“The inside of a binge is deep and dark; it is a descent into a world in which every restriction you have placed on yourself is cut loose. The forbidden is obtainable. Nothing matters not friends, not family, not lovers. Nothing matters but food. Lifting, chewing, and swallowing – mechanical frenzied acts, one following the other until a physical limit, usually nausea, is reached. Then comes the sought-after numbness, the daze, the indifference to emotional pain. Like a good drug, food knocks out sensation.
A few years ago, when I was caught in the eye of my worst eating days, I wrote: ‘I feel so insane when I binge, as if there is no reality but the loud pounding voice inside my head screaming for me to eat. At that moment nothing else exists; yet because I am so aware that everything else does in fact exist, the contrast and craziness of what I am doing to myself make the insanity even sharper. I know I am destroying myself, but I can’t stop. I am so driven at that point that no one I know would recognize me. In those moments, the darkness is so pervasive that it is as if I have descended into another realm. When I surface and see that other people are here, that there is actually sunlight and words, that the bougainvillea outside my window is budding with tiny white insides, I feel infinitely relieved – and then even more shattered for having just experienced a thirty-minute frenzy, a dive into hell.”
– Geneen Roth
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