All I Want For Christmas is…

…to be without this eating disorder.

This year my Christmas plans involve a family holiday. Spending a week away with my younger brother from interstate, and an older brother and his family. I’m grateful to be included in their plans, but terrified as well.

Eating Disorders aren’t fun at the best of times, but definitely not at Christmas. The majority of the festivities centre around food which, for most people, is completely okay, even welcomed. For me? I’m filled with dread.

My intake has been less than desirable. “Starvation” according to my psychologist and GP. Small meals not only induce nausea and physical discomfort, but intense anxiety. Eating is not pleasurable right now. So the prospect of going away for a week and having to eat (or otherwise admitting a relapse to my family) is bordering on terrifying.

The other possible option for Christmas is a hospital admission. That doesn’t fill me with joy either. It also involves eating, although with much more support, but means my family find out I’ve relapsed. I know I can’t read minds and can’t 100% accurately predict how my family would take this, but I don’t think it would go down very well.

I don’t know what I’ll be doing yet. I’m waiting for an outpatient appointment with the same psychiatrist who admitted me in July. Until then I’m being closely monitored by my GP, psychologist, and community mental health team. I’m holding on.

So, my wish for Christmas is that the ED will lose a little grip. I wish for the internal chaos, torment, and torture to ease. I wish to be able to provide my body with the nutrients it needs. I wish for the painful emotions to lift and become more bearable. I wish to be able to genuinely smile and say I’m okay. I wish to feel happy and free again.

I know that wishing for positivity, for recovery won’t make it happen. I have a lot of work to do to get myself out of this relapse, but I have hope. It’s buried under a lot of ED bullshit, but it’s still there.

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