Coming into recovery in mid-September, I knew that Christmas was just around the corner. Thanksgiving? Psh, skipped that shit. It’s easy to skip, right? One meal, smack in the middle of the semester. Family dinners are easily diverted by “I was piled with a fuck ton of midterms for next week! Just my luck, eh!?”. People leave you alone. But Christmas. Oh sweet Jesus tap dancing Christ this one has been hard to avoid. You’re off school, if you don’t have a part-time job over the holidays, or if you aren’t out of the house every waking minute it’s a little difficult to avoid family, holiday parties, the hustle and bustle… It’s nightmarish. Either way, I am not in the position yet to handle this holiday season, and because of that I am royally pissed and very disappointed with myself. I mean, today is the 22nd of December. I have done my shopping, gift wrapping, decorating…All of the things I usually do before the holidays, but something is missing…
The normality. Baking, wine with Mama, holiday meals with my extended family, my favorite holiday treats. I know, I know, “Heather, it probably wouldn’t hurt you to pig out a little over the holidays, you do need to gain weight, you know.”
Yeah. I know. But I’m just not ready to risk indulging on appetite stimulants that can help trigger bulimia. One ED is enough, so I’m going to follow the rules. The only problem with the rules is that they make me feel very different. I’m not quite ready for crowds. Holiday parties and places where there is going to be a lot of food choice is just out of the question. It’s far easier to stick to my own plan, follow it, and know that this is a better route to take, as I’m more likely to stay on track with my recovery and not fall off the back of the turnip truck (more than I already have, hat is… It’s been a tough week). The only real problem is that it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me, and that I am really not getting a break here. School is put on hold, yes, but waking up and having to fight tooth and nail every day is tiring, so it’s been a bit of a process.
But, I know I’m not the only one dealing with this fuck-wad, Eddie… Darling Edward. Gag me. We can get through this, ladies and gents, mark my words. If it means strangling ED with Christmas tree lights, gagging him with a stocking and decorating him with glitter and candy canes and Christmas bells until he resembles some sort of fucked-up Charlie Brown Christmas tree, so be it. Kind of sounds like fun, anyway…
So I’ve been reading a lot of posts about how to get through the holiday season (usually from a ‘within/just starting recovery’ point of view). Some of the tips are pretty good, some I personally am not quite ready for (like dining in front of a group of 20 relatives), but hey, all in good time. A few of the ones I liked are as follows:
- · Through the Looking Glass http://lookingglassbc.tumblr.com/post/38183394943/surviving-life-in-recovery-christmas
- · Eating Disorder HOPE http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/recovery/self-help-tools-skills-tips/holiday-coping
- · Fair Oaks – Local Voices http://fairoaks-carmichael.patch.com/blog_posts/tis-the-season-surviving-the-holidays-with-an-eating-disorder
- · Eating Disorders Online http://www.eatingdisordersonline.com/lifestyle/ednos/surviving-the-holidays-with-an-eating-disorder-3-helpful-tips
I think personally, I’m going to just be living by the “let’s see how I feel today” mantra before getting too over zealous and making a metric fuck ton of plans I may end up bailing on because of last minute chickening out, or something of the like. A few things that are helping me get by this season include the following:
- · Coffee Dates
- · Crafts
- · Watching lots of movies
- · Reading lots of books
- · Hanging out with my brother (who has been an amazing support these last few weeks)
- · Trying to find ‘joy’ in the little things like making Christmas cards or holiday centerpieces
- · Spending time with people I love who love me back, Anorexia or no.
- · Avoiding negative people and comments surrounding ED
- · Vegan Egg Nog
It isn’t foolproof, but it’s working. What do you think? Any other ideas? The holidays can be a tough time for many reasons. Everyone has their own story, but I like to think we all share the common goal of surviving, making it through one more day.
Enjoy the Season, Happy Holidays.