Having an eating disorder at Christmas can sometimes feel like being dragged through the entire festive season by the ghost of Christmas past. Looking through the window at warm, clinking family get-togethers, with fragments of stories and laughter bobbing from the hustle of loved ones as they catch-up on the past year. On this side it’s dull and quiet, but its’ better because excitement is risky, it’s harder to control. While there’s music, talking, laughter, they obliviously work their way through warm appetisers, graze at savoury nibbles, carelessly unwrap shiny wrappers and pop them into their mouths during conversation. But you used to be there too. Balancing finger-food on a novelty paper plate, nestled in amongst the warm faces and festive jumper static.
This year you stand in the doorway, and it’s cold: like the distant chatter sends an uninviting breeze your way, warding you off the joyous mingling that only comes around this time of year. You wonder when it was you chose to be on this side, replaying the reels of previous years when you were there in the middle of them all.
I don’t think I ever chose this, but I’m told it’s better. Better than I what, I can’t really remember, but I am reminded that I am good at this. This that I can’t really explain, so why should I give up?
Listening to an eating disorder can make you feel like you’re way ahead of the race, you can’t even see the people through the dust behind. But the truth is, nobody is trying to catch up with you, you have just left them behind, being falsely led by that one voice that is disguised as your biggest supporter. You may feel like you are smashing PBs and getting pats on the head by that encouraging voice inside, but what’s the point if it leaves you with no one to celebrate with?