We are rarely afforded the opportunity to forget which holiday will be coming next: Halloween costumes are replaced by Christmas trees and Christmas trees become an aisle of Valentine’s Day candy overnight. When you are trying to recover from an eating disorder, Valentine’s Day might be somewhere at the bottom of your holiday list, due to its emphasis on coupledom, chocolate and the date night of the year.
What’s a recovery-focused person, or even a single person to do?
Our hope for those in recovery is to find room on Valentine’s Day for self-love. Eating disorders thrive on self-loathing in some form, after all. The voice that fuels an eating disorder does not send love letters to its sufferers. Instead, an eating disorder would have you think that you are lazy, fat, stupid, ineffective or any other host of judgmental adjectives. The very idea of self-love through the lens of an eating disorder becomes twisted into selfishness or worse. Eating disorders are not maintained through love, but by the idea that we are inherently flawed.
Ask yourself a couple questions that will help you nurture and love yourself:
What is my hope for self-love in recovery?
How can I sweeten my life or romance myself?
Now go get the most beautiful Valentines card you can find and write yourself the love note you always wanted to receive – don’t be shy!
You deserve every bit of it, just because you get up and do you, every day. Take a step back from the aisles of red foil boxes and decide what you would like Valentine’s Day to be about.
Much love from all of us at EDTC!
Alayna Orozco, LPCC, CEDS