a box of chocolates – trigger warning

*this post might be triggering if you struggle with an eating disorder. *

Eating disorders are hell and they are full-time. They don’t take days off. They don’t give you a break. They’re always there, lurking, talking to you, telling you how awful you are, how much of a failure. How you have nothing to offer because you aren’t perfect yet. You aren’t thin enough.

It’s bad enough dealing with it on a regular basis. Holidays are extra challenging, especially Christmas, the holiday that used to be about something but is now about acquisition and food.

I struggle mightily this time of year and although those in my circle are supportive, they sometimes do things that aren’t helpful in the least.

People give me chocolates and it’s enraging.

Don’t they remember the big “hey, I’m working on recovering from my eating disorder and it’s hard” conversations we’ve had? Don’t they remember me asking them not to give me consumables? It’s very triggering to have boxes of treats lying around.

Yes, I should be able to eat just one, and thanks for that suggestion so very much, but it doesn’t work that way for me yet. Perhaps someday it will, but it doesn’t right now, so would it kill them to respect boundaries?

That’s where most of my anger comes from, I suspect; the wanton disregard of an expressed need.

It’s hard enough for me to speak up. It’s hard enough to draw a line. It’s absolutely infuriating when people ignore my requests because they don’t suit their own wishes. I’ve literally had people tell me they know they’re violating my requests but choosing to do it regardless.

I know you said not to buy you food, but I know how much you like caramel, and I saw this, and just couldn’t resist.

Please. Resist.

Part of people’s behaviours towards me are habitual. Why would anyone respect the boundaries of someone who regularly collapses them? I’m working on that, but is it so hard to do what someone asks?

Why is it that, so often, people decide that their wants and desires should supersede someone else’s needs?

I admit to being at a bit of a loss. How many times do I have to make the same request before I’m allowed to start getting angry? Apparently, a lot (also, I tend to give way if I think standing my ground will make the other person uncomfortable). Harm myself before allowing harm to come to others. Not the best motto.

I think it’s the knowledge and understanding gap at play again. People on the outside of an eating disorder don’t really get how pervasive and all-encompassing it is, how it threads its way into nearly every aspect of your life.

They see a simple box of chocolates. I see a time bomb. It always ends in disaster. Throwing them away sometimes isn’t enough; I’ve been known to hunt them out of the trash. Sometimes I pack them up for disposal at an alternate location; the trash can at my local bodega gets a fair number of harmful items.

I wonder about rejecting them at the source. Would it cause offense if I said, “thank you for the gift and the thought, but chocolates are triggering for me to have around, so perhaps you can have them instead?” I cringe at the idea of taking even that small of a stand.

In a perfect world, I could handle surplus food around and about the place. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t get triggered. In a perfect world, food wouldn’t be an enemy. Here in this world, however, I’m not there yet. I’d very much like it if people would stop forgetting that I struggle with food in a way that may seem alien and unfathomable to them. I appreciate that they’re thinking of me, I just wish they’d show their love with something else.

Stuffies are always a good choice.

3 thoughts on “a box of chocolates – trigger warning

  1. I think your upset at others’ insensitivity is totally warranted. I wouldn’t give my recovering alcoholic friend or family member a bottle of booze for a gift. How is this any different. Maybe, if you are able just return the gift to them immediately and remind them of your struggle. I am sorry people are inconsiderate. Xoxoxo. It puts you in a very precarious spot.

    Liked by 1 person

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