National Eating Disorders Association

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2Joy2love
Holidays

My daughter really struggles around the holidays. We know that some of that is due to being adopted at age 11, I also think it is worsened by her ED. Her depression and anxiety goes up. She is more stressed and she dreads the holidays and then feels bad because it is the holidays, she should be happy. She says it is hard because she sees everyone else so excited for the holidays and she isn't. She feels jealous that others are happy and then feels she is a horrible person She does not like being around many people and when we go places during the holidays there are more people. She wants presents yet feels that she does not deserve them. It is stressful on her and on me. Has anyone one else seen these things in their loved ones around the holidays? Any suggestions?
She had been doing very well, but she fell hard again. I have to keep remembering that this is a journey. ED does not just go away all at once. I can see a huge improvement from 2 years ago, a year ago and even 6 months ago. I just need to let myself realize what we are going through right now with her is very stressful and hard and to not give up hope. I would appreciate prayers in our behalf, especially that I will know what to do when I need to make decisions quickly.
Thanks,
2joy2love

udeere
Holidays

Yes, the holidays are hard, especially since most gatherings with family and friends involve food - large quantities as well as items that aren't seen as healthy. My daughter loves Christmas, and is all about decorating, shopping, etc. However, she, too, is struggling right now. She isn't supposed to be doing much that involves activity due to a recent loss of weight. This angers her and raises her anxiety to extreme levels. I used to love the holidays, but unfortunately it is difficult to feel joyous when you see someone you love suffering. Words of encouragement are good to hear, but don't take the sting out of the day-to-day struggles and obstacles. I hope that all ED sufferers and those who love them get through this holiday season without too many struggles and that everyone can enjoy at least a little bit of it.

2Joy2love
birdie22

Hi birdie22,
I have been thinking about you and praying for you. I wish the holidays were easier on you. One of the things I try and do each year around Christmas is to read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Is that something you could do to help you celebrate Christmas in a less stressful way?I know how much you love Jesus Christ. Thank you for giving me your insight and encouragement.
I am glad that you were able to get the treatment you needed. Keep fighting the ED,
I am working very hard to take care of myself. I have been asking for more help and letting a few more people know about some of the struggles my daughter is facing . I am also ready so when they ask me how they can help, I can tell them specific things. Top in that list is for people to text me, call me, or do little things for me so that I know I am not alone. Yesterday one of my friends brought over a basket for the 12 days of Christmas. She told me it was only for me not the family. I started to sob. So each day I get to open a gift just for me, and I know I am not alone.
I will continue to pray for you.
2joy2love

2Joy2love
udeere

udeere.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I love that I can get feedback from those that are experiencing some of same things I am. It is heart breaking to see how stressful the holidays are for our lived ones with ED. Which can also put more stress on us. I also know that at times I am on edge, waiting to see how she handles things. Last year she was on safety watch for three months through Christmas until March. She is again on safety watch and it is hard on both of us.
I hope she can find some things she can do to celebrate the holidays, Perhaps a new family tradition that she can do within the limits of her activity level. Can you get away on your own for a few hours or with friends and just enjoy a few hours of peace? The other day I just went for a drive for 20 minutes on my own and it helped a lot. I hope that you both can find some joyful moments this Christmas season.

2Joy2love
birdie22

Hi birdie 22,
Happy holidays. I started the day off, deciding I was going to be happy. I was going to enjoy the day,my family, and getting things ready for Christmas. My husband has the next 2 weeks off and we wanted to spend the morning together getting shopping done, We did not get it all done before my daughter came home. She is on safety zone and cannot be left home alone. We still had stocking stuff to buy for 11 stockings. We decided since our daughter was going that we would let our 2 other daughters come to. when I walked through the grocery doors with my husband and three daughters, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. It ended up being a lot of fun. My daughter with ED did great finding food to put into her stocking. There were laughs and joking and it was a blessing, II am learning that blessings come in ways we do not expect.
This afternoon I went to a doctor's appointment for my daughter. The therapist and I talked together for the first 20 minutes or so. Because of choices my daughter made, we would no longer be able to do therapy or see the dietician there. I just sobbed. How was I to do this on my own. Then I realized that I was not alone. God calmed my heart and let me know that it was okay. He would help me. We also have other doctor's that are working with her. I sat there and realized that her therapist had no choice but to let us go, and I felt bad for her too. She so wanted to continue helping us but her hands were tied. My daughter came in and she was not happy. It was so hard and then there was a change, She realized that some of her choices were very scary and that she needed help. That I was trying to help and I think she will own up to her choices and make process in setting up some plans to move forward and keep herself safe. I left with a thankful heart to God. there is a hard road ahead and I know that I am doing the best I can and that I can trust in God. I also know my daughter has her free agency to make choices, That can be scary and it can also be so powerful for her healing and getting ready to become an adult next year.
We also have the blessing of having my mother-in-law move in with us this past month. We found out last week that she has terminal cancer and it is so sad and stressful. What a wonderful experience to have her spend her last Christmas in our home. We have brought back some of my husband's childhood holiday traditions. We are able to go up to her room and visit. What a joy to be able to serve her. Now I am the caregiver of my daughter with ED and my dying mother-in-law. I also have a wonderful husband and 5 other children to support and love. I have felt such peace and joy today. What a beautiful gift from God. My trials are still there, yet God is lightening my load by helping me carry them. My faith and love of my Savior is growing even stronger.
I hope you have a great holiday. I am praying for you. Thank you for your prayers on my behalf and on my daughters behalf.
2joy2love