‘Twas the night before Christmas and a little anxiety crept about …

English: Christmas food of Poland, Sanok

The holidays are hard for me though. In addition to the general stress of them and family and trying to be on my best behavior and not argue at all, there’s the food, food, FOOD! It triggers the eating disorder part of me that I’ve also struggled with – failingly – since I managed to stay pretty thin until I went into treatment for bulimia at age 29, but it’s been a downhill battle and increasing weight gain ever since then and my weight is now up about 80 pounds from when I when into treatment! That does a ceaseless number on my self esteem and really makes being around boundless quantities of food distracting. I learned this summer that my bulimia was actually another form of self harm. Unfortunately, my body got to the point that throwing up felt like my chest was being ripped wide open, with no purging results, so I’m left stuck with ingesting food that becomes extra weight.  Sometimes I can kind of forget about my body image … until I see myself in a picture or mirror. And then the self loathing returns. And I want to purge … but I can’t. And I haven’t been self harming (burning or cutting), and know I should keep away from that but would really really really like to – so here I go into the remainder of Christmas Eve and onto Christmas Day with more food, food, food and smiling and not telling. I feel like the size of the Abominable Snowman. I can feel my anxiety bubbling up and ready to seep out or every crevice as if my body was made of porous  building blocks.

I do love my family, every one of them!

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7 thoughts on “‘Twas the night before Christmas and a little anxiety crept about …

  1. i am so glad that you are able to be with family this Christmas. It was so nice to see you, and have the great visit that we had. I miss you dear friend.

    I am very proud of you for getting over the fear and anxiety that you had before the wedding. I’m sure that you would have kicked yourself in the ass had you not gone.

    You have alot going on in your head right now. Just take it day by day, maybe it won’t be so overwhelming that way. You are in my thoughts and prayers always, and I am always her for you.

    • It was great and I miss you too. I’m sure I will be ok when all is said and done, but it’s hard. It is the down side of the holidays. I wish I could just appreciate them for the blessing of time with family, but the shadow lingers still. Perhaps someday it will not.

  2. I hope you are having a good day. The focus on food is ridiculous at this time of year and my day was unsuccessful as a result. But, tomorrow (now) it’s all over for another year and I can forget about the half pan of potato gratin/bake or the chocolate or the fruit mince tarts or or or…all those things that make Christmas “impossible”. And despite my alternate coping techniques, sometimes they’re not enough. The point being, be kind to yourself no matter what happens. It’s just another day and you still deserve to enjoy yourself. Even if things don’t go right or according to plan, it’s ok and you’re ok. Have a merry Christmas! xo.

  3. It sounds like you’ve been ‘navigating’ the holiday pretty well…..not purging or burning/cutting. That seems like a huge success. It’s good to hear that even though there was stress and distraction of abundant food, that you were feeling love for your family.

    Thanks for sharing more about how it really is for you.

    • It’s the double edged sword … I love being around family, and Christmas is a special time for that – but there’s always SO much food, everyone’s favorites, all the time, and little structure around the eating, and buffets. and and and … and I can’t let anyone know how much I start obsessing about what I’m eating, how much – because they then just say “well it’s the holidays and everyone does …” but that’s not what it’s about for me. It’s about it being there, being around people, trying to not look so fat because of all the weight I’ve gained over the years, being depressed yet hiding it behind a smile …being afraid that the present you gave wasn’t enough, not feeling equal even though you’ve been a part of the family for 30 years and you know you are equal …
      Well, I know you understand where I’m coming from. Thank God I started this post so that I can ramble away on it. Thank God for wonderful people like you who read it, understand various aspects of me, and share your thoughts, encouragement and comments with me. I hope you had a merry Christmas. Mine was good, despite all the anxiety. And no purging or self harming!

      • Yeah, a lot of that sounds familiar. Smart of you to have a blog where you can talk about the stuff that you can’t say at the family gathering. Those are a lot of feelings to endure with no outlet or empathy from others at the gathering. (?). But it does sound like there is a lot of mutual love in the family – so good!

        At our family gatherings (my husband’s family), I always have my inner private anxiety thing….which I try to keep hidden with a smile. I try to keep my focus on the things I like about the people. They are kind and nonjudgemental. But I feel flooded a lot with self criticism, and stress…..about the food, the gifts, the questions, my usual social awkwardness, the pretending etc….It’s very tiring.

        Any way, before I started blogging I had no one to talk to about this stuff. My husband is very kind and knows about my struggles but he doesn’t have problems about foods and social anxieties, so I keep the details to myself. With blogging I write about it and hear other people like you share what it’s really like and that has been SO HELPFUL….

        Please ramble as much as you want, I will listen. Thanks again for sharing yourself, your real self.

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