Stealing from the holidays

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What does the eating disorder steal from your holidays?

  1. Time spent with friends and family
  2. Holiday spirit
  3. The world outside of treatment
  4. Holiday food
  5. Almost a whole season of the year that’s different from any other time

I spent this last week dealing with insurance company issues, treatment plans, meal plans, body-checking, self-loathing, lists of coping skills, CBT worksheets, scheduling issues, etc. I fit some Christmas music and shopping in there somewhere… You know, wherever I could fit it in between the eating disorder stuff.

The eating disorder has no season (although I would consider Christmas break and summer vacation to be “treatment season” since it’s a more convenient time to squeeze in some therapy). Maybe you struggle more in the summer because of summer clothing or in the winter because of depression and school stress… But in general, when you’re struggling with an eating disorder, ’tis always the season.

You are always missing out on things when you are consumed with the ED or depression or addiction, or whatever you struggle with… But there is something about the holidays that feels particularly depressing. The whole world (or so it seems) is celebrating and preparing and doing their holiday stuff, and you are in the same place you were last month… And the month before… And the month before that. It’s as if the month if December as no significance.

I kind of want to curse at mall traffic, and wonder why they still even manufacture awful Christmas sweaters, and put up lights on my house. And I’m not saying is isn’t all possible while being in treatment or in the midst of the disorder… I’m just saying that the spirit isn’t there. You’re still living in the ED world. Maybe you’re functioning in the real world, but all the spirit, love, hope, chaos, hurt, and whatever the holidays bring — it’s being stolen from you.

Not to be depressing or anything…. Just a thought :-)

One thought on “Stealing from the holidays

  1. BL

    I was just thinking about this yesterday as my family and I sat down to our Christmas dinner. For everyone else, it was a meal they had been looking forward too, and they were equally excited for leftovers. For me, it was just another meal to obsess over. I tried hard to let the ED go for the day and just enjoy the food (and some alcohol), but I just couldn’t let it all go, and that really sucked.

    I think that when everyone else is getting excited about food and stuff it really highlights just how much the ED takes away. That can be any time of year (ie summer BBQs are another example), but I do think it is especially pronounced around the holidays. And I know for me, feeling different just makes me more depressed, which fuels the ED, which fuels the depression etc. And that just sucks :-(

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