The Anti-Social Butterfly

Woman with butterfly in curly hair.

Some of the worst and most uncomfortable situations we find ourselves in as binge eaters, are those that are placed in a social setting. We find ourselves dredged with so much internal pain, that often enough a good time with pals seems to cause more anxiety than excitement. We make up excuses why we can’t attend, bail last minute with “the flu”, or simply do attend with the hopes that we can self soothe via enough booze and/or food to ease the internal pressures. Basically, BED causes us to become pretty good avoiders, in mind and body. Not only have we become good mental escape artists, but we’ve also become pretty good Houdinis when some social event rolls into town.

There are several components to the “internal struggle” of placing ourselves in a social function. Mine was mostly body image and self-confidence. You could usually find me before an event stamping my feet (yes, stamping) on the verge of tears complaining to my spouse that I had nothing to wear. Truth be told, I had plenty of articles of clothing to produce an outfit well worth the occasion. What I didn’t have however, was the positive self-image to face my peers. I had gained weight and whether it was noticeable or not, I felt so uncomfortable. Bottom line here was I felt so gross that no matter what I pieced together on the outside it wouldn’t mask the truth about the sad, depressed, lonely binge eating me on the inside.

When feeling so darn down about ourselves we tend to retract to our protective cocoon. We have this need to stay wrapped tightly in our own environment and not face the outside world. The problem becomes when we frequently bail on friends time and time again our social lives tank and we become antisocial hermits. Our forced anti-socialism causes us to become bitterly lonely, leading us to the darkest of places that yuckiest of creatures are found. It is all about surrounding yourself with people that will make you a better person; surprisingly enough they could be the least likely suspects. If you truly feel your current social group really is dragging you down, than change it. Allow yourself to spread those wings and explore new, healthy social environments and people. The important thing to always remember is to never let yourself fly solo for too long.

We need to face the fact that we are human and we are a species that thrives on integrations with other people. When we mess with those integrations we tend to be left feeling worse than before. As part of our recovery, if we can learn to look past the moments of fear that arises from having to approach your super-great looking group of non-bed friends, than that’s the first step. We need to focus on the fact that our avoidances only hurt us more than they help. We need to find our inner strength and fly on it to become better mentally and physically.

“Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.”- Gandhi

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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Feuer

I think it is safe to say EVERYONE lies. And if someone claims they don’t, well, they are lying. For whatever the reason may be, we are born to deceive each other and ourselves. These tall tales can range from little white lies we tell in an attempt to avoid unnecessary conflict to those we tell to just just save our own asses.

BED causes us to be pretty extreme liars, not only to the people around us, but to ourselves. We consistently tell ourselves, “I’ll stop tomorrow”, or “I am going to have just one.” The problem here is that it is more than just a lie, it is an apprehension. We comprehend these lies as truth. These lies we tell ourselves are vicious because they set us up on a long road for failure. We actually believe that these things will happen and get beyond discouraged when they don’t. Adding fuel to the fire, we let the binge begin.

The second batch of lies we tell are to those around us. We mislead others with false information and actions in order to protect ourselves. We fear being perceived as powerless or weak, damaged or broken. Since we tend to see ourselves this way much of the time, we shy away from creating any type of group consensus. We are aware that exposing ourselves is very permanent. There is no taking back the words that have been spoken. Once we have revealed our dirty little secret there is no turning back, and we are forced to face the judgments that follow (negative, neutral, or positive). It all becomes very real.

BED can be very selfish. It is all wanting and taking. In order to get what we want we lie.  We purposely don’t expose ourselves because we want to continue our behaviors. Deep down inside we know if we revel our behaviors we may be forced to actually stop. By shedding light into our dark hole, those around us are better aware and more receptive to our tactics creating a less than fertile ground for lies and binge eating.

Perhaps we could be a little self-less. We should make a conscious effort of being more aware that our actions cause more damage than to just our scales. Being less absorbed with ourselves, we wouldn’t have to fabricate our life and dwell any longer in the illusionary world alone.

“I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.”S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders