A Potentially Problematic Holiday
Thanksgiving can be stressful for everyone, but it can be particularly problematic for those suffering from an eating disorder. Last year around this time, we posted an extensive two-part guide for navigating the holidays while in recovery. This year, we’d like to hit some of the high points of those blogs.
Start Planning Now!
A little planning ahead can make all the difference. If you’re heading home this thanksgiving, start by letting your therapist know. Perhaps they can arrange some kind of phone session with you while you’re gone. Alternatively, they might be able to refer you to someone in your hometown Additionally, let your support group – those folks you’ve bonded with in treatment or at meetings – know where you’ll be and that they might get a text from you if things get tough. And let them know that you’ll be available for them, too! None of us have to do this alone.
Lead the Conversation
You know that both grandma and that sporty aunt are going to make comments about what you’re eating or how you look. They do it every year, so why don’t you use this knowledge to your advantage? Have some quick comebacks ready to go to keep the conversation moving in a direction you’re comfortable with. It doesn’t have to be mean – a simple “I’ve been really working on gratitude lately and I think it would be great to focus on that this thanksgiving” will get your point across.
This is Your Thanksgiving, Too
Speaking of directing the conversation, don’t be afraid to set firm boundaries. This is your health and your recovery we’re talking about. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and that is worth protecting. So if you have relatives who insist on body image conversations, diet culture talk, or anything that you might find triggering, you have every right to disengage and walk away.
Have a Safety Valve
Again with the planning. Well, no one said recovery was easy. Quite the opposite, in fact. But when you find yourself needing to take a step back from everything, where do you go? Obviously, it won’t do to just storm out in a huff. This is where having an alternate plan will help. Maybe it’s time to head to another party, take the dog for a walk, or catch up with friends from high school.
Give Yourself a Break
Hopefully, you’ve already made this a habit. But we know all too well how high-stress environments can lay best intentions to waste. Take a breath. Now take another one. Remind yourself that recovery is tough and that you’re doing awesome just by showing up and caring today. You’re not going to solve everything all at once. Relax and enjoy the holiday as much as you can.
Ocean Recovery would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We have been successfully treating addiction and eating disorders since 2002. If you or someone you love is suffering, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today. Start building your foundation for success!