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A Fear Of Burdening Others

Posted Dec 26 2011 4:31pm

Good Afternoon m’dears!

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend! One that was filled with joy, family, friends, gifts, tasty food, laughter, memories… all of that good stuff :)

It’s been nice taking a step back from blogging these last few days, and not having to “worry” about producing posts that are lack-luster because I would rather be doing something else. I think many people would agree, bloggers and readers alike, that this weekend was a perfect time to take a step back from technology and enjoy the company you are with. I also pleasantly surprised to see that my Google Reader was not blowing up with unread posts this morning… people are still out and about beyond the computer… this is good :)

On that note here I am writing a post! Ah well, I suppose there is hypocrisy for you.

**I would like to note here that I am certainly NOT fishing for compliments in anyway at all… just wanted to clarify that first :)

I suppose this is not a “normal” holiday/weekend recap. I mean I am of course going to show you pictures of my beautiful and loving family, and other shenanigans… Yes all of that good stuff. But there is more to this story of course, and honestly, I could not tell you about my Christmas without explaining the information “between the lines,” underneath the surface, what is lurking beneath, ha yeah you get it!

It would be a blatant lie to tell you that there were times this past holiday weekend that I was not putting up a front and acting like everything was fine and dandy. I would be lying if I were to say that there were times that the guilt and anxiety was almost too much to bear. Another lie if I were to say I was perfectly okay with how I am perceiving my body these days and that I didn’t give a hoot about what I was eating even with the knowledge that I have to eat more.

I wish I could tell you that none of those illogical voices were there, and I was able to let go of the burden of this… even if it were just for a few days. But unfortunately this is not the case.

I would first like to say that overall YES, I had a really nice weekend with my family (and even some former friends) celebrating the holidays together. It was certainly not all bad, in fact, the latter of the weekend was a vast improvement from the former :)

I am already making this into such a negative post and yet it’s not my intention. It’s more of a truthful glimpse into my holiday celebrations, and just tell you how it is. Again though, I am SO NO trying be all “poor me” “meh meh meh” kind of thing… just reflecting on my own feelings. Alright sorry about prefacing this, I just feel the need to sometimes!

Let’s back up a bit though.

After Friday’s day of errands and scrambling around for last minute requirements, we were all set to go for the next day, Christmas Eve. Since my brother’s wife has younger nieces and nephews, it is better if they spend Christmas Eve with us, and then they drive to her parent’s house to partake in festivities on actual Christmas.

As I said on Friday’s post, it was so fun being out and about- goofing around my the people I love, going to COSTCO (which is just a good time no matter what), and ya know, just spending time with loved ones and not thinking about anything too important!

My Brothers, Sister-In-Law and Me!

But there were moments that day where I was just… uncomfortable. For whatever reason that morning, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed with a less-than-stellar attitude. As I am sure many of you can relate to, my moods are most likely related to how I am feeling about my body at that time. If I look in a mirror and see myself “skinny” that day, than I perk up and have more confidence that I can take on the rest of the day.

However, more often than not I wake up, catch a glimpse of my reflection and just feel… what? Disappointment I guess is the right word? Or you know the usual complaints, heavier and with more weight on me than I would like. I suppose a silver lining in all of this is that I no longer think that I am an “ugly” person (something I use to battle with). I actually am okay with everything around the chest and up… it’s the view I have of my body that needs to play a bit of catch up.

So anyway my mood on Friday was initially craptastic, even after a workout and a healthy and hearty egg sandwich for breakfast.

Oh my word these are so tasty still.

Even though I have not gained a tremendous amount of weight in the past few weeks, I just felt wrong that day. My clothes did not look right, my shirt was showing off the fat around my stomach more than usual… ahhh the extra calories are adding up!

The disordered eating voices were speaking their voice right when I opened my eyeballs up to start the day. who the hell knows why I was feeling fatter than usual that day... I suppose it’s because I had eaten more sweets than usual the day before, or that, after doing my usual “body checks” I could not feel my hip bones as well as I usually can, or perhaps it was because the jeans I decided to wear just felt a bit snugger.

Meringue Cookies- Recipe on Wednesday :)

Whatever the reason Friday was a fat day, and for someone like me, well that is just the end of the world. Every single decision I made that day was based on how I was perceiving myself when I woke up. At this point in my recovery, I know the amount I must eat if I really and truly want to get better. With that in mind, the battle that ensues inside my head is completely out of control… the fight between illogical and logical Tessa is raging.

When dinner came around later that night, I was exhausted… exhausted from acting like everything is A-OKAY, tired from the internal battle of doing what is right vs wrong, just worn out from the conflicting and strong thoughts that are constantly surging through my head.

Guess what, it’s pretty easy to tell when someone is a “bit of sorts” and my family knew I was struggling, especially when the menu that night included a major fear food- spaghetti with meat sauce.

I can remember one of my brothers asking, “Tessa, this sort of food is okay with you now right?” Immediately my face burned red with embarrassment, shame, and I hushed my brother and told everyone I am fine, please don’t worry!

But why exactly?

Love you all <3

My family reads my blog and everyone there is quite aware of the issues I have with my body and food. They know what I have been through, what I am doing to recover, the progress I have made, the constant presence of inner demons… they know all of this. And yet, I find it very difficult to actually discuss it OUT LOUD on an occasion where things are supposed to be joyful, happy and care-free.

You know I am adamant about the importance of receiving outside and some kind of support system. My family is there for that, but I felt the holidays were so NOT the time to burden my family with my own issues.


I was grumpy on our outing that day and during dinner because I felt fat- uhh really? How selfish of me. How dare I ruin this day, this time with my family, this weekend and holiday, all because I have a bit of extra something-something around my stomach? I have the audacity to bring the mood in the group down all because I am gaining the weight and eating what I need to?

No, they cannot and will not be subject to my piss-mood… they do not deserve it. I of course hate what this illness had done to me, but that fact that it effects my family and friends is possibly more difficult to bear.

Even though my problems are completely out in the open, I hate the idea of them being a topic of conversation at a time that I deem is just not appropriate. Having said that, I know my family is relieved about how open I am with all of this, as there is no longer an “elephant in the room” during sensitive times such as meals.

However, I simply cannot tolerate the idea of my eating disorder causing angst during the holidays and get-togethers that are so rare for us.

During dinner, I felt that everyone was staring at me, waiting to see if I would eat the pasta and what my reaction would be. Although this was probably not the case, it was as if all eyes were on me. With that notion in mind, I decided to go ahead and eat some of the spaghetti and the special sauce that my grandparents make that is just the best! I refused my eating issues to be a topic of conversation, especially in a negative light, like me not eating any of the dinner for example.

Honestly after that point, I just felt better.

Sure I was guilty from the dinner (for no reason really, just facing a fear food), but it was nice knowing I had conquered the illogical thoughts, even if it were just for that moment. I also realized during that meal that wow, once again I was allowing the disordered eating to ruin an occasion for me! And that is where I put my foot down.

I decided right then and there that enough was enough and like I said, it is RARE that I get to be with everyone and it is such a blessing when it does happen, so how about I make the most of it! If I am going to take the burden away of my disordered eating from my family, why not go ahead and also relieve it from myself? Why should I continue to suffer in silence? 

Or how about I kick the thoughts out all together, and then not even worry about it! It was hard to fight the eating disorder but I did.

MA and I

From Friday night on, i enjoyed the holidays like I should- laughter ensued, gifts were exchanged, indulgent and terrific food was consumed, and memories were made. My Christmas turned out exactly as I hoped it would… sure there was a bump in the road, but realizing that I was in the midst of letting this illness ruin yet another holiday, quickly pulled me out of my own brooding thoughts, and it was as if a weight was lifted (no pun intended).

I suppose what is annoying me about all of this is that the thoughts are still there. They also rear their ugly heads at the worst times… situations where they are more unwelcome than ever.

However, I have come too far to worry about minor days and setbacks like I had. The time I spent with my family, where I made a determined decision to stop being so shallow and actually eat items I wanted to, was a time that I can now remember fondly, rather than one that was filled with deprivation and sadness.

I would love to hear from you…

-Do you worry about burdening others with your problems? Does this feeling worsen during situations that you think are “inappropriate” to display such behaviors?

-Do you have trouble talking about your own issues out loud? I personally find it much easier to discuss my eating disorder via blog than in real life. I get anxious and shamed when I talk about it sometimes out loud…

-I really would like to know… how was your holiday weekend?

-If you do not celebrate Christmas, tell me one awesome (sauce) thing you did in the last few days!

I have so many recipes to share with you, so stay tuned for that on Wednesday for WIAW of course :) Also all of the delicious items I tried, and fear foods that I conquered.

Have a great rest of your day and I am venturing to my dad’s tomorrow so I shall see you Wednesday!

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