28 December 2014

Festive frustrations and Christmas confusions

There's no doubting this Christmas has been easier than the past three years, less anxiety, fewer tears and more conversations. I was more 'there' than not there, no meal plans and less 'escaping' to my room for a time out. 

Despite all that, it's not felt fully jolly...because of eating. 

The anxiety and tears of yester-years was replaced by frustration, doubts and confusion. And if I am honest, I spent time in the run up to the big day - and the big day itself - wishing I had the control I used to have not to be hungry, not to eat the stodgy food and to say away from the buffet. 

People often talk about recovery and the freedom to eat chocolates, crisps and nuts being liberating and making them feel great. Like they're fixed and recovered. Like their defeating their eating disorder and living. I've tried that. But I'm afraid I don't feel that and I'm not sure why. 

Maybe it's having food cracked to an extent for so long, that's made it less 'exciting' to treat myself or maybe it's not as cracked as I think. I haven't eaten a full mince pie this year. Because I know I like them. But what if I don't want more foodie freedom?

Eating or not eating a mince pie, a slice of cake or having a roast potato makes me feel indifferent. But I'd rather feel better for not having it - or choosing a new potato instead. I've eaten the cake, and it didn't make me feel free. It made me wish I hadn't cause it wasn't worth it. 

I think I'll feel great for choosing a white bread roll over some crackers, because anorexia does hate white bread- but I don't. Fitting in with people around me eating crap and not caring. Normal right? No, not for me. Maybe I just don't like eating like that. I get annoyed at myself for feeling like I have to - or should, so I do and then get stuck in this confusion. 

I can't shake the feeling of needing to 'fix' what I've messed up this Christmas. But eating food I didnt need or particularly want. I just ate it because it was sort of there and I felt like I had to be 'more normal' this Christmas. 

But I don't feel stupidly guilty. Just annoyed at myself. And also guilty about not being REALLY guilty about it. I feel frustrated that I will have put on weight, but not frustrated enough to make myself go exercise-mad or drop my calories to lose weight which then adds more frustration that I am not driven to change what my head tells me will 'fix' it all. 

Maybe I just know losing weight doesn't fix it all. 
But then again, eating more freely isn't fixing me either. 


  1. I've stopped categorising food as healthy and unhealthy. Nothing is bad for you.. unless you starve or eat to excess. Sometimes you fancy a chocolate bar, sometimes you fancy 5 pieces of fruit. As long as you eat ENOUGH I don't think it matters what you eat? If you don't like chocolate and want to be healthy, then that's ok and doesn't need justifying to anyone! However, just make sure that it's YOU that wants that xxx

  2. I feel like you have written an incredibly post of all the muddle swishing around my head. I have only dipped my toes into recovery, rather than dived in, so I've not 'cracked' any food as such yet, but whatever I ate over Christmas, I did knowing that I would, like you say 'fix' it after the festive period. But what if I get too complacent with eating and not feel strongly enough to fix it, and then I get all the same feelings as you. It's frustrating and confusing and guilt-inducing.

    I don't really know if my comment makes any sense, sorry, but I just want you to know that I empathise with your feelings, and you're not alone in this. Take care and focus on you Xxx

  3. Maybe you're not feeling the freedom yet because either you haven't gone 'far enough' into that freedom yet (truly allowing your body what it needs and letting go of the need to control your weight within a certain range that isn't right for you, personally) or, you haven't been doing it long enough. OR, maybe you need a different therapy approach, or a break and then come back to it. Or maybe you need to reassess whether the reasons for aiming for 'full recovery' however you defined that, still stand. Maybe you are ok being where you are for now. That's ok too, as long as you're not physically placing yourself at risk. Sometimes circumstances in our lives need to change in order to allow us to take the next steps. I think the main thing is being honest with yourself and those helping you, about where you want to be right now. If you want to maintain a certain place and 'manage' or 'function' or whatever you want to call it, that might be ok for now, maybe it is what you need, but just make sure you keep awareness that this is what you're doing, rather than allowing yourself to convince yourself it is full recovery. I can relate, believe me. Recovery isn't linear and sometimes it doesn't follow the path people say it should, especially not if you've had issues with food for a long time. Take care lovely.