Life’s been stressful lately. When I get stressed, I get anxious. And, as I’ve just casually noticed, when I’m anxious, I break out into full-on pica mode. I’ve consumed cocoa powder and sugar and flour tonight in a relish, ingredients which I’d been saving to make grasshopper brownies. It’s leading to an upset stomach, gas, and more stress of course, since pain amps up my anxiety. It’s a good thing I have a strict “Never go to WebMD” policy or I would be reeling from fears of God-knows-what right now.
I should have known there would be a correlation between pica binges and anxiety, but I never thought it through until now, since this was my first pica binge in a long, long time. Now I am thinking about how I can come down from the bad side effects which are usually associated with a pica binge (upset stomach, nausea, gassiness, difficulty in the bathroom, etc etc) and prevent them in the future during periods of great stress and anxiety.
I’m going to try an experiment with this particular slip in a pica binge: I’m going to drink lots of ice-cold water and tea, so that all the dry goods I ate have some sort of lubricant to them in my belly. I’m going to also fill my belly with butter lettuce, romaine, watermelon chunks, tomato slices, lemon zest, and feta (my favourite salad) a baguette with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and “Mediterranean” style lemon yoghurt (my favourite snacks) in order to mop up the rest of the pica binge, so that it won’t give me stomach or bathroom troubles.
If this works out, this will be my method of amending any binges in the future. I’m also going to try to avoid pica binges the same way I avoided my binge-purge cycle when I was in the throes of my eating disorder, by intellectually stimulating myself in some way, such as listening to a complex and unfamiliar piece of music, or reading a new book. The thing about pica is that it’s a manifestation of both boredom and anxiety, so you need to tackle both from different angles: Something pleasurable to self-soothe, and something interesting to divert your attention and keep you from falling into boredom.
Wish me luck!