themighty logo

To the Person Trying to Cope With a Mental Illness During the Holidays


I’m so sorry.

I know it’s exhausting to continuously have people tell you that you haven’t eaten enough or ask why your plate isn’t more full. I know eating disorders don’t take a break for the holidays.

I know it’s painful to go back home to family when “family” may be the last word you’d use to describe them. I’m sorry people don’t understand your struggle with past abuse.

I know it’s a struggle to show up, smile and keep a conversation going when your depression makes you not even want to get out of bed in the morning.

I know that sitting at the dinner table, halfway through a bite when the panic hits all at once, is not easy. To try and hide the shaking from everyone else is nearly impossible.

Just because it’s “the most wonderful time of the year,”  doesn’t mean that our problems dissipate. They are still there, and they tend to be more magnified. So do what you need to do.

Get out of the house if you need to. Take a walk. Go for a drive. If you can’t leave the house, hide out in an empty room, a closet or a bathroom until you can face everyone.

I know it sucks. But you can do this. Look at all the years you’ve survived. You’re doing amazing.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Purestock