Running an organization called F.E.A.S.T. should make Thanksgiving a pleasant theme, but the third Thursday in November is no holiday for eating disorders, or the families supporting a loved one through treatment.
Imagine you or a loved one has an illness where treatment is more painful and more obvious in the presence of large family gatherings and communal meals? Imagine a fragile family sitting down to an exaggerated expectation of family harmony and pleasure.
There are plenty of tips out there on how to manage Thanksgiving -- the planning, the serving, the leftovers -- but few for families who know that everything about the tradition of Thanksgiving feasting will be tense and difficult for a loved one. Between odd mealtimes, body conscious talk, and alternating binging and guilt -- this is a holiday for which "Black Friday" has a singular meaning.
What did our family learn about holidays and eating disorders? Some tips:
- It's just a day. A day that only has the power we give it.