National Eating Disorders Association

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Binges and feelings of failure

Ive been "recovered" on and off for years from EDNOS (I never fit into the weight category for Ana). I gained a lot of weight recently and have been on a very strict diet...which triggered my ED recently. Ive been so controlled and able to turn down any food that wasn't considered "safe" by my standards, but last night i binged on food and I felt sooooo guilty, like a huge failure. Then today I struggled again. What the heck?! Then I feel like "well obviously I don't have a problem if I can all of the sudden switch modes and binge!" Any anorexics or EDNOS out there that binge and feel this way? Thoughts?
PS- I am trying to not totally give in to my ED, but its hard since I feel so accomplished when i have it. I know, its very messed up :(

Hi NeverEnough!

Hi NeverEnough!

I have felt the same way before. In high school and college I would feel accomplished and by engaging in ED behaviors and when I lost weight the healthy way after college I began a slippery slope of unhealthy habits. EDs can be very frustrating and I have personally noticed that my anxiety presents itself in new and exciting ways if I ignore it. Have you seen a counselor or contacted one to schedule an appointment for how you're feeling? Reaching out to a therapist is what really helped me go that extra mile.

support and sponsor

Hi everyone!
I am in recovery for a long bout of bulimia for 12 yrs and alcoholism for 7 years. I have been home from treatment for abpjt four months. I quickly relapsed after, and I am finally ready to fully surrender my eating disorder over to God. I started going to AA abojt a month ago and have been sober for three weeks which is the longest time ever. AA has provided me with the daily accountability that I have needed to stay sober. With that being said, I am not near any EDA meetings (an hour and a half away from Atlanta and 2 hours away from Birmingham) I also am looking forma sponsor. Any suggestions? I am not well enough yet to start an EDA meeting on my own.

Hi Carriematthews1212,

I understand that you're looking for more support! I just wanted to let you know that you're at a great place to start looking for resources. I just wanted to let you know that NEDA's helpline has SO many resources for you to use. They are available M-Thursday 9-9PM and Fridays 9-5PM (EST) at 1-800-931-2237 or by chatting online. They can help you in finding online chat rooms for support if in person meetings are difficult for you to get to. In addition, they have a program called NEDA Navigators where they set you up with someone who have been in your situation in the past, but are strong in their recovery. The helpline can also help you get started for getting paired up with someone for that as well.

I wish you the very best and please keep us updated!

Eating disorders vary

Eating disorders vary enormously from person to person (and even sometimes from day to day!). You are definitely not alone in what you are going through.

You mentioned you've been on a strict diet limited to "safe" foods lately. It's really common (and normal) for someone to experience binge episodes following a period of restricted eating. It can certainly be a frustrating experience, but it's your body trying to compensate for what it has been deprived of.

I actually know what you mean when you say you feel accomplished. It's easy to let your identity get tangled with your ED, I think. Kudos for being aware of this, and trying to take steps towards recovery!! Recovering from an eating disorder is a huge life challenge. Hopefully you can feel a well-deserved sense of accomplishment in your progress towards recovery, rather than your ED, if that makes sense?

NEDA is here to support you during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. To access resources that can provide free and low-cost support, please click here.