New Years Eve parties are oh so difficult. As anyone with an eating disorder can tell you - holidays and parties are full of anxiety, fear, and insecurity. Especially when you are really struggling with recovery.
At my house, my roommates were having a big New Years party but I was feeling a ton of anxiety about the whole aspect of a bunch of people and lots & lots of food everywhere. So, I thought that being with my family might be a safer option for a girl who is struggling so much right now (my first option is always to hide out in my room where I feel safe but the reality is - it's just lonely and gives the ed more time to play with my head and feed me lies). So I headed over to my parents house. My parents, two of my sisters, and their families were all there to have dinner, play games, and watch movies.
I did eat more than I was "comfortable" with - but my level of comfort and food are in pretty small amounts these days. I ended up going home about an hour after dinner (I had a horrible headache plus a ton of anxiety from all the noise, people, and food everywhere). After I said goodbye to everyone, my mom walked me to the front door and before I left she asked me "Now you are not going to throw up or take laxatives or anything are you?" And whenever someone says that to me, I always get panicky inside because people don't usually say those things or ask those questions when I have eaten only a little bit...And as soon as she said that - the feelings I had been feeling since dinner just multiplied in power! "Did I eat too much? I did, or she wouldn't be asking me this!!!" And I hate that every time I put something in my mouth - that is still one of the main thoughts in my head even after all of these years of therapy why am I still so fearful of this thought? What am I so afraid of?
Anyways, so my mom had me say out loud to her (and me) the reasons why I needed to let that food stay in my body. And that is something that I have noticed has been very vital throughout my recovery because those ed thoughts are constantly in my head and just ready to pounce and completely take over when I am in vulnerable situations. The eating disorder is constantly distorting reality and getting you to believe that the lies are the truth! - and that is why it is so important to try and counter-act those thoughts and feelings. Also, I have noticed that saying them out loud helps so much more than just saying them in your head. It gives the truth more power when you say it out loud. Even if you are alone, don't just say it in your head - say it out loud!
I went home - where my roommates were also having a huge party, and of course, there was food everywhere - and lots of it. I just snuck downstairs to my room, crawled into the safety of my bed, and turned on 30 Rock. So, thanks anorexia...once again, you have controlled and ruined another New Years celebration. Please please please don't still be my date next year! You have been my date too many times! I want to remember and experience New Years (or any holiday or party) without you there!
To end this post on a positive note. I am happy to say that when I left my parents, I did not purge, take laxatives, or try to burn off calories in any way. I just went home and crawled into my bed and let the food I had eaten nourish and heal my body.