National Eating Disorders Association
Blog

We always think of holidays as a time of celebration, getting together, reflection, and joy. It is supposed to be the time of the year we should feel good about ourselves, get together, and enjoy each other’s company. For our community, for those of us who are experiencing disordered eating or an eating disorder, holidays can be much more than that. It could be a time of stress, anxiety, and worry.

As a child, I lived a life of sexual abuse and high school bullying. As an adult, I found myself engaged in a battle with the most challenging opponent, myself.

Feeling scared, helpless, and hopeless, I had lost all control of my life. As anxiety and depression overwhelmed me, I plummeted into an abyss of mental illness that manifested into an eating disorder (ED) to shield me from the inner turmoil I longed to escape.

The holiday season can provoke overwhelm and worry, with regard to food and our relationships. The interplay between our connections with food and people can become accentuated during this season of densely packed party trays and rooms full of revelers. Gatherings with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and complete strangers can become highly triggering, especially when around a snack or dinner table. Exploring the similarities in our relationships to people and food can be the key to increasing feelings of security.