Whatever your feelings are about Halloween, one thing we can all agree on is that it is one of several upcoming holidays which revolve around food. For those who are food dependent, these kinds of holidays can be challenging and for those in recovery they can result in relapse.
Whether it’s to please other people, to try and escape from uncomfortable feelings, to relax after a tough week or just to convince themselves that they’re not that bad, those with food dependency issues have hundreds of excuses to overeat.
The truth is that none of these excuses are valid. They are just that – excuses. The fact is that if someone who is physically or emotionally dependent on a certain food begins to eat this food again, their lives will begin to spiral downward. They will, once again, become obsessed with food and their lives will be ruled by bingeing and obsessive thoughts.
Sometimes the relapse process begins very slowly with one stray thought about being able to handle giving out candy to children on Halloween. Then, the smell of the candy, the festive atmosphere and the emotional longing kick in. And while, a binge may not take place immediately, the seed has been planted. The leftover candy is in the house. A plan begins to take shape. The justification begins. Having “just one” can’t hurt. Promises about starting over tomorrow and pushing aside the facts about the addictive process ignite.
This is the beginning of the end of recovery.
Though not everyone who does these things will end up in relapse, far too many of those who are food dependent will never again be able to get back into recovery while others will struggle through years of bingeing before finally reaching a bottom that will bring them back.
So, while it may be tempting to celebrate Halloween even though you don’t feel strong in your recovery, remember there is another choice. You do not have to be forced into doing anything that is not good for your recovery.
The answer to the question, Tricks, Treats or Treatment, for some is NONE. It’s not required that you take part in any Halloween celebration if that’s not safe for you. Instead, think about how, or if, you want to celebrate Halloween at all.
The choice is always yours!