Christmas with an eating disorder: Get a buddy
This is the first of a five-part series in dealing with an eating disorder over the Christmas period. Throughout this post, we refer to an eating disorder as ED. In the first part of the series, we talk through the benefits of getting a buddy for Christmas when dealing with ED.
Talking about ED is one of the most powerful and important things you can do.
ED will shame you into silence. It will tell you that your problems are insignificant, that everyone thinks that you’re disgusting/fussy/stupid, and you’re too fat to have an eating disorder anyway, so you can forget about reaching out right now.
If you know you are going to struggle come Christmas dinner, tell someone. Ideally someone who will be there. If not, someone who you can contact easily.
It can be difficult to decide who to tell, I know.
You are afraid that people will think you are weird/stupid/mad.
Yes, I often received looks of bewilderment from my family. Yes, at times they struggled to support me. But what I see now is they supported me anyway. And the looks of incomprehension were simply questioning how and why I could ever be so cruel to myself.
So, in preparation for the Christmas period, find one sympathetic friend or relative. Someone who will listen even if they can’t understand.
Allow them to support you in this food-based time. Call them if you are tempted to binge or over exercise. Talk about your potential triggers and how you can protect yourself from them. Hold their hand under the table.
What ED doesn’t tell you is that people are too busy loving you to care about your “weirdness.” And the more open you are, the more support they can give and the easier this will be.
Written by Victoria Hodder.