I have read so many tips for loved ones who have family members, on how to act around those of us with an ED this thanksgiving. So I am not going to write or share those because there are plenty of those tips out there. I am going to write from a personal perspective and tell you how it is honestly for me.
Thanksgiving, for me, was a very stressful time because family would gather and the unpredictability of all that and how people would be with each other was one whole fear. Being around certain people made it even more difficult. I have always been taught it is the time of year to be thankful for everyone and everything, but I am not thankful for how I learned how to cope with stress in my life. Taking control of my food was the easiest way to ease the anxiety, so I thought, but now I know that I was letting the food control me.
Each Thanksgiving brings its own unique struggles. As I grow and get healthier in mind and body, it has allowed me to separate myself a little from the ED. So these are my personal tips for my fellow ED recovery minded friends.
#1 Before the meal, try to help in some way that will help you stay grounded and engaged with others so that we don't have time to think about the meal.
#2 During the meal, think about all the things you have to be thankful for. Some families are eating Thanksgiving alone, without their loved one who struggled. Be thankful you are alive.
#3 After the meal, sit down and chat with someone you haven't talked to in a while, catch up with them so that you do not have to think about all the food you just ate.
What is the gist of my 3 points, try focusing your attention and efforts on others around you so that you can't give any ground to your ED. It has no place at our Thanksgiving tables this year. It doesn't mean I or you will not have any anxiety at all if you follow these three steps, because I know I still will have some. These are just what I will be trying to do. I try hard to live what I preach.
Lastly, let me just say, I am thankful for every connection and friend I have made through this ED, and I am very thankful for each of you. You each have contributed to my recovery journey! Thank you!