Christmas time with anorexia

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.

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Ten things not to say to someone with a eating disorder

I could write a long list of all the things you shouldn’t say to someone who suffers from a eating disorder so instead I’m just going to write down the top ones that people have said to me and seem to be a common thing people say to people who have eating disorders.

“You don’t look so bad to me”

“You look so healthy”

“Do you binge?”

“How much do you weigh?”

“What’s your BMI?, mines *insert number here*!”

“How much did you weigh at your lowest?”

“Are you going to eat all of that?”

“You could do with some fat on you”

“I wish I could be anorexic, I could do with loosing some weight!”

And the one I hate so much and has been said to me by so many people (friends, family and even health care professionals)…

“Why don’t you just eat something?!”

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Remind yourself

This is a letter to remind yourself that you are beautiful. Yes it may be true that you struggle with that voice in your head telling you that your not or that your a failure or many other negative things but however remember that voice is not your true voice. You are the voice of confidence, perseverance, determination and of course strength.

Please promise yourself what ever you do, you won’t give up this fight, you never know what’s around that corner.

Promise that you will do everything in your power to fight the good fight.

Why you may ask?

Because you deserve to be happy, healthy and mainly you deserve to be the best person you can be to yourself. You don’t have to prove anything to others.

Yes, your struggles are real and yes there will be more struggles to come but remember that these things will pass.

Remember that all those negative feelings that pierce the very fibers of your body and thoughts and make you want to go back to how you were and want to let that voice win will pass as well.

These feelings and thoughts are temporary, they come and go like the tide of the ocean. You just have to stand there and watch them pass but not let them sweep you away into that darkness again.

Remember that you really want the very best and also recovery for yourself and promise yourself that you won’t stop until you get this. It will be hard, it will be a uphill battle, it will take time and there will be times where you want to give up but it will be worth it in the end.

You are human, you are as complex as the universe itself and remember that you are even more beautiful than the stars in the sky.

You are unique. Don’t give this up.

Promise yourself that you will remember this everyday.

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