I don’t hide chocolate bars under my bed nor have I ever stolen cookies from any of my students’ lunchboxes. Still, after years of denying that I suffer from compulsive eating habits, I realize that I do have a problem that is way beyond my control. Everyday I drown in my own most psychotic episodes with food and dive straight into feelings of shame, remorse and humiliation.

I am a food addict. My life has become unmanageable and my weight has been an issue in every aspect of my life. I realize that my weight is not as bad as others. I still fit easily into airplane seats but after finishing a normal helping of rice, I have another. And another. Left alone with enough for ten people, I’ll eat it all. A trigger or switch goes off in my head or somewhere in my body. I don’t know where it goes off, but I am rendered completely and utterly powerless.

At those times, I am a junkie, a spasm of need and desire take over my body. I become solely focused on ingesting that burger (or soda or ice cream). Carbs and sugar is what I “need.”

Food has always been my drug of choice. Cigarettes…liquor…drugs; “no, thank you!” Food is my weakness. I eat to numb myself, to dull the feeling of…Loneliness? Anxiety? Stress? Anger? Sadness? Could those wires have burned out by age 19? That’s how old I was when I began eating everything I wanted, all the time. That’s when eating became my answer to every feeling I’ve ever had. When I’m tired, I eat. When I’m overwhelmed, I eat. When I’m excited, I eat to calm down. When I’m sad, I eat to cheer up. Maybe it’s biochemical. Maybe it’s a disease like diabetes. This is hard for me to accept. I’m the type of person who can set their mind to something and will not let up until it’s fully accomplished. But when it comes to food (to eating), I’ve lost complete control of who I am. I have hit a wall over and over again trying to reason out my eating.

I’m not one to care about what other people think of me. I worry about what “I” think of me. Am I worthy of my own love if I can’t even control my own impulses?

By: Jennifer Duran