Christmas normally means a lot of things to a lot of people whether it’s based around celebration, religion, spending time with family or those family traditions but to me it’s a time of fear, stress, being triggered by the slightest of things and the yearly tradition of crying during dinner and the family fallout after it as a result.
In my household we seem to surround ourselves with food at christmas; the advent calendar treats, attempting to sneak chocolates off the tree without anyone noticing (by putting the foil back on) and tucking into those Cadbury selection boxes that a family friend always seems brings round (and adds to the pole of chocolate).
Then it’s christmas day itself: the morning treats, tucking into snacks of sweets from our stocking then it’s the meal itself (the pigs in blankets, the massive helpings of vegetables and other items ect piled high on our plates) and then the rest of the day of drinking wine, munching away on what ever is left from the morning and dinner before sinking into that drunken or overfed slumber in the evening.
But this to me is hell, it torments me and haunts my every waking thought throughout December.
As it gets closer and closer the voice of ana gets stronger and stronger till like I said earlier it starts to haunt my every moment, dreaming of what I used to eat during this time, what I miss, what will happen if I do go and eat these things that I used to enjoy so much and the shame/guilt of loosing that control.
Ana goes into full blown overdrive during this time, it gains even more control that it craves so much. Every trip to the shops is opportunity for with shelf after shelf of treats (chocolate, biscuits and cakes) for her to tell me no, I can’t have this or that for fear of losing that control or that it would course me to gain.
The insightful me doesn’t want this battle with myself all the time. I don’t want to be full of anxiety when that box of celebrations comes round while we’re all watching that bad, overplayed Christmas film on the TV and let people wonder why I don’t take any, I don’t want to try and make excuses to avoid dinner, I don’t want to struggle with trying to eat small mouthfuls of veg only to feel guilty, ashamed and like I’ve gained a million pounds as a result.
Some family members and friends say that it’s only a day, a day where I can try and be free from anorexia and enjoy the things I used to eat (and creave so much), act without fear around meal or snacks but it’s not as easy as just flicking a switch to turn the voice off, the feeling off or the fear off.
It’s the panic about going away from safe foods, my routine and scared of the voice of ana, second guessing everything, leading me to the wrong conclusion and taking well meaning comments the wrong way.
I guess with time and progress with my recovery, I can try and enjoy this time of year and everything that I used to but for this year, that won’t happen.