I was sitting around the kitchen with my sister at the beach when I asked her, “What should I post about?” Although she loves my pictures of kitchen islands made entirely out of LEGO’s, she suggested I write a short blurb about vacations and trying to hide an eating disorder. Since she after all was the one was the one who helped pull me out of my own eating disorder, her opinion kind of matters. You win Lindsay.
A vacation to most people is a time to get away, relax, leave all your worry behind and enjoy the foods that you have been looking forward to eating all year. To someone with an active eating disorder, it is the complete opposite. It is fear, high anxiety, losing control and hating yourself because your mind is constantly thinking irrational thoughts. The only times it is enjoyable, is when food isn’t involved. However, breakfast, lunch and dinner happen 3 times a day, so it’s pretty unavoidable.
The intention of this post is not to resonate with people who go through this, because you know exactly what I am talking about, but for the family members or friend’s that may not understand what it’s actually like. I can’t say the same for everyone, but for me personally in the past and also for a friend of mine who is currently struggling, know that vacations, are not necessarily vacations. They are: being stripped of our comfort zones and not being able to hide certain behaviors, anxiety attacks no one can see, shameful thoughts, fears and hating ourselves. Trust me, we DO NOT want to be thinking like this, we wish so badly to be able to enjoy a vacation as much as everyone else, but we simply cannot.
So, what is the takeaway from this? For friends and family members, please know, we do not mean to act this way, nor do we want to, but unfortunately it is inevitable..Please be patient with us because although vacation is a relaxing time for you, it can be a very high anxiety driven time for those that are struggling.
What a vacation looks like to someone who is NOT actively struggling with an eating disorder:
What a vacation may look like to someone who IS actively struggling with an eating disorder: