Binge

Sometimes a word settles in my mind and refuses to budge. I suppose that’s the joy of writing. We get obsessed with words. They are our tools, the vehicles or medium through which we communicate our thoughts to the outside world. It’s my birthday at the end of the month (please no need for presents) and if you asked me what I truly needed at the moment (as opposed to wanted) then I’d probably plump for a thesaurus.

Rock & Roll I most certainly am not….

Todays word? Well the clue is in the title. Well the clue is the title. It’s binge. So I googled it as I don’t have a thesaurus….yet; and discovered that it originates from a 19th Century English practice where wooden vessels were immersed or soaked in water in order to allow the wood to swell and seal up any cracks so as to prevent leaking. Mind. Blown. It was a positive, practical activity in order to stop boats sinking when launched.

Of course all good things come to an end and the word soon became slang for excessive drinking; people would literally immerse or soak themselves in alcohol. And today the term has been expanded to include any excessive activity. We binge. Be it alcohol, drugs, food, Netflix or whatever. It is when we consume something or someone to excess. The positive, practical meaning of the word has largely disappeared. It has been replaced by more negative connotations.

I have binged throughout my adult life. I am impulsive and display obsessive, compulsive traits that verge on addictive. I do not know the meaning of the word ‘moderation’. With me it is a million miles per hour or not at all. I have binged on food, alcohol, social media and people. My foot was permanently on the accelerator and before I knew it, too late, I had caused another car wreck. I need and I want but I rarely think. Think of the damage I am causing myself and others through the act of binging.

When we binge the object of our excess becomes an idol. It becomes an all consuming sun that blinds us from reality and obscures us from the people and activities around us that really matter. We have no internal alarm system that tells us to slow down or stop. We fly too close to the sun and, like Icarus in the famous fable, our wings are burnt and we plummet to our doom. We are destroyed by that which we loved. Our act of love towards the idol becomes an act of hatred towards ourselves.

The people that used to matter no longer seem to matter. We binged. Our wings singed. And we fell. To our hell. Our idols made us idle. To the truth. We become disoriented and end up lost and confused. To binge is to run in an ever decreasing circle. A maddening maze from which there is no escape. It is as infuriating as it is illogical. When you binge it is like running a race wearing blinkers. You are oblivious to your external environment and can focus on nothing but the object of your desires. The object of your destruction.

I’m not quite sure how the original positive meaning of the word ‘binge’ was contorted into the largely negative associations it has now. Why can’t we binge on the good stuff? Family, friends, exercise, art, literature? Why can’t we binge on loyalty, love and life? I guess we can and do except we use different words to describe those actions and emotions. The difference as I see it is a loss of control. When we binge we lose control. And loss of control will invariably end in heartache and despair.

It’s time to take control again and bin our binging proclivities. I still am vulnerable to binging tendencies but the good days now far outweigh the bad. If you are currently in a binging cycle I want you to know that it can be broken and you can emerge on the other side. You might not be unscathed but you will be alive. Freedom is a possibility. I can’t wave a magic wand and make it all disappear but I can offer hope. There is always hope. Cling to it. You are better than the binge.

Do you binge? Or have you in the past? Our community would love to hear your stories. We are non judgmental and supportive. Please comment below if you would like to get involved.

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38 thoughts on “Binge

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  1. Oh, I am most definitely a binger. I have binge eating disorder, I am an alcoholic, in recovery …. if it can be overdone, I’ve overdone it. I, like you, have always had my foot full throttle. Although things have seemed to ease up, I have learned the hard way about binging. But there is hope. I have every bit of hope that in time all of my habits will subside and diminish. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this post. I don’t think I do binge much. Guess I am an outsider. My wife and I binge on a TV show called “Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman” though. We will sit and watch it all day when we are home together. If I binge on anything it’s my writing. I never seem to stop, and can;t keep up! Always something on the horizon it seems.

    Be blessed

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  3. Great post. I guess in order to be a ‘binger’ there has to be unequivocally a void in the soul. And binging is the urgency in needing it filled quickly and this is why just a little of the drug of choice is never enough. That hole in the soul is vacuous and no amount of food will fill it or alcohol will drown it. Fixes are just that, a temporary solution to deeper issues.

    My own journey of binging and excess from a black and white personality, is that the hole is a spiritual one. In turning inward and obeying the urgency of the void, I become self-sabotaging, self-destructive and this carnage spreads out and hits everyone in my vicinity. It’s a helluva show.

    These days, I fill it with recovery and higher power stuff. My black and white thinking isn’t eased but I’d rather be full throttle on the principles of love, forgiveness and trying to be a better person instead of letting my addictions run the show. It’s that absolute on/off thinking that can be used in recovery 100% like I used to apply to my addictions. The void seems to be very quiet these days. And in the moments I become aware of it growing and demanding attention, I listen to it but offer it empathy because it needs true sustenance like the Divine, friends, meetings, honesty and understanding which is met by likeminded people who know this void too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The original definition is interesting. But if it’s definition hadn’t morphed into what it is today, I’m sure some other word’s definition would have, because almost everybody does one thing to another in excess. For me, I’ve binge-watched TV shoes, but even worse I often binge on food, particularly candy and other sweets. And…yesterday was the first day I went without! 😊

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  5. I used to suffer mightily with food binges, mostly with sugary foods (ice cream or chocolate were my gateway “drugs”). It was a kind of “storm” in which there was both loss of control and shame. It was an attempt to escape present reality and an attempt not to feel my loneliness or pain. Learning to feel my feelings and stay with my present reality, whatever it is, knowing that it won’t last forever, has been a key to defeating that habit. Having great compassion for myself and the feelings I was avoiding was helpful.

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  6. Food food food. If it’s sweet and in the house, I’ll eat it. It’s so hard not to, I’m trying to save my willpower to limit myself when outside the home.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *Snaps*
    Etymology is always full of intriguing insights.
    The substance with which I have a binging behavior pattern that makes me uncomfortable is Marijuana.
    I feel like that’s taboo to say in stoner culture—that smoking every day as often as one would like is too much, but I notice that I feel really good whenever I manage to take a break.
    Lately, I’ve had my head clear more often then not, but in times of great stress, I often feel a craving to smoke.
    I don’t want to give up smoking pot altogether, but I’m in a place right now where I’m not going to buy any for a while.

    Apollo’s light to all of you who seek healing and balance in your endeavors

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  8. Humans binge on negativity. We easily settle into negative idols, which become the “norm”, if ever we step out of the box and actually revert to positivity life offers, then will it be considered the new “norm”. All things which makes us worthy, violate the norms of Other addictions. Forbid if one stop drinking alcohol, unhealthy food, social media, would they ask “Is there something wrong with you?”

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  9. I binge embarrassingly on biscuits at night. Its part of my ED. I starve myself during the day. I will have nothing from breakfast until i have my pitifully small dinner in the evening. At night is when i reward myself for making it through the day…….just. I am weak and tired, my body aches from the exercises that i do morning and evening. I pray every day that i can just make a positive step forward in my recovery but at this moment i feel like i am going backwards………………..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I use to binge on things to make myself feel better: alcohol, sleeping, food, “relaxation.” I realized I did this because I lacked coping mechanisms. I think that following a routine can really help someone slow down and stay away from the ‘binge zone.’

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  11. I’m guilty on shows. I’ve through seasons in a day, and spending all that time doing one that, which isn’t productive really isn’t good. I’m worked at trying to break up something I want to watch as a treat. I still fall through, but not as bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, since you follow my blog, you know I used to binge on crystal meth.

    Interesting post – I’ve never really thought much about whether binging itself is the problem, as you loosely imply here. In my case, it was just the way I used my drug.

    I’m also obsessive. And while we tend to see “binge” as negative, throwing ourselves with abandon into that which we love is often referred to as being “passionate”. So I don’t think the binging is the problem. Not the behaviour; it’s the object of our pursuits which can be problematic.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Guilty as charged on binging(correct spelling?? lol it looks weird) on Netflix. I can sit there for hours at a time watching shows. (Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy….) Normally, as I’m watching the show, I’m also on my computer doing things (probably binging on social media) God’s slowly been working on me to start spending my time more wisely.
    Love this post. Thanks for sharing it with us! 🙂

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  14. Excellent post. You wrote ,”With me it is a million miles per hour or not at all. I have binged on food, alcohol, social media and people.” You and I are kindred souls 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  15. As a teenager, I would binge drink. As an adult, food and Netflix. I think a good Netflix binge is a good thing. Perfect way to relax, unwind and spend time with my children or by myself.

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