CherylWith the end of the year and holiday celebrations upon us, I wanted to remind you of some reasons I believe we celebrate because Ed can try to convince you otherwise. The holidays are a time to give thanks for who we have in our life and how much our life is filled with love and gratitude for ourselves (even if you don’t believe it) and others. Spending time with family and friends and making memories is what it’s all about.

I know you may get overwhelmed with all the thoughts you may be faced with around the food, family and parties but reframe your thinking (you can do it!) by saying positive affirmations and mantras to push Ed aside. Say a positive manta of: “I am OK, I can do this” or “I am stronger than Ed.” Be in the present moment with friends and family and feel the experience for all that it is rather than giving Ed the control. Take your control back and tell him No!!

To help you through the holiday season dinners, parties and such take some deep breaths. Be proactive and make a plan to keep you on the recovery path if you find yourself in need –call a friend, bring affirmation cards with you, bring your journal, distract by watching TV or converse with family, bring a small tangible object that makes you smile and gives you strength, have conversation starters on your smartphone and have pictures of friends and family to show others.

If you are overwhelmed with all the food around, remove yourself from the kitchen and go chat with someone or make a phone call or text someone to check in for support. Bring a book to read or play a video game. When it comes time to eat dinner, remember the food is medicine and its job is to nourish your brain and body to keep you healthy. Food is not the enemy…Ed is. Remember, there is no such thing as bad foods. It’s all ok to eat.

Yes, food is around during the holiday season but concentrate on the family and friends you are with and tell Ed to get lost. Tell him you don’t want him to be part of your holiday season. Tell him he is not welcome and he needs to leave you alone. Use your recovery tools to assist you. Stay strong and know you are not alone during the holidays. Fight for yourself and fight for your recovery. You got this! I’ll be thinking of you. Have a happy holiday season.

With health, hope and strength,