Christmas can be a really joyous time of year, but it can also be a really tough time if you are struggling with an eating disorder.
When i was still very entrenched in my eating disorder, i ate according to a long list of very strict & limiting rules. I would prepare all of my own meals, so that i knew exactly what went into them. I would measure & weigh my food, count calories, & exert any other form of control i could over what went into my mouth. But when Christmas rolled around, it became very difficult for me to follow my eating disorder’s rules.
My eating had become very restrictive, & i was, at that time, only comfortable eating from a very limited & “safe” selection of foods, so when i suddenly found myself surrounded with such a variety of foods, i was left feeling incredibly overwhelmed.
Eating in front of others was also something that i had come to struggle with, so the idea of sitting around a table with my family, made eating these unusual foods an even scarier experience.
I also worried about people’s reactions to my eating behaviour – what would they think if i chose this food? What would they think if i avoided that one? What would they think if i ate this much or that much? What would they think if i tried to stick to my timed meals, rather than the traditional Christmas “grazing”?
The fabulous Kendra over at Voice In Recovery knows too how common these fears & struggles can be during the holiday season, & has come up with some really fabulous suggestions for surviving (& pray – even enjoying!) the festive season, & i really encourage you all to pop on over there & check out her Holiday Recovery Tips.
For those of you whose therapists may be on leave, or who just need a little extra support during the holidays, the lovely ladies from BodyMatters Australasia remind us in their ‘7 Things to do to make it through Christmas‘, that The Butterfly Foundation (1800 334 673) & Lifeline (13 11 14) are available to you throughout the festive season.
BodyMatters is also offering extra holiday counselling through their service (which is also accessible via Skype for those abroad), & encourage you to contact them to make a booking. (Check the website for more details.)
This year, i have much less anxiety around Christmas, & am looking forward to cooking up a delicious vegan nut roast, with a sage & sourdough stuffing, mushroom gravy, & all the trimmings – yum! 🙂
I hope that you are able to find the support you need to make the holidays that little bit easier, & that you too may find some joy in the season. If it all seems too horrible though, just remember, it is but one day & ‘this too shall pass’. Take some time to look after YOU, reach out for support if you need it, & don’t ever lose hope – you WILL get through this, & recovery IS possible.
(Images via: We ♥ it.)