You sitting stoically at the table shoving food from side to side as your family dialogue fills the room. They talk about the usual family reunion based conversations: what are you doing lately, how is work, do you have a significant other, how is your health, and you fight the urge to scream or curse or fight the urge to simply dissolve. Thanksgiving is a hard time. Especially if you have an eating disorder. All the food that is days worth of calories in a single day fills you with a sense of dread. The eyes of all your family are on you waiting for you to take a bite and how is it that a fork can hold the weight of the world? How is it that all of that weighs on you more than you do? Or maybe you're on the opposite spectrum. Because it is a spectrum.
You sit there attempting to cull your appetite and fail and fail and you fail. You know you will be beating yourself up for this for days, weeks, months to go. The holiday season has only begun. You eat. You eat. And it is a cruel insatiable thing you cannot stop yourself from. And maybe after all of it, you feel the need to get rid of all of it. Maybe you are successful.
Is that really success? If you are not in recovery, you are dying. A favorite poet of mine Blythe Baird once said that.
Anyways this thanksgiving and holiday season. Choose Health.
Choose every day yourself.
It is so hard to curb that voice that counts every morsel. It is so hard to instead listen to the voices of family and the sound of their chewing. But choose to chew and swallow and live this holiday. Because you are so much more than your eating disorder this holiday. You are you and that is something to celebrate.
Seriously go check out this poem. If you are in a good state to do so go check it out. If you have read this far. I am proud of you.
Blythe Baird - "When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny" (NPS 2015) www.youtube.com