HOLIDAYS AND EATING DISORDERS: JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GO BACK IN THE WATER….
So a lot of you have made it through phase one of the Holiday Season. For a lot of you it meant having a great time with friends and family. You are all probably returning back to your books, your boss, and your babies. There are a few of you though who will probably be heading straight to your closest therapist or psychiatrist. You’ll be banging on their doors begging them to up your Prozac and handcuffing yourselves to their couches until you calm down.
Yes..the Holiday’s are here and those shrieks you hear are not the sound of somebody finding a great bargain on Black Friday, it’s the sound of somebody screaming into needle pointed pillow at Mom’s house after she made a comment about a new size in jeans, or Dad tried to tell you how much stuffing to eat.
Everybody stresses this time of year, but they are most likely losing sleep over how to pull that bag out of the 20 pound turkey they have defrosting in their fridge. Maybe it’s over having to battle an airport full of fellow human bodies who for some reason around this time of year turn into frequent flyer Freakazoids.
It could be anything from having to spend a weekend sharing a room with a Great Aunt who smells like kitty litter to having to listen to a father tell the whole table about the time you got your first period at summer camp.
Holidays and Eating Disorders Treatment
For somebody who is in recovery from Eating Disorders, going home for the Holiday’s makes all of the above look like a bowl of ”small mashed potatoes”, as simple as “pumpkin pie”, or a “piece of Grandmas chocolate cake” (no put intended, no pun intended, no pun intended.)
First of all, eating is a huge part of the Holiday’s, so attach a word like “disorder” on the back of that, and it doesn’t exactly give off the message happy happy joy joy.
Instead, everybody just starts collecting eggshells to put in the middle of the room. Forget walking on them, you might as well just jump on in and start doing a jig.
I think the hardest thing I hear and that I myself went through is how people will react when you have gotten out of treatment. For the most part if you have done treatment with some success it means you probably have changed physically, and emotionally.
This is a crucial time for somebody in recovery. It’s a time where just the slightest word, look, or comment can throw somebody back in to their Eating Disorder.
The Holidays can turn into Armageddon faster than you can say Dasher, Prancer, or Blitzen.
I’m speaking from experience when I say a lot of family and friends don’t really know how to react. They are scared you aren’t gonna eat, throw it under the table, or worst yet..throw it all up.
If you come from a family who’s used to you overeating, they might not be used to you not taking seconds and thirds and fourths and start giving you a hard time, making you feel guilty that you aren’t the person you used to be before your new normal-sized “meal plan”.
It’s also hard because you feel this thickness in the air every time you are near the vicinity of anything edible. It’s like things go completely silent and everybody just glances around until somebody finally says “so how bout those Giants this Year”, in which everybody freezes again for fear you might have thought that was a comment about you and not a team full of football players.
I once had a friend hide all her candy canes on her tree, and the dried cranberries from her flower arrangement because she thought it would bother me. She had prepped everybody before they came to not mention anything that had to do with dieting. I guess somebody didn’t get the memo, and the minute he mentioned the two words “Weight” and “Watchers” she nearly stabbed him with a fork.
So can you survive without jumping off a bridge or shoving everybody in your immediate family off of one?
Next time I’m gonna let you in on some of my little secrets for outsmarting everybody. It’s my Survival guide to getting through the Holiday’s or any major occasion where you might have to run into your parents, uncles, or ex-boyfriends from the 8th grade. Stay Tuned!
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS-WHEN TURKEY’S ATTACK
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