For many, the holiday season is all about good food and specialty drinks. For those recovering from addiction or an eating disorder, the holidays can be an overwhelming time all about the things they are trying to steer away from. Families of the addicted or recovering from eating disorders should prepare beforehand so that loved ones in recovery can be more comfortable this holiday season. Addiction and eating disorder help for families is an important aspect of treatment at Willow Place for Women since families are a vital part of the recovery process.
Keep Food and Drink Out of the Conversation
For those without an eating disorder or addiction, holidays may be a time to sit around, relax, drink, and eat endless amounts of food. For those in recovery, the holidays may be a stressful time because of the things that others enjoy about the holidays. If you have a family member or loved one that is in recovery from addiction or eating disorder, try to make an effort to eliminate food and drink from the conversation. Your loved one with an addiction or eating disorder needs to know that time with family is a comforting experience, not one where they have to worry about avoidable triggers and cravings. To keep the spirit of the holidays light-hearted and fun, focus conversation on family and success rather than hindrances, food, and outer appearances.
Keep it to Family Only
Large crowds of people, for those in recovery, can increase levels of stress. Additionally, it increases the risk that your loved one in recovery will have to converse with someone they do not know. This raises the risk in conversation turning toward food or addiction. To eliminate the possibility of added stress for your loved one in recovery, try to keep the group that is celebrating small in numbers. Making sure that family is only involved, as opposed to friends and acquaintances, will assure that the recovering individual will be surrounded by only those they are most comfortable with.
Most Important Tip for Eating Disorder Help: Offer Empathy Over Anything
Above all else that you can do for your loved one struggling with addiction or eating disorders, you can offer understanding. If you make an effort to show empathy to the individual in recovery, they will feel more like they belong this holiday season. All too often families get together during the holidays to point fingers at each other’s wrongdoings throughout the previous year. Instead, decide that you want a peaceful holiday full of compassion, especially for your loved one in addiction or eating disorder recovery. To be sure everyone is on the same page, have a separate conversation about how you wish to convey empathy during your holiday family get together this year. Additionally, if you or a loved one needs addiction or eating disorder help, The Willow Place for Women can help. Addiction and eating disorder help is available for women who wish to live free from their ailments and move on with their life. If you wish to speak with a counselor about addiction or eating disorder help, please call us at 561-512-1605.