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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys

I know this sounds totally selfish and horrible but I just can't stand christmas and having anorexia

Does anyone else just hate it? There are so many invitations to eat out and drink out and I just can't face being sociable and the whole ridiculous anxiety that i get from having to eat or drink out.

I'm in recovery and probably severely depressed. I can't sleep.

But I can't see friends - I just can't face it.

How is it best to cope with Christmas
 

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I am sorry that you're having a hard time coping with the holiday seasons. You're not being greedy or selfish - just honest. It's okay to go through these feelings. I'm sure it can be rough, especially for someone in recovery. Feel free to come here for support and the website the others posted. There are a lot of people here, including myself, who can talk to you when you need help.


Have you considered meeting with a counselor, doctor, or nutritionist? They may be able to help you even more than we can.

Good luck and please keep in touch. There are many people who care about you!
 

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I tend to struggle more during the holiday season too. I am still recoving, but during the holiday's I tend to slip. I am talking to my RD about it, but he doesn't have much advise. He just says keep trying. It's the social part of it that scares me too... Can't wait until January!!!
 

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A quick search on anorexia recovery and the holidays led me to this. I do not have any experience with EDs nor do I know anyone who struggles with one, so I apologize if it's not appropriate.

"Recovery and the Holidays

The holiday season for many in recovery from an eating disorder can be a difficult time. During the holidays food often becomes a central focus in our lives. During this time of year, family activities, social functions, and even work-related activities often are centered on food. Along with the focus on food, additional pressures can include:

Internal imposed pressures of wanting to look good and fit into the holiday outfit for family functions, pictures and social events.

Stress from interacting with family members. Oftentimes, communication can be dysfunctional or even non-existent within eating disordered families.

Feelings of loneliness. The holidays can bring about feelings of being isolated and apart from others.

Comments for family and friends about physical appearance such as " you look so thin" or "I've heard of this incredible diet."

Eating with and in front of others during family meals and social gatherings.

The over abundance of possible binge foods at family gatherings, social functions, and the workplace.

The perceived pressures from another year gone by.

It is no wonder with the cumulative effect of all of the above pressures that the holiday season is one of the periods of times with the greatest rates of dysfunctional eating. With the appropriate planning ahead of time, you can help alleviate the stress associated with this time of year.

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Holiday memories can be some of our most cherished and at the same time painful remembrances. Memories of running down the stairs bright-eyed, ready to divvy up the loot with our family or the special feeling of receiving a unique gift from a close relative will always be cherished. For others the traditionalism of the holiday practices and decorations are special. Unfortunately, included with these positive memories may also be painful ones of feeling alone, secret bingeing, or being embarrassed about our bodies.

Each of us attempts to deal with our past in different ways. Some struggle with trying to structure the holiday season in an attempt to recapture lost fond memories. Others attempt to have the present holiday makeup for past seasons that may have been missed due to painful family situations. Trying to make the present recapture or makeup for the past can set the present holiday up for failure. These situations hold the present holiday a prisoner of our past. There never seems to be enough happiness, presents or lights to fill up the emptiness felt inside. Unfortunately, this leaves the eating disordered behavior to try and fill the void of the unfulfilled expectations.

Armed with this knowledge, instead of living in the past, you can live in the present and make new cherished memories. By becoming willing to understand our internal expectations for the season and by letting go of our hold of the holidays, we can become free to appreciate and enjoy the present occurring situations. An exercise that can be useful in preparing your expectations for the holidays is as follows:

1. Draw five columns on a blank piece of paper.

2. Under the first column write down your first memory of the holiday.

3. Under the second column write down one or two of your fondest memories from the holiday.

4. Under the third column write down instances when you were practicing your disorder during the holidays.

5. Under the forth column list the ways you have spent the holidays in recovery.

6. Under the final column write down your future goals for the holidays.

7. For the final part of the exercise compare the columns and notice if there are any themes that run through your memories and goals.

Isolation

Sometimes in trying to survive the pressures of the holiday season, individuals attempt to deny their importance. They tell themselves this is just another day of the week and they try to convince themselves that they are not going to get caught up in all the seasonal frenzy. This ploy usually does not work, as no matter how hard the person tries, the holidays never present themselves as just another day. Isolation does not work and usually just makes the person feel lonely during this time of year. In actuality, the best medicine for the holiday blues is to reach out to other individuals. Risking and sharing is a powerful tool. The other person may not be able to fix the feelings but the process of reaching out and sharing with another can diminish the power of the negative feelings. It is important to surround yourself with individuals who can empathize with you and understand what you may be going through.

Family

The holiday season is traditionally a time for family gatherings. During the celebrations the social more is for everyone to be happy and to enjoy each other's company. For some attending family functions will be an enlightening experience, heightening the enjoyment of the season. For others, interacting with family members can cause significant stress. Oftentimes, communication between family members is dysfunctional or non-existent. Many individuals may have family members who may be in the mist of a disorder and getting together with these individuals may not be the correct decision. For eating disordered individuals, comfort in the past may have been sought through restricting or bingeing. To help avert a potentially dangerous situation it is important to plan ahead. Before attending a family function you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

What are my expectations for this family gathering?

What might my family expect of me?

What are some realistic expectations for the family function?

What part of the family gathering am I most looking forward to?

What part of the family gathering am I most concerned about?

How much involvement am I willing to have with the family event?

What steps can I take to take care of myself during the family gathering?

Writing down answers to these questions and sharing them with someone else can help clarify expectations and feelings about an impending family gathering. It can also help diminish any negative power the situation may hold. Some individuals have even been able to share these feelings with their families prior to the function. Many individuals make the decision to eat their meal prior to the family gathering and then abstain during the function. If this is your choice, be prepared for others to ask you about not eating. If difficulty arises at a family function, there are always options. One option is to excuse yourself and telephone someone you trust to talk about what is going on. Also there is nothing wrong with telling the truth about feelings. This might seem scary but holding in feelings in the past may have lead to eating disordered behavior. If none of this works, there is always the option of leaving. You have the right to take care of yourself even if it does not meet your family's wishes.

New Year's Resolutions

For many making New Year's resolutions is a non-productive process. You may want to look how many times you have made promises in your past to no longer restrict, binge, purge, abuse laxatives, etc. Often, these resolutions fail and send the individual on a downward spiral of practicing their disorder. Instead of all or nothing resolutions, try this year making commitments to work on certain areas of your life. By participating in New Year's resolutions in this way, you may be more likely to see improvement. "
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hiya

thanks for those replies and the articles which are really helpful, its very comforting to know you're not alone

i am in treatment at the moment, and since starting treatment i have noticed that whilst i am gaining weight and eating more i am even more anxious about food than ever. i constantly plan what i'm eating and worry that i'm eating enough, and whether its the 'right' type of food, and i continue to obsessively calorie count to the exact recommended number of calories my nutritionist says i should have

my social anxieties confuse me. they have nothing to do with eating or 'eating out'. its more of an issue of wanting to hide away and be on my own. i can't be with friends even just thinking about it stresses me out. i just feel so tired. i know its really selfish and i feel guilty about it.

what do you think i should do? force myself out or stay in and be miserable.

i know that sounds totally bleak but that's how i feel. its such an effort to even speak to friends at the moment. i feel like i'm living a lie.
 

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I don't think I understand why you want to isolate yourself. Is it that if you are with your friends they will want to talk about your ED? What is it about being or talking with your friends that stresses you out? Is it an option that part of your treatment include time to yourself to heal? Sorry for all the questions. Please do not respond if you are not comfortable doing so. I would like to offer my support but again, I have no reference with which to base any of my comments and I would not want to offer any inappropriate comments. I wish you well!
 

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I know the feelings of stress over holidays too, I consider myself recovered really from anorexia,though I had a 'spell' of it again this year so really the thought patterns are there still. I also hate going out and basically just avoid it, I do go out occassionally with my husband but can get quite anxious about having to eat and drink more so if we are out with others though.

acfi if you have just started recovery and you are getting treatment I think you may just have to accept that it will take a while to let go of those needs to control every single mouthful that you take. Hopefully you can talk to your counsellor about it and get some proper help. You also sound like you are suffering from anxiety and depression and you may need counselling and or drugs to help with that. good luck. don't do anything you aren't comfortable with - maybe to be sociable you could just invite one or two friends round to yours to maybe watch a dvd or play a game?
 
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