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.