The Forgotten Key to Recovery? Sleep

Stream of consciousness begins...

Wake up, so tired still, can't sleep. Feel depressed, grab my Klonopin to knock myself out but it isn't working. Now I feel worse and even more tired. I am SO HUNGRY. I am not actually hungry but I am craving food. Sweet food, salty food, junk food -- I need it like a druggie needs heroin to feel better. The chocolate chips in the cupboard transform from a delicate pleasure to a danger. I grab them and I have no control. 1 handful and I'll stop. But I can't, I feel so guilty and I grab more. I shove more in my mouth and wash it down with milk. It feels good, it tastes good, I crave it, I need it. But the guilt pours over, my stomach feels sick and I head to the bathroom and it all comes out. Tired? I am no longer tired -- I'm on a high! I must do this again because it feels so good. I have energy -- adrenaline might be the better word. But I got rid of my junk food to prevent these days from occurring. The chocolate chips are gone and I need more. I head into my car, not thinking clearly, no license, just my head filled with thoughts of ding dongs and Kit Kats, cakes galore. My old t-shirt drenched in the stench of vomit, but none of it bothers me because I am on a high and I want and need and crave 1 thing and 1 thing alone -- my drug, my food, my binge. I shove an apple in my face as I drive. Not junk but all I have from the 4 minute drive from home to Safeway. I don't remember driving at all, but I end up at Safeway. I throw up some more in front of the car -- I have transformed from a put together young woman into a junkie. The security which usually smiles and asks how I am don't recognize this demon who grabs the double stuffed Oreos from the aisle, opens them in the store and shoves them in her mouth like she hasn't seen a morsel of food for years. I do the routine that I am so used to -- cake, milk, chocolate, things that will taste delicious and purge back so easily. Food that is inexpensive but will get me through a long day of bingeing. I pass through self checkout, and now I have added thief along to my list of druggie and addict. I leave the expensive cake in the basket and pretend I have checked it out. I don't want to pay for this shit that is just going to end up in the bottom of a toilet. And I get in the car, load it up with the false energy that I have left and speed up the hill home. Excitement, pleasure. Sleep, fatigue? Gone. All gone and replaced with this violent and demonizing emotions that are overbearing. The guilt is hiding in the shadows and will overpower in a fierce storm near the end of the day, when I know I must stop these old and terrible behaviors, but for now the guilt is pushed back into a dark corner, building up, building up, until it is ready to explode and I cry myself in the shower to tears. But in the meantime it's eat, purge, eat, purge. Hours on end, my throat is swelling, my eyes are red and the blood vessels have popped. I eat to end the sadness, the sleep deprivation, the pain. What has triggered this mess? I thought I was getting better! I thought I was dealing with my issues and getting on with my life. What is the one thing that I didn't get last night?

Sleep.

Stream of consciousness ends...

Yes, bulimia can be stopped. It can be managed, it can be a battle that you win, but ALL triggers must be monitored. Not just therapy, not just mental stability but PHYSICAL STABILITY. And over the past year in my three relapses there has been one culprit that has lead me down this treacherous path of my past: fatigue after a long trip. So yes, this is just one more reason to sleep, because it really is a life or death matter, especially to the fragile addicts out there: alcoholics, bulimics, drug addicts, whatever it is... Don't let this one item put a damper on recovery!