by Kate Fitch
It’s a challenge. No matter if you are in recovery or not, how long you have been in recovery if you have, and how supportive/understanding your family is or isn’t, Thanksgiving is tough. Here are a few tips from someone in recovery to you.
- Visualize how you want your Thanksgiving to be, and meditate on that visualization before the event.
- Pre-arrange an ally. Talk to a family member or friend who will be there with you who can support you through making up a plate, changing the subject if it gets awkward for you, and be your bathroom buddy if you have urges to purge.
- Practice saying some phrases in the mirror:
- On the inevitable diet/weight/”I shouldn’t have that, it’s SO bad” talk:
- “I don’t feel very comfortable talking about this, can we change the subject?”
- On mentions of your weight/health/hospitalization(s):
- “Thank you for your concern, but I want to focus on family/giving thanks/enjoying myself tonight. Let’s talk about it another time.”
- On well-meaning family members questioning your food choices:
- “Thank you for your concern, but [ally’s name] is helping me with that tonight.”
- Bring your toolbox, whatever that may consist of. Crochet helps me keep my mind off urges to binge, so I’ll keep a project handy. If meditation is your go-to, ask ahead of time if you can use a room in the host’s home to meditate if need be. If affirmations are your thing, write some down ahead of time and carry them with you.
- Let go of “all or nothing” thinking. I know it’s tempting to either eat only things that you don’t find that great, or go all-out on all your favorites. Try to find balance. It’s okay to have some pie, and it’s okay to have some green beans. Eat what you fancy, and, if need be, lean on your ally to help you make a balanced (and delicious!) plate.
Have a happy, healthy, fun-filled Thanksgiving!