Rowena’s Story

My daughter was diagnosed with anorexia a year ago when she was fifteen years old.  She was diagnosed six weeks before Christmas so as Christmas approached we were still in the throes. It was confusing, and we were just really trying to figure it all out.

At that stage we were living meal to meal. Christmas was stressful.  I couldn’t get my head around hosting, I couldn’t get my head around the usual things we used to do as a family. 

Thankfully we have a really supportive extended family who offered to help in any way they could, which really eased the pressure of the day, but it didn’t ease the anxiety that Christmas caused for my daughter and the extended family. 

Donate to EDFA's Holiday Season Appeal today

Some of the challenges we faced were;

  • Everything revolving around food
  • Lots of food
  • Different types of food
  • Lots of people.
  • Just the chaos of the day.
My daughter told me recently she felt so watched and judged at the time, which was really really hard for her. I felt stressed on the day, I felt guilty that the day wasn’t’ as happy and cheerful as it used to be, or had been in the past. And I just felt really sad that it was such a hard day for her.

What I needed on Christmas Day

What I needed for the day was just to be able to do what we needed to do to help her through.  – even if it looked a little bit different. The extended family gave us the grace to do what we needed, but I think I also needed to know that she was far more robust than we gave her credit for. Yes it was a difficult day but she got through it, and the day came to an end and we now reflect on it, and it was okay.

EFA was a great help through those difficult days. Between the online resources, chats and support groups it helped us realise it was common what we were experiencing, other families were going through it too. It made us feel far less alone in the journey.

What do other families need to know?

I think other families need to know that having Christmas with someone with an eating disorder is a really stressful time, it’s difficult. Stressful. Perhaps they can think of activities that don’t revolve around food. Play a board game,  Do something different. Be careful of your conversations. Be careful of how you talk. Give the family the grace and the freedom to do what they need to do to get through the day.

How can you help? Make a donation to our Holiday Season Appeal.

EDFA does not close during the holiday period and our team continues to work hard to provide extra support to carers of those with eating disorders.

We understand carers need to be super vigilant and ready to provide extra support during the holiday season.

A $50 donation will help us provide support and education to a family when they need it most.

Your donation will help us help carers in need when they need it most.  

Donate to our Holiday Season Appeal today.