To Those Struggling With an Eating Disorder During the Holiday Season

I know it feels like the blackness that is taking over is going to win. I know the cold has penetrated your bones and soul, and the numbness has made all the color in your life fade to grey. You’re feeling alone and scared. The decorations and holiday party invites are the last thing on your mind.

You’re making excuses left and right to avoid any and every interaction with food. You’re making excuses left and right to avoid interactions with people at all really. You began your hibernation long before the season hit because this season of your life is too damn dark and cold already.

You look in the mirror in the morning, and the reflection staring back at you is someone you can’t recognize. Glazed over eyes and dead skin, flat expression until you paste a fake smile on for those around you. Hair that won’t cooperate and a body you despise being in. You start to wonder how you got here.

Walking the streets bundled up in thousands of layers, you can’t hide from the twinkle of lights from decorations and the flash of cameras from happy groups around you. Malls are filled with children and families in their holiday best waiting to see Santa. You feel like an unwelcome guest in the holiday cheer. Your apartment is yet to be decorated.

This year has left you defeated, lost. You’ve tried your best to fight, but you’re fading fast. All you want is to be normal again.

I know. I’ve been there.

There is no magic fix. There is no secret for me to give you, though I desperately wish I had one. I spent many holiday seasons begging for my situation to be different, blaming myself for the mess I had gotten myself into. This isn’t a mess you caused. Your eating disorder is not your fault. It is a disorder you have, but that doesn’t mean you are your disorder.

All I can say, is please, don’t give up. Please, don’t give up or give in, even though it feels like the easy thing to do. I know you are weak and exhausted, but just try your best to keep fighting. You are a fighter, a survivor and a warrior. It will always be a hard fight, but you can do this. It may be a long journey, but that doesn’t mean it will last forever.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.

Know that you are never alone. There are so many struggling along on a similar journey to recovery. Take a deep breath. Release. Reset. Keep fighting.

 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.

Image via Thinkstock.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Eating Disorders

girl in wheelchair taking presents out of a christmas stocking

What It Was Like Spending the Holidays in a Treatment Center

I was admitted to Center for Change (CFC), a treatment center for eating disorders in Utah, on December 21, 2015 — yes, four days before Christmas. I knew what I was giving up, a holiday most cherished by many, but the staff at CFC were not comfortable with me postponing may admission date any further. [...]
woman watching the birds on a cold winter day

When an Eating Disorder Takes Someone You Knew

Cancer, prayer requests, pediatric cancer, GoFundMe pages, accidents, untimely death. Facebook is often filled with such heartache. I’ve almost become immune to seeing tragedy between the political rants and the latest Rodan + Fields product. What I will never adjust to seeing is another life lost to an eating disorder, a treatable illness that does [...]
Baked potatoes, strawberry cake, homemade lemonade, vegetable salad, nuts and tableware prepared for dinner

5 Tips for Surviving Christmas With an Eating Disorder

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year (mostly). I do love Christmas. I love spending time with my nearest and dearest, shopping for and exchanging gifts, getting to relax, decorating the house and listening to Christmas music. Then, there’s the subject of food, one of the things Christmas is centered around: indulgence. Christmas dinners [...]
stressed young woman sitting in bathtub

Why I Hated My Nutritionist's Self-Care Question While in ED Recovery

Recovery has been hard. Really hard. And it’s not the type of thing I feel like I can talk about all the time. I have a supportive husband and friends/family, but at some point I’m tired of saying, “eating stuff, or my weight, or eating disorder stuff” when someone asks me what’s going on in my [...]