Trigger warning: this article discusses disordered eating
Kesha has long been vocal about her recovery from her eating disorder. And although it’s been a tough road for her, the singer has come a long way.
But before she got help, she went through many low points filled with depression, anxiety, and guilt.
In a 2017 essay for TIME magazine, Kesha explained how the holidays are especially difficult for her. She wrote,
“The holiday season is supposed to be the most festive and fun time of the year but sometimes it can quickly become a stressful and emotional time. All those plans and expectations of joy can turn tougher than they sound. This is especially true for those of us who struggle with mental illness — be it depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other challenges.”
“In so many ways, the holidays can throw you off your game — and that can shake you. When you have a routine, it’s easier to manage whatever mental struggles you may be faced with, and when that routine is broken, it can trigger things you may not be ready to face.”
Kesha said that she hit an all-time low during the holidays one year, which is what eventually motivated her to seek the help she needed.
Kesha is most likely referring to a dinner party she described to Rolling Stone in 2017, in which she was riddled with anxiety, terrified that her friends and family would learn her secret. She told the magazine,
“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what if they walk outside and see this food in a bush? Or they see it in the garbage can?’ And I just had all this mounting anxiety. And then finally I was like, ‘Fuck. This. Shit. Fuck this shit. I’m hungry!’ And I am so anxious that I feel like I’m going to explode from all the secrets. All the secret times I’m pretending to eat or other times I’m purging, and I’m trying to not let anybody know. And I’m just fucking sick of this shit.”
It was after that meal that she turned to her mom for help. She asked to meet her mother at a gas station where she eventually confessed everything. Her mom immediately flew her to rehab.
It can be really difficult for those struggling with mental illness and/or eating disorders. As Kesha says, disrupting your routine can throw a wrench in your recovery.
First, make a plan of action. If you have a therapist, make sure you consult them for advice on dealing with the stress of the holidays. If you haven’t certain triggers, your therapist will have coping mechanisms that can help you survive the night.
Second, make sure you take the time for self-care. It can be hard to feel like you can step away from a big holiday gathering, but just remember Kesha’s personal motto:
“It’s not selfish to take time for yourself.”
Third, make sure you come armed with tools to get you through the day. Kesha loves meditation apps like Calm. You can view more free anxiety and meditation apps here if you need them.
Lastly, remember that recovery is not linear. Be kind to yourself. If you have a setback during the holiday season, that’s ok. Recovery takes patience. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
This article was originally published in 2017.