Binging – when the feeling from doing something exceeds the reason for doing something. KH

I am in recovery, I don’t’ smoke, drink alcohol, rely on relationships for self worth, or use intoxicants in any form. At least not traditional intoxicants. I have become more and more aware of my inclination to binge.

The concept of “binging” has taken on a lighter more humorous meaning as when we say “I was binge watching This is Us all day Saturday. It refers to a relatively harmless indulgence in a neutral pastime. But when this passtime becomes all the time or a time of avoidance, then the activity is not so funny.

I can binge on just about anything – I can become consumed with the importance of mopping up crumbs or tidying the house – not one thing can be out of place and the “things” that are seen as out of place become more and more minute. I can tell I am tipping over the edge when my criteria for neatness is imposed on others, and/ or when this finicky behavior becomes my overwhelming focus. I no longer listen to what someone is saying as my attention becomes consumed with a small thread on the carpet or speck on a table. I have stepped over the boundary of usefulness and into the real of obsession.

I have binged on solitude. The known factors of being alone, no need to get into a conversation when you are unsure of where the comments will lead, no concerns about being in someone’s company too long or not long enough (aversion or craving). I avoid minefields of hearing something that I can be worried about without having a solution, or of revealing something I am not ready to face. I can sometimes wrap this desire for solitude into “Down time” or “internal study” but sometimes I am isolating. I am afraid of my feelings and don’t know how to share or I am afraid of someone else’s feelings and don’t know how to receive.

I have binged both on food and on the feeling of being empty. Food isn’t food it is a feeling fought, a feeling stuffed, or trying to feel a feeling I am familiar with rather than the one I am having (fear, low self esteem, boredom, lethargy, and so on.) Sometimes it is the food; the taste the texture or the specialness of it, but more often it is the feelings. Feeling fought or feelings sought.

And yes, I sometimes binge on television shows. I want something predictable so seldom is it something unknown, unseen, or new. It is more often something I have a relationship with, I know, funny word, but it could be a memory or a character, the plot line or the location.  I leave this moment and dive into someone else’s reality. For Just One More.

Just One More: that is the kicker, that is the sign. Whether it is cleanliness, solitude, food or entertainment, shopping, or exercise, or even continuing education classes or videos-as long as I am reaching for the sake of reaching I have left the primary purpose: nourishment, fun, self care, or training; I am now consumed by the consumption.

Holidays can trigger this reaction. I buy MORE, I eat MORE, I cook MORE, I clean MORE, and all to cover an internal state of restlessness. Putting this out there let’s me own it, Lets me see it, lets me make a choice. Can I buy, eat, cook, clean decorate, rest, study, BE enough. And let the binging go?

Author

Kyczy Hawk; author and E-RYT 500 Kyczy has been teaching recovery focused yoga classes since 2008. She is also an author having published several books combining the philosophy of yoga with recovery principles. Her most recent books are “Yogic Tools For Recovery; A Guide To Working The Steps” and its companion workbook. She is also the author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path” , “Life in Bite-Sized Morsels” , and “From Burnout to Balance” as well as five recovery oriented word puzzle books.You can also join Kyczy and a host of other people in recovery every Sunday morning at 8am PT (11 am ET) on In The Rooms at the Yoga Recovery meeting. She currently holds online Y12SR meetings combining a full 45 minutes of all paths recovery meeting and 45 minutes of all levels yoga.It meets Sundays 4pm PDT (register at wllowglenyoga.com .) Kyczy is very proud of her family; husband, kids, and grandkids, all who amaze her in unique and wonderful ways. Join her mailing list for other information and links to free classes at www.yogarecovery.com.

5 Comments

  1. Jacqueline Cormier Reply

    Wow Kyczy, thank you so much for this definition of binging. I intend to make use of it as I move through my life. I imagine the concept will pop up as I am about to binge, to help me address and release my kleshas. Committed to recovery ODAAT, EDAAT ( that’s One Day At A Time, Every Day At A Time:) ) See you soon, Jacky

  2. It is so true and holidays seem to make it acceptable to binge. Feeling concerned about my daughter due to her eating habits and weight having a negative affect on her health.

  3. Thank you for sneaking inside my head and naming some things for me. Thank you for your willingness to share the hard things. Thank you for being you.

  4. While driving last night, I was thinking about food and my “relationship” with it. Like so many things, overindulgence leaves us stuffed yet empty. The romanticism. The Whether, food, drink, men, etc. I found myself in a battle of the “no wonders”… well no wonder I feel this way.. no wonder I’m this or that…whether it’s eating a whole pie or letting my guard down with the same man, I am setting myself up with temporary comforts that lasts all of 30 seconds.. it’s like I need Henry and his gong following me around for when i hear it, it’s as if it’s saying “jennifer get right back over here and sit down”…

    such a great relatable share.. so many levels of binge escapism.. two areas in which I WISH I binged on are exercising and cleaning…those obsessions has never graced me HOWEVER the thought if them has consumed me..go figure. lol

    Happy holidays Kyczy!

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