Eating Disorder Rituals at Christmas
- Category: Holidays and Special Occasions
Christmas is coming up soon. Even during an economic recession Christmas often means gifts, sparkle, razzle dazzle, parties, shopping and lots of holiday food. The gifts may be smaller or more few this year. Shopping may be more frugal for many people. Holiday food is likely to be holiday food. Perhaps people will bake more this year than hit the bakeries. Maybe we'll see a return to home made fudge and peppermints. Home made candy apples and strings of popcorn decorating the trees may make a come back as well. But any way you look at it, despite the cash reduction in countless households, people will do their best to create Christmas based on their traditions.
So what about you? Do you have an eating disorder tradition? In a full blown eating disorder, what are or were your eating disorder Christmas rituals?
Here's some examples that may seem familiar.
Bake cookies, cakes and pies for presents. Be immersed in your project and bake enough for you to binge on privately. You bake and eat, stir and eat, decorate and eat. It's tricky if you need to throw up because you have to watch your timing. You don't want anything to burn while you are in the bathroom.
Here's another. Wear clothes with deep pockets. At home gatherings, office parties or restaurants you can reach into the bowls of holiday candies, grab a handful (or several handfuls if you have privacy) and drop them in your pocket.
Then there's that late night in the living room when you are alone, either because you are alone or because everyone else has gone to bed. You lay on the couch eating candy canes from the tree.
Also, you have the challenge of looking like a normal eater at the table when eating the holiday meals with friends and family. But you know that during clean up and later when you have some privacy, you can binge on left overs from the feast, all nicely wrapped in the refrigerator.
You can go "legal" with pleasure when someone else suggests that you raid the icebox together to get into the leftovers again. You join them. The other person is indulging himself or herself. You are binging in plain sight.
Do you have these rituals now? Did you have them in the past? It's not too late to decide that you want to reject eating disorder rituals and honor your authentic values for Christmas.
You don't have to walk into Christmas with blind hope mixed with fear and no plan to take care of yourself. Bucking tradition is difficult. Eating disorder traditions may be an unconscious and powerful aspect of your holiday. Let this be the year that you face these black holes, articulate them, and find a happier way to celebrate.