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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.

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.
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