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.


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.


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. This is such a powerful post, Tina. I admire you so much for sharing this, and for having the strength to get through it all too.

    Something I have overcome? Weighing myself incessantly! And I’m so glad I’ve overcome it because that stupid number ruled my life for so long.

  2. Tina says:

    I’m sure it wasn’t easy to go back to that place Tina. Thank you for sharing that with us. I know you definately inspire me.

    I’m in the process of overcoming binge eating, I can’t say I’m over it yet but doing so much better at not beating myself up if I slip.

  3. thank you thank you for sharing sweet tina…i can’t imagine how hard this was to write but i am so thankful for your sharing heart 🙂

  4. Wow. You are so incredibly brave for sharing this. I’ve definitely had some similar times that I’m not proud of at all, but I cannot imagine having the courage to open up like this. I don’t know if you realize it, but writing things like this gives so much hope to people who are still struggling…I’m just imagining myself reading this four years ago and I know it would have comforted me so much. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I think that is what motivates me the most to share. It’s scary, but going back to those memories also reminds me how alone I felt. I know it would have helped to see others have felt the same way, so I hope to give that to even one person. Thanks, Gabriela!

  5. Lee says:

    Wow, Tina, this is a powerful post. I’m so glad you were able to overcome everything that you went through.

    I’ve (mostly) overcome hating my body. It took a long time to realize that although I might want to lose these 10 lbs that I’ve gained, I don’t have to hate myself in the process. And also drinking diet coke!

    • Tina says:

      I think that’s the biggest thing. Loving where you’re at, but still wanting to grow and improve and strengthen in certain areas. It’s definitely a healthy balance. Hope you’re doing okay today.

  6. Thank you for sharing this, I’m sure it wasn’t easy to write! It definitely gets me thinking about myself and learning from my past (and current!) life decisions.

  7. I feel such mixed emotions when I read these posts… on one hand I see all the pain and hard times you went through but then on the other, I see the happy healthy person you are now and it is so encouraging! So glad you have overcome this and are helping others to do the same. Thank you.

    And I am not sure what I have overcome… I think I am still currently fighting many of my issues but thankfully they are nothing too extreme but I hope to someday have them all in my past!

  8. Diana says:

    You are an amazing, amazing woman Mrs. Tina FFF! Thank you so much for sharing this story – it is heartbreaking and inspiring.

    I am currently overcoming letting doubt and fear rule my life – baby steps every day!

  9. You cease to amaze me with your brutally honest posts! Everyone has inner demons at some point– it’s just a matter of bringing them to the surface. You have done exactly that 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. You are one amazing lady! This was a great post! 😀

  11. Corey says:

    Tina – I haven’t been commenting lately but I am reading your blog everyday. I am constantly inspired by your bravery in sharing yours story. As someone working in the mental health field, I know how important it is for those who are stuggling to know they are not alone and that there is hope, and your honest, heartfelt posts definitely do that. Being so open is not always easy, but it’s so obvious that you are doing it for the right reasons, and know that there is at least one person out there (probably more) who is really benefitting from this.
    You should be so proud of how far you’ve come in a few short years!

  12. Mindy says:

    I’ve overcome situations similar to binge drinking and embarrassing actions. Thanks for sharing, Tina. You are so inspiring to me

  13. Wow Tina, such a touching post! You are such a strong, beautiful, and inspiring women! I think something I’m still trying to overcome is my parent’s divorce. You see, the divorce itself isn’t something that bothers me- in a way I think they are better off. The problem is that my parents still like to use me as their sounding board and I often get stuck in the middle. That can be really hard!

    • Tina says:

      I bet that can be SO hard! Hopefully with time your parents will stop expecting you to side with either of them or have to hear destructive comments about another parent. Hugs.

  14. Amanda says:

    You’ve really come a long way, Tina — and I think that’s awesome 😀 You rock!

    My big situation was being married to an abusive alcoholic. Things can get really ugly with that. I tried for nearly ten years (tried to live with it, tried to fix it, tried to be what he wanted, tried, tried, tried), and when I finally got it through my thick skull that my children were being more harmed by me staying married to their father in an effort to keep the family “intact” than they would be living in a “broken” home… I left.

    Best thing I’ve ever done, bar none.

    • Tina says:

      Definitely sounds like you made the right decision. Glad things have turned around and I’m inspired by your strength!

  15. I truly admire you for sharing this and being so open and honest I know its not that easy but you are helping so many people. Slowly but surely I am overcoming my negative self talk if I don’t believe in myself why should anyone else.

  16. wow, Tina. No words. I Love You!

  17. Brittany says:

    I have so much respect for you Tina because you are always so open and honest. I am so sorry you went through that and it’s always hard to go back and think about those hard times. I am so happy that you have overcome that. You are an amazing person and never deserved that!

  18. Emily says:

    Tina, you are so strong. Thank you for sharing your experience. You’re so open and honest, I truly admire you.

  19. Katy Widrick says:

    As always, I am so inspired by your honesty…and I’m so, so sorry that you had this dark period in your life.

    • Tina says:

      It stinks, but at the same time I know it gives me more of a purpose now if that makes sense. I hate that time…but I feel so much more appreciative of where I am now thanks to it as well. I guess I feel compelled to share it so others can see the hope that is out there.

  20. Tina <3 My heart literally reaches out to you after reading each of your posts in this series. Just remember you wouldn't be the amazing wife, mother, and friend you are today without this part of your life. Of course I'm not glorifying it, but it's amazing how God winds us back around to where we're supposed to be 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I completely understand what you’re getting at and I truly feel the same. that part of my past doesn’t define me anymore. It still affects me in some ways, but more often than not I am truly thankful for it and the lessons it showed me.

  21. Claire, RD says:

    I overcame a bout of depression in college… and some not so great relationships – never anything terrible, just not the best for me. Now I found my prince charming and make myself happy one day at a time! 🙂

  22. thank you for sharing tina. i know it must have been difficult to write but i hope this will touch many people! thanks for all your honesty.

  23. Oh Tina, I just want to hug you!!! My Dad and I had a very tumultuous relationship growing up. The few years leading up to his death we were at our closest and he was one of my best friends.
    Thank you for being so incredibly brave to share this with the world. xoxo

  24. Kelly says:

    I am so glad that you and your Dad are in a healthier place. I am very close to my Dad and always have been. It is my mother that I struggle with. But right now she and I are in a good place and I just have to go day by day. But my Dad has always been there for me and has never once let me down.

  25. Beautiful, inspiring post, Tina. You are amazing.

  26. Kat says:

    Tina – thank you for sharing these posts… I know how hard it can be to go back to those dark places – it is truly inspiring that you have been able to share so much 🙂
    I was basically an alcoholic the first 6 months out of college. I had my first real job, I was in a new (small) town where I didn’t know anyone… it was bad. then I met my husband – it was like I was drowning and he rescued me. 5 years later we got married, got a dog, bought our first house, and now we are expecting our first kid 🙂 it’s truly amazing what God can do with us and through us

  27. Tina, your “stuffed with emptiness” posts are some of the most powerful, heartfelt posts that I have ever read. Having met you a couple times (but certainly not enough!), I honestly would have never imagined that you ever went through any of these struggles. I am so glad that you and your father are in a better place now, and I hope that you continue down that road.
    It truly is amazing how you continue to strive to overcome these issues, and I love that you’re drawing attention to such a powerful, troublesome addiction.
    I, too, have overcome some eating issues of my own and even though I still have struggles now and then, it’s so freeing to know that they are (for the most part) behind me!
    Have a GREAT Thursday, Tina! 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Love you! And you don’t know how much it means to me to know that that part of my past doesn’t reflect me as a person today. It definitely shaped me, but it frees me to know it no longer defines me. Enjoyed our chat earlier! Sorry I disappeared. That whole mom thing. 😉

  28. Tina, you write about these stories with such poise and honesty. I know they come from such a dark time in your life, but it gives me so much hope that both myself and others will be able to overcome our struggles.

    I think one of my biggest hurdles was overcoming the need to please everyone and be perfect and then the rebellion that followed. It wasn’t extreme, but learning to love myself as I was and live for myself instead of only viewing my value in terms of how others saw was and at times still is challenging.

  29. And just another facet that makes you so well rounded, so empathetic, so insightful. Thank you for sharing your story so openly and honestly.

    If I could give you a hug right now, I would!

  30. I am so, so sorry that you dealt with intense suicidal thoughts. It is so terrible that few people talk about it, but there are so many people out there who feel alone and desperate, and it is helpful for you to come forward about it. God was truly watching over you and has a purpose for you on this Earth.

  31. Christelle says:

    You’re a strong strong women Tina, thank you for sharing, I’m sure it wasn’t easy to write it all down, I think everyone has “inner demons” at some point in their lives, and it feels great to release them!

  32. Tina, I’m so impressed and so proud of you for writing this post. I bet it feels so good to get it out there. And I was just about to say what Shanna said above… you’ve BEEN there, and I bet that will come in so handy in raising your kiddos.

    Sending lots and lots of hugs to you. 🙂

  33. Your strength and honesty amaze me. I don’t even know if I would have the guts to tell a story like this, although I can identify with all the feelings you’ve described.

  34. Jamie says:

    Thanks for sharing- that must have been hard. I definitely partied too hard for some time too. Blackouts, occassional drug use, things I regret… But now, I own my own home, have a good job, have a four year old, and am planning a wedding. Things will never be perfect and I still have to watch myself with alcohol. I can easily get sucked into the “shots, shots, shots!” mentality. But it is getting better and I am proud of myself today.

  35. This is such a great post, Tina, thank you so much for sharing this.

    Overcome? I’ve overcome disordered eating!

  36. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s inspiring and appreciated.

  37. I’m always amazed by your strength. These posts must be so mentally and emotionally exhausting to write, to go back to that place that created so many bad feelings. Having been through those trying periods means you can get through anything. Not everyone has that strength or courage. Thanks for sharing your story.

  38. i didn’t know that you’ve been there, well…i’m still not overcoming this and people keep telling me now that I need to watch what I eat. how did you overcome this?

    • Tina says:

      I have an “overcoming binge eating” tab under my favorites page up in my menus that has some of how I started coping with binge eating and overcoming it. I plan to go into more detail as this series continues as well.

      In short, I found any other way to handle my emotions and distract myself from the food, and gave up all the food rules and restrictions I put on myself so food didnt have all the power.

  39. Thank you for sharing!!Wow. You are one strong lady!

    I have overcome it all –anorexia, binge eating, emotional eating, and come out on top- and super fit….motivating others 🙂 I LOVE what I do, and I am grateful for the hard stuff I went through because it allows me to have compassion for others!

    • Tina says:

      I can so relate to that. Grateful for the past because it definitely brings such joy to me now to be able to empathize with and support others. It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? To know there was a purpose to the pain?

  40. Melissa says:

    Such a beautiful, powerful and honest post. Thank you for sharing. I don’t know that I’ve overcome anything, there are some things I’m better at handling and other things that will always be a challenge. I have learned that by facing my past and not tucking it away I free myself from the ghosts of those memories creeping up into my consciousness (usually at night in those moments before I fall asleep) and derailing me.

  41. lindsay says:

    THank you so much for sharing this TIna. I know God is using your hurt and your past for his glory. God pulled you through this and you came our stronger because of it.
    thanks again for such courage and being REAL!

  42. Tina, I am so sorry you had to go through all of that. I honestly would have never guessed and that shows how far you have come. Thanks for sharing!

  43. There is such power in your words. I absolutely relate to you on many levels in your story…so thank you for sharing!

  44. Tina, I love your blog more and more each time I come here to read. I love the faith, the fitness and the fun. I love your honesty and beautiful heart. I’m so glad you are no longer addicted.

    I’ve overcome so much; I was a very unhappy teenager and college student. ED, SI, depression, anxiety, ADD, the list of conflicts that once dominated my life is pretty long… I’m now proud to say I’m a healthy and very happy young adult now. Not perfect, but I don’t want to be. I just want to be the healthiest and happiest me I can. You’re an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  45. Ashley says:

    Tina, you are an amazing writer and an even more amazing person for sharing these intimate, powerful details of your life. Today is my first time reading your blog, and will absolutely not be the last, as your accounts of struggling with your (emotionally abusive?) father, binge eating, lack of self worth, and die-hard fight to triumph these adversities have resonated with me on a personal level. In the past 5 years, I have overcome cutting (self-mutilation) and drug abuse. I am nowhere near forgiving the parents that caused the pain and damage that lead me down that path, and will continue to read your blog, which is a veritable fountain of inspiration. Thank you.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks for the support, Ashley. And i’m here however you need. Congrats on the progress you have made already in your own journey. Even from this comment I can see the strong, determined woman you are. 🙂

  46. I just read over your binge series. I myself have suffered and am still dealing with binge eating, restriction, cutting and bulimia. I have my good days, bad days, good weeks and months and then BAM, have to start over again.

    Thank you for the post. It really sheds light on many of the emotional connections that drive many of our disorders and how it can easily grow any latch itself into our very soul. It’s scary. It’s sickening, and very hard to shake.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  47. jobo says:

    Wow. With each of these posts, I am more and more amazed at how far you have come from that point. And how much you went through to get there to here. You are one of the most inspiring people I know, truly. Overcoming that and becoming such a faithful, spiritual, motivating, happy, healthy self is nothing short of incredible.

  48. This is an amazing post, Tina. I love this series that you’re doing–you’re honesty is what will be received and most appreciated by readers.
    Something I’m working on overcoming, but have a lot of work left to do, is getting rid of food guilt. I know it’s not worth it and I know it’s unhealthy, but those are easier said than done. Surrounding myself with positive influences (your blog included) are helping me get rid of some of those feelings and thoughts.

  49. This was my first time to read the entire series (I missed a lot while I was in school), and my heart hurts for your past and rejoices that you have turned those events in your life into positive change. I feel a lot the same about the loss of my mother to suicide. It was a very dark time in my life, and I still miss her tremendously, but I have changed my life and strive for the best for myself because of what happened. I can choose to be miserable or I can choose to live the best life I can. Kudos for sharing your experience! xoxo

  50. Hilary says:

    Your honesty and courage amaze me constantly! You go girl! I don”t want to say I’ve totally overcome my weight struggle, because I haven’t, and I don’t know if I ever will in this lifetime. But with God’s help, I amslowy becoming a healthier person – one day at a time.

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