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My Recovery from Nighttime Bingeing

Pretty much every night, for 46 years, I woke up in a semihypnotic state and ravaged for food…

After The Flood illustration

After the Flood by Lucy Campbell

Sometimes I ate foods that were frozen while standing in the kitchen. Other times I ate foods that were raw that shouldn’t be eaten raw. I ate in my bed while in a sleeping position. I ate on the couch, soiling the cushions and pillows. Plates, forks, and napkins were not part of these meals, and crumbs would be left all over the house. My father once caught me eating a box of Ritz crackers and a whole salami. The next day he commented that I appeared like a wounded animal. I felt that way inside.My home life as a kid was often toxic, unpredictable, and frightening. My entire immediate family had an obsession with how much a person weighed. People who were overweight were viewed as a subhuman. The unspoken message was that maintaining a low weight was the most important aspect of being human, and I, of course, was overweight. The resultant anxiety I felt was temporarily soothed by these private orgies of food, so all my plans not to eat dissolved each night in a half-conscious frenzy of consumption.I tried various ways to manage what I thought of as my own troubling idiosyncratic behavior: I read self-h …

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