I Keep Eating Even My Body’s in Pain
Tony Brown knows about pain – he has undergone three lots of surgery for a broken foot and is only just beginning to walk again nine months later. But at 55 the pain of binge eating through depression has taken far more of a toll on his mind and body.
As a younger man he hovered around 14 stones. But binge eating and inactivity from his injury have seen Tony’s weight reach 26 stones.
The father of two declines a photo shoot for this feature - the body he has now isn’t him, he explains. He can’t bear to look in a mirror and hates going out in case he catches a glimpse of himself in a shop window.
Yet the binge eating that threatens his mind and body provides a perverse comfort when he’s at his lowest.
“I’m ashamed to say I keep on eating even if my body’s in pain. I know all the rules, calorific content, eat less exercise more… but when things are bad food can be the only thing that makes me feel normal again.”
Two suicide attempts have left him drained. “I had a family, a good income, holidays, but when you fall into that ‘black hole ’the pain is worse than any physical pain I’ve ever known. You think everyone will be better off without you.”
Referral to the Eating Disorder service has seen Tony undergo therapy that he feels is giving him back some control and motivation. “The therapy is targeting the depression. I’m not cured but I’m more in control of my eating patterns.
“It’s good having someone to talk to. It’s hard to discuss it with family and friends. With a physical problem people can see signs so they rally. But the stigma of mental health means that even when you’re at your most vulnerable and desperately need someone you trust to confide in you still hide the signs. It grieves me that stigma still exists. As compassionate human beings, we should be kicking it into touch, seeing mental health differently.”
Find out more on our website about Eating Disorders.