Food addiction; One woman’s story


I am a 35 year old mother of two, who suffers with food addiction.  I was first diagnosed with anorexia when I was 15 years old.

Food was my first drug of choice. Living a life with food addiction is very exhausting and painful.  I have been clean and sober from drink and drugs for a number of months, but battle with food on a daily basis.  I suffer from bulimia and find it very hard to look at myself in the mirror without feeling pain at what I look like and how fat and ugly I am – I see a huge, ugly person staring back at me.  People tell me this is not true, but it doesn’t matter what people say  – I feel constantly bad about myself. I use food to self harm. It is the only control I have over life.  When I think sensibly I know this is a problem I suffer from in my head and my thinking is not right.

I feel like food is the last thing I can control. Nobody can watch or control what I eat apart from me.

Food absolutely controls and dictates my life. I don’t eat family meals with my children and do not go out socialising when it’s around food. I either starve myself or binge eat which results in me making myself sick.  I feel very guilty and ashamed. If I have chocolate or sweet stuff in my house I sneak around in the middle of the night and eat it in secret, not being able to leave any of it alone I feel like food is the last thing I can control. Nobody can watch or control what I eat apart from me.

I stand on the scales every day. If I’ve put on any weight, it makes me miserable.  If I’ve lost weight I will see it as a competition and want to double the loss the next day. I’ve also taken laxatives which have come through the post, and attempted suicide by trying to starve myself. It is hard to have any balance around food or my diet.

I’ve tried every diet possible and think that if I was “skinny” everything would be ok and I would have the body to die for. In reality it’s more like dying to get the body I want.  I know that if I was any thinner than I was I would be taken into hospital and I would still feel empty on the inside.  I’m constantly trying to fill a void with food.

Since being treated at The Haynes Clinic, I’ve learnt to be honest and open around food and to ask for help.  They’ve been really supportive and life is now more bearable. I have found some acceptance and balance around food and am growing stronger by the day.  The counselling here has been very supportive and they have helped me combat all my addiction problems one day at a time. I write a daily food diary and stay away from the scales and I now feel a lot happier being me. But not only that – my change in my behaviours around food have helped my family, too. There really is hope – even someone with multiple addictions like me can get well and lead a happy life.