Why having a paper due caused me to binge eat

What??? I can’t believe it, I think I just binge ate, or over ate, or ate unmindfully. Whatever you want to call it, I ate while sitting in front of my computer typing, and I ate  what usually would amount to about 2 lunches. So, I guess you could consider that a binge. I have not felt this urge in a while, and I guess I was surprised by it popping up. But, I shouldn’t be surprised. I felt it sneaking up on me ever since I sat down to start my paper 3 days ago. I write all of the time on my blog, but writing for school is a different thing entirely. Mostly, because I have to follow rules, and use APA format and quote various sources. I like learning from all of these sources and certainly I think credit should be given where credit is due, but I find tasks like this tedious. Perhaps, it is also that I have a page limit that I must stick to. My paper was supposed to be  6 pages, but I wrote 10 and had to cut it down. I am not great at brevity, which makes the freedom of a blog perfect for me. Perhaps it was also the fact that people around me were taking part in fun activities I had to pass on because I was working on my paper. Who knows, it seems like it was a culmination of many things, as it usually is. I also felt a little sad last evening after getting into an argument with someone earlier in the day, and a few other things that came up. But, mostly it was the sense of having something hanging over my head. I also really care if I write a quality essay or not since I am passionate about my work. So, perhaps it was perfectionism coming at me as well. Interestingly, now that I have sent my paper off, I feel instantly better. I feel like my whole world has opened up and a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It is not like I don’t have other responsibilities, because I do. But, something about school work feels different. I have never even thought of this before as I have never addressed this as an issue before. However, as I think back on all my years of schooling, I can certainly recall many late night study sessions involving food or coffee. When I think about my career however, I think I have “under ate” at work, not feeling like I had time to eat, and then over ate when I got home. I am intrigued by this difference. I think I feel a little anxious, like just wanting it to be done. I know I can’t do anything until I finish it, so I eat perhaps to quell the anxiety? I am glad however, that I am learning to think about these triggers. So, perhaps in the future I will have more insight into this situation. I feel a little guilty, but I know that will not get me anywhere. I must have self compassion and remind myself this is all a learning experience. I am on a journey and I am improving. It will just take time and patience. I wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences?

8 thoughts on “Why having a paper due caused me to binge eat

  1. Yes, I have had similar experiences. I am extremely hard on myself. As a student, my binge eating (and vomiting) was at its apex. I admire you for realizing that it is all a learning experience, and that you are improving. I don’t think I ever saw things that way, at least in terms of my eating disorder. I am now in my ’40s, and although I no longer purge after overeating, I exercise to the extent of hurting myself. Perhaps it’s a healthier way of life, but it’s really all under the same fucked-up umbrella. Good on you for your self-compassion.

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    • Thank you for sharing your story. I have recently had some of these realizations. Actually, I had no idea studying and school work was a trigger for me, as I actually love school. Had I not been on a path to discover what triggers me, I probably would never have known. I am glad you found the content in my blog interesting. I wish you success on your own journey as well. It sounds like you have a lot of insight yourself.

      P.S. I read your blog too. You are a very good writer. I read about 6 articles and they held my attention the whole time. Everything you say is so honest. Have you ever thought of writing a book?

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      • Thanks, Mermaid! Yeah, one thing I still want to do in life is write a book. The option to blog is less scary and has kept me writing without worrying about rejection (remember my issue with harsh self-judgment). You reading my blog means a lot, and I really appreciate your compliment.

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      • You may suffer from the same condition, but you deal with it really well. That’s why I enjoy reading your blog so much. Also, thanks for the positive premonition about my book 🙂

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  2. Hearing those three little letters (APA) triggered dread followed by relief. I have a couple of weeks before I have to deal with referencing. I find when I have an assignment due I end up in the kitchen and I think, for me, it comes from a fear of failure. I am so scared my work won’t be up to my high standards that I actually end up reducing the amount of time I have to complete it. If it then isn’t up to scratch I can blame the lack of time or myself for binging and purging but it is not my intelligence which gets called into question (and that’s a huge part of my identity).
    Recovery is a journey that often isn’t linear but by the sound of things you have a great deal of insight and have made considerable progress 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for your insightful comment. I agree that recovery is certainly not linear. Please stop by again. I relate to the feelings of work needing to be a certain standard. I have let some of my perfectionist tendencies go, but obviously still care about quality 🙂 I guess finding a happy balance is key!!

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