Festive Fire-Fighting

It’s a tough time of year for those struggling with addictions or eating disorders.  Here’s a few tips;

As much as possible, surround yourself with people who will encourage your recovery: people who will listen to you, challenge you and keep you accountable.  People who will ask you how you’re feeling and not settle for ‘fine’, when you’re not.

Stick up Bible verses and reminders of God’s love and strength and presence.  Not ones about working harder – grace-filled truths and promises.  I also re-read gospel stories that remind me of the real Person of Jesus so I can’t caricature Him when I’m feeling rubbish. It’s hard to hold onto anger when I read about how He loves us.

Make a list of reasons to be thankful and try to start  prayers with these.  Not generic. Specific – little things and big.  ‘Thank you for brussel sprouts (I like ’em: WHAT?!). Thank you for Andy phoning earlier,. etc..

Do stuff for others.  Especially those on their own.  Don’t read celeb weight-loss pap.  Read your favourite book.  Or about what’s happening in the world.  Pray for others

Practical: carry healthy snacks.  Nuts, oatcakes, fruit.  Staves off the temptation to go bonkers on the canapes, plus if you’re like me, you  go a bit crazy when your blood sugar drops.

If you’re tempted to starve – DON’T skip meals.  Stick to your eating plan.  If it helps, ask others to eat with you.  Regular, balanced meals.  You can do it.  It’s worth it. Day at a time.

If you’re tempted to binge – again, regular meals.  If you can, get rid of trigger foods. If you go to a party or somewhere where there’ll be lots of temptation, make sure you don’t arrive hungry.  Decide in advance on one or two treats and then move away from the food.  Ask friends to help. And when you eat too much – remember, everybody does.  It’s okay.  Draw a line under it and then start again.  Don’t purge. And don’t starve – you’re just setting yourself up for a blood sugar crash and another binge.

In either situation, Don’t Weigh Yourself. Just Don’t.

Remember – it’s a stressful time of year for everyone. Things don’t have to be perfect. You’re doing your best and that’s more than enough.

Ask yourself: Am I getting what I need? Or using food to get something else? How can I verbalise this instead – by talking to someone, drawing, journalling, punching a pillow, squashing bubble-wrap, kicking the cat (joke, It’s a JOKE).  It’s up to you to ask for the help you need.  You can do it.

Families can be tricky. Lots of us regress to our childhood selves when we’re home.  That’s okay – it’s not just yours.  You’re not still a child and you’re stronger than you think. Breathe and remember, Christmas is one day.  Just do your best.  It’s not a performance.  You don’t need to get presents/food/TV etc ‘right’. Re-read the gospels.  This is what it’s about.

If you’re struggling with an eating disorder/addiction, plan out what you’ll say if asked about it, in advance. Don’t try and please people with what you eat.

Don’t set yourself up to fail.  Don’t go to things you really can’t do or that’ll put you under huge amounts of pressure.  Set yourself little goals that aren’t about food or booze or whatever else you’re struggling with.  Pray and keep praying.

Remind yourself how far you’ve come.  You’re not on your own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *