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Christmas at home after eating disorder

I am so stressed about Christmas. Last year I was at the worst point of my eating disorder and now this year it is going to be better. But my parents are separated and not civil at all. This year as I am a bit older I have more of a choice about where I want to go. And truth be told my dad has been really horrible to me this year and has dealt with my mental health issues really badly and blames me all the time and uses it as a way to bully me. So basically I don't want to go. I haven't spoken to him in about four months. A lot of other family members are pressuring me to go, even though I don't want go and it is causing me so much anxiety. In a way I do want to go but realistically I am not going to because I know that it will end with me just getting really upset. But it is still causing me so much stress and I don't want my dad to get offended or read into it and start a feud or anything, I just know that its not the best thing for me to do. So do you have any advice ?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When your parents are separated it can be difficult to decide how you spend your time in the holidays. No matter what you choose to do you can't control how other people will feel, so it's better to do what makes you happiest. If you haveĀ a place that's better for your mental health, it's okay to make that your priority.

Christmas can be very difficult for people with eating problems. Lots of different holidays from different cultures have food as a big part of the celebrations. If you have an eating problem now or have had one in the past, it might be a difficult time for you. Preparing yourself for that and making sure you're in a safe place is important. So if you feel this would mean staying at home instead of going to stay with your dad then that's okay.

When you're being pressured by different people to be in a certain place for the holidays it's good to remind yourself that you are only one person and can only be in one place. It can be nice to have so many people want you there, but might also bring feelings of guilt or stress when you can't please everyone.

It's natural to want to make the holidays as happy a time as possible, so there might be things you can do even if you don't go to stay with your dad. Perhaps you can send a card or letter. You could arrange to talk on the phone or even have a video call if you're able. Small gestures like that can help show that you care.

If it's possible you could look to see if there are options to spend a shorter amount of time with your dad over Christmas - possibly for a day or only one night, and perhaps in the days before or after, so that there's less pressure and fewer people around.

Whatever happens, Childline is here for you over the Christmas period. We can be there to listen and talk about how you're feeling. We are open all of the time, even on Christmas day.

I hope this has helped, thanks for your letter.

Take care,


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