Holiday Challenge: Staying in Recovery
- Category: Holidays and Special Occasions
Yes, staying on your eating disorder recovery path during the holidays is a challenge, but it can be done if you clarify your vision and rally your courage to support your heart's desire.
According to the mail I'm getting, holiday worries and tension are caused by:
- being with family for uncomfortable amounts of time
- being around triggering food situations
- being short on cash and long on expectations and yearnings
- taking on tasks to create a holiday that meets with past and present expectations - often unachievable
- being alone
- being crowded
- being needed
- being neglected
- being assumed, i.e. taken for granted you will go along with other people's plans
Do any of these situations apply to you? Which are triggering for you and which are not?
When you are flooded by feelings associated with any of these situations your awareness of what is possible for a genuine happy holiday for yourself and your loved ones is blocked. You are inundated with feelings and narrow vision with few or no solutions. Eating disorder messages and behaviors can look like comforting solutions or escape routes.
What if you put all these concerns in a box and set it aside?
"Hah," you say. "Nice trick if you can do it."
I'm suggesting that you can do it. If you take all the things that are troubling you during the holidays and move them to the side of your mind, what have you got left? In other words, what do the holidays really mean to you?
Breathe. Be still. Empty your mind of chores, packages, shops, cooking, decorating, money, what other people want.
Say, "Yes, I know you are there, but I'm putting you to the side right now."
Allow what you really care about to come forward.
Once you know, then you can alter your priorities and aim for what you do want. Will you take different actions? Will you ask for what you want? Will you say yes and no differently?
What are the old stories of your heritage that touch your heart? How can you bring them into your present experience?
Hint: You won't find the answer to these questions in commercials, store fronts, Internet hype or how much you have in your bank account.
We have 45 guests and no members online
I just can't wait until 28th Dec when I get a family-free day...so I'm kind of looking forward and focussing on that.
I'm also very much trying to focus on the girls, as they are the people who make it all worthwhile, and their faces when they get up and Santa has been is wonderful, as are all the hugs and cuddles and 'I love you's that they lavish on me, and even tolerating family is really for the sake of the girls, if I didn't have the girls, I probably wouldn't be seeing them half as much, just the bare minimum.
This is also going to be our first Christmas since my dad died, which might be a bit emotional, but I will be okay - the thing I'm dreading is my mum not being okay - it's understandable, I know, but I actually don't want to have to comfort her, I resent her coming to me for comfort and support when she has never shown it to me, not even as a child...the only hugs we've ever shared are the ones when she cries all over me about some hardship or other in her life and I feel obliged to offer them....oh well, I guess that prospect touches a bit of a raw nerve...but I'll be okay...28th isn't far off!
My mom has actually been very supportive recently and encouraged me often throughout the day. She hung in there while I criticized and found fault with my appearance today (it flows so naturally from my lips), she ate next to me in a quiet room today, and supported me in a positive way when I asked her if it was ok to eat the food on my plate. I ate some things I don't usually eat today, and my body hurts and cramps. I have jumped on those scales a million times and my life isn't ruined. The good news is that I ate, and I didn't use compensatory measures to deal with this. I feel good despite the physical discomfort. I had a great time with my kids and with my family..no one fought or yelled today. I will check, but I am not panicking over what the scales may say tomorrow. I allowed myself to enjoy the day the best that I could. I think my meds are kicking in, and I think my brain has not starved as much the past week. Maybe I can reason better?? I will take today. It was a gift to me...I know I face the difficulty of tomorrow, but I am going to bed not starving tonight and looking foward to a day off tomorrow to play with my kids. i hope this makes sense. xxxx
My wish is that when you and other women have such an experience your find out not only what the pain isn't but what it is. Sounds like feelings of anxiety or panic that can contribute to what you describe were not discussed. Is that so?
And, re: your doctor's statement, "she could lose a few more pounds, actually." Is that based on physical health considerations or the doctor's sense of aesthetics?
I hope you and any other woman who finds herself in your position, don't go into retreat without thoroughly checking out the details of this experience.
When a clinician says you need to lose weight or could stand to lose a few pounds, please find out the clinical basis for that evaluation. If there is none then the evaluation may be based on the clinician's personal sense of how a woman should look.
You need to know the basis of a clinical judgement and recommendation like the one you describe so you can evaluate what is being said and decide for yourself what is right for you.
Please stay present and aware, even when and especially when what is going on brings up your anxiety and misgivings.