of years I have been binge eating when I am depressed or low in mood and sometimes when I was angry too. This has not been my only vice, I have also turned to alcohol.
Alcohol numbs the feelings that I don’t want to feel. Binge eating, usually sweet things, helps me lose myself. I am no longer me when I am drinking or binge eating. I’m escaping my mind and body.
Today I am fed up with the vicious circle of binge eating then kicking myself for doing it and numbing my feelings with alcohol.
Today I have decided to stop both for as long as I can. I am not going to put a timeframe on this because it could all go wrong tomorrow and I will kick myself again. The main thing is I want to try and I want to write about it so I can show others what it is like for me.
Are you on a similar journey? What are you giving up? Is it harder during lockdown? Let me know your thoughts.
So here I am at the end of day one. I have not had an alcoholic drink and I have only had something to eat when I am hungry. I feel determined but as people know that can change from one minute to the next. Lets see what happens!
This journey is about finding myself, who I really am. I will be allowing myself to feel instead of burying myself in food and alcohol. It’s not going to be easy but I am willing to try. That’s a good place to start.