Early morning is a good time for binge-eating. Two or three am: the twilight zone, a hinterland between dream and reality. Bathed in the soft green womb-glow of the fridge, you’re half asleep but alert. Glassy-eyed but purposeful. As you unwrap and swallow, you barely taste the food. A switch flicks and it’s automatic. Rip, eat. Rip, eat. Rip, eat. Rip, eat.
Comfort eating is something most of us have done at some stage. But binge-eating is more than a couple of extra biscuits. It’s a visceral,all-consuming longing. An instinct, blood-red that rakes and tears and slavers and gobbles, shovelling fuel into the furnace, till there’s nothing left to burn.
Rip, eat. Rip, eat.
Of course you don’t feel full – because the hunger was never purely physical. What you’re stuffing isn’t your stomach. It’s the fear and the need and the darkness that hovers round the edges of the day, but swallows you at night.
You’re sedating it
You’re comforting it
You’re hurting it
You’re killing it. Except that, as the daylight dawns and you wake to the wrappers and the guilt and the fear, you realise that maybe,
this isn’t a solution.
Maybe, it’s killing you.
And to overcome it, maybe it’s time to ask for help.
All my life I had a longing
For a drink from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.
Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.
Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.
Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.
Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me.
Clara T. Williams, music by Ralph E. Hudson.