Stuffed With Emptiness: Escape With Alcohol…Or Escape Life Altogether

Posted: November 3, 2011 at 7:26 am

I feel strongly about bringing more awareness to the struggles of binge eating. The “Stuffed With Emptiness” series delves into details and thoughts of significant moments of my past journey. If this topic could be triggering to your own thoughts and experience in any way, please read with caution or wait to visit FFF later.

Catch Up With Previous Stuffed With Emptiness Posts:

It all started in March of 2005. Over the following months I encountered the two following scenarios above. In the fall of that year, I turned to other destructive habits. It was my senior year of college and I wanted nothing less than to escape my home life. I wanted to pretend that I had full control over my life and my decisions. I wanted to act differently than I ever had.

For about six months (thank God only that long), my life revolved around alcohol, parties, and sleeping around. Up until then, I had never really drank and had kept intimacy an act within a serious relationship. I found myself binging less on food and more on a sensation of freedom.

I sought a lack of control with getting so drunk I barely remembered details of the night not just on a rare occasion…or even just weekend nights…but 5 or 6 nights out of the week. Most of these nights ended with me “hanging out” with one of the guys I had “connected” with during that time. It embarrasses me today to remember the lack of respect I had for myself and my body during that time.

I thought it was what I wanted. To say I didn’t care. To say I was happy. Deep down I knew I didn’t feel fulfilled…and when my practicum for teaching began I knew I needed to sober up. Somehow over the months between January and May of 2006, I didn’t find myself struggling as much. I still faced the occasional binge during particular emotional times, but the desires to end my life overwrought even the desire for food. I found solace in dreaming of my suicide instead of hoarding packages of cookies.

One night, my father and I ended up in another particularly grueling argument. It had become the standard occurrence. We enjoyed pushing each others’ buttons in the masochistic games we played, craving to hurt the other’s ego just a wee bit more.

I remember the argument had something to do with the fact my mother had found me writing a suicide note and my dad wondering why. What made me think I had things so bad.  I tried to explain, but the acidity of fear kept the words from coming easily. Yet it didn’t compare to the speechlessness I would feel moments later as my father said even worse words to me than the other set of syllables that have forever stained my heart.

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That night, I locked myself in the bathroom. I scrounged for the bottle of hefty pain pills I had hidden away for such a need. My mother had taken it earlier that day. I then was screaming and crying, looking for anything…anything…to help. A razor? A bottle of cold medicine? There had to be something!!!!

I felt so alone and unloved…despite the calls, cries, and banging coming from the other side of the door as my mom and sister shouted for me. Pleaded with me to please come out. Please don’t hurt myself. I somehow could not see the love glaring right at me for the abyss of hatred that pulled me so deeply a few doors down the hall. I just wanted it…life…over. Gone. Done.

I finally came out. Feeling defeated. The way I viewed it, I couldn’t even have success at taking my own life. I remarked about that to my father. Telling him he could find another way I failed. Perhaps that triggered something.

Things with him began to change then. Not too long after that night, he told me “I’m Sorry” for the first and only time I ever heard those words cross his lips. A few nights before my college graduation. I will forever cherish hearing that unrequited, no excuses apology.

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I moved out about a week later. I met Peter that same time. Over the next months my dad began seeking some help for his own needs and we continued to treat our relationship with more care and caution. Eventually, forgiveness came and a new relationship.

I traveled for a couple months to Europe and led a healthy lifestyle while there – eating fresh foods and walking everywhere.

I returned feeling healthier and happier than ever. I believed I had moved past my demons, but it turns out I hadn’t. In the months that followed, I realized just how much binging still controlled me. It wasn’t just an emotional coping mechanism, but a full fledged addiction.

  • Let’s brighten it up in here. What’s something you have overcome? Shout it out with pride in the comments! Red heart
  • Stay tuned for a giveaway I know you all will be into later today!

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79 Comments to “Stuffed With Emptiness: Escape With Alcohol…Or Escape Life Altogether”
  1. What a powerful post Tina, I really appreciate your honesty and sharing this all with us. I had a similar instance with alcohol (and will blog about it sometime) in that I would use it as an escape during my eating disordered days – I wonder if a study has been done with this correlation? I would use it to help me gain weight, to eat more and lessen my anxiety over food, and to escape my unhappiness.

    Now I enjoy alcohol (wine and champagne) moderately and appreciate the taste of it and how well it goes with food, and stay present in every wonderful moment – and to enjoy a glass of champagne to celebrate an occasion or to simply celebrate life! :)

  2. Ela says:

    It’s wonderful that you’re able to share this. Especially wonderful is that, despite the obvious pain and wrench of the experience, you seem to be writing from some distance, and from a place of healing.

    For myself, I don’t even know if I believe that I can get there yet, but being able to write about it and help others in the process is a wonderful motivation.
    love
    Ela

  3. Victoria says:

    I am just so impressed by the amount of courage it takes to write something so raw and honest. I’ve never suffered from an ED, but I’ve definitely had very down periods in my life, and this reminds me of how far I’ve come.

    Something I haven’t overcome (yet) is infertility, but I know my time will come.

  4. Thank you so much for doing these posts & being honest about your struggles. I’m currently working toward intuitive eating as well, and reading about your experiences is really motivating.

  5. My heart breaks for you each time I read a post in this series. You are incredibly brave for putting yourself out there like this and I admire you for it. I’m sure you are helping many women who are still hurting from similar circumstances.

  6. Heidi says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I struggled with too much drinking and partying every night of the week during my second year of University. I found my way out of that hole eventually but it was tough realizing that I had to respect myself and get it together.

  7. Thank you for always sharing with us :) I have had a similar struggle too. I’ve found that writing about it helps and have been writing about it a lot recently. Its nice to know others have been there too :)

  8. Cheryl says:

    I think it’s amazing that you’re sharing these things.

    I also know that one addiction or one type of ED easily turns into another, so there’s absolutely no shame in having struggled with more than one thing! I think our vices are coping mechanisms and until you deal with what you’re trying to cope with (if it’s something from the past that you’re holding on to) or figure out healthier ways to deal (if they’re day to day things weighing you down), you’re going to keep struggling with one thing or another.

    Kudos to you for sharing this! I love the series.

  9. I’m so glad you can post about this. I am not yet ready to be so bold and open in my blog, but I really truly am glad that you are able to share this. Either you have a true gift of writing or the story alone tugged at my heart-strings because I cried as I read this. It is so terrible to feel so alone that life doesn’t seem worth living! I’m so sorry you went through that.

    How did you get over this? Feelings like that don’t just go away…

  10. Amy says:

    Tina, thank you so much for sharing your story, your journey and your struggles. It is so empowering and liberating to hear (read) another woman tell her story and how she has worked really hard to become a healthy role model to so many of us. I have not shared a lot of personal struggles on my blog as yet, but every time I read one of your stories I feel that it is okay to peel back some of the layers that separate a blogger from her readers.
    I struggled with alcohol, only mildly thank goodness, during a few years of university. When I started looking at my life, and why I was suffering mild depression, I cut out all alcohol and found that it helped me to honour myself a little more. Now that I have dealt with these issues I still only have a little every now and again to celebrate – sometimes only bubble will do :)
    Thank you again for sharing.
    GOOD LUCK WITH THE RACE THIS WEEKEND!!!

  11. Jen says:

    Love you!!!

  12. Amanda says:

    I love what you replied to the comment above, “There was a purpose to the pain”. That is so true. I battled depression in high school, and that was one of the key thoughts that got me through – that God had control and I would get through it, that there was a purpose, maybe that one day I could help others in a similar situation. I definitely think it has helped shape into who I am, a more empathetic person who is so so thankful for simply being happy.

  13. Every time I read these posts, I am so thankful that God intervened and you are who you are today. I am so lucky to call you my friend!

  14. Jess says:

    Wow, friend. I wish I could reach back all those years ago and hug you tight. You deserved such love (and still deserve it, obviously!) from your father and your family and those around you…but you even more so deserved to love yourself. It breaks my heart to think that at one point in your life, you did NOT love yourself. I’m so so happy that you found your path, you found Peter, you found the Lord, and that you are now fully in love with yourself. Amazing journey, my dear.

  15. Amy says:

    I know these posts must be difficult to write, but I just had to tell you that I appreciate your honesty. For many of us, we have had similar feelings and experiences so reading about your struggles helps a lot. So… thanks.

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