National Eating Disorders Association

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Post Christmas guilt

I have been suffering from anorexia for over a year and began treatment 4 months ago. So far so good and I have made some improvement. I was chatting to my therapist before christmas and explaining all my worries with being around food, drink, and seeing lots of people. This is probably familiar with lots of people with anorexia. Over the holidays I regretfully admit I indulged. Probably not in the same way as 'normal' people at christmas but it was still enough for me to feel guilty. At the time I was okay and relaxed about it. I was having a great time with my loved ones and thought I'd rather put my energy into being happy and living in the moment rather than wasting all my thoughts on food, calories and ED behaviors. Now the holidays are over, I can't help or ignore the fact that I hate myself for engaging in behaviors during Christmas. I can see that I've gained weight and my clothes feel slightly tighter. I feel humiliated, ashamed and anxious. I want to know if this is a normal feeling for someone who is going through recovery. Did anyone else have this problem. How do I overcome it and feel proud instead of guilty. I really don't want to step back in the opposite direction as it will be so much harder to go through the worst again.

You are awesome!

That’s so amazing that you were able to spend your holiday with your loved ones without the guilt and worry. That shows such positive growth in your recovery. I bet it felt fantastic. I am sorry you’re dealing with that guilt now. Try to focus on the positive feelings you experienced at the time. Don’t worry about what happened, just concentrate on how good you felt! You should be proud! You are deserving of health and happiness. I am so happy for you that you were able to experience some of that over the holidays. It’s something we all strive for, and the more you get to feel that joy, the easier recovery becomes.
I definitely relate to those feelings of guilt though. They are so hard to deal with. Like I said, try to just think about how good you FEEL. You are not a number; you are not a size. You are YOU and what you do and how you feel. You are nourishing yourself so you can do all the amazing things you want to do and feel good doing them. You are so much more than all those ED voices. They are wrong. You are better than them.
Stay strong, you are amazing.