I’ve been feeling pretty disappointed in myself lately. As much as I KNOW that this is going to be a long, hard struggle, it’s incredibly frustrating to be almost six months in to therapy and know you still have miles to go. Lately I’ve had a lot of days where I forget all the progress I’ve made, and those are the days I truly feel like a failure.
Fortunately, days at Hope remind me how far I’ve come.
Myself and another girl had a conversation that really gave me hope, and made me feel a lot better about things than I have been. She’s also been struggling with an eating disorder since before she can remember, but lately things have been going really well with her recovery, and it makes me so happy to see the change in her since we met last spring. Anyway, we started talking about Christmas, and she said she was thinking of this as her “first Christmas”.
I love it. The more I think about it, the idea of a “first Christmas” in recovery sounds even more appealing and exciting. I may be a long ways away from “recovered”, but I’m in a better place mentally than I have been in years. I’m adopting my friend’s idea, and looking forward to this Christmas, hopefully my first of many happy, healthy, relaxed holiday seasons.
No surprise with all the food involved, but Christmas can be stressful for me, and I spend most of the holiday on edge. Every family get-together revolves around food, so I think I’ve earned myself a bit of a grinchy reputation in my family. With desserts and treats everywhere, big family dinners, and constant pressure to “just try some”, I can get a bit overwhelmed.
I feel like I haven’t properly been spent Christmas with my family in years. Ed’s been there, but I’ve been far off in my head most of the time – worrying about what I’ve eaten and will eat, debating what’s safe for me to eat, doing exhausting calorie math. I hate to think of how much laughter and how many memorable moments I’ve missed out on because of how skewed my mental priorities have always been at Christmastime.
This year I want things to be different, and I really think they can be. I want to be present and enjoy myself when my family all gets together. I want to be able to relax and not spend the majority of time trying to add up calorie counts, and panicking because I don’t know what’s in gravy. I want to treat myself and actually try some of the special Christmas foods and desserts! (My grandmother might die of shock if/when I do)
I’m really hoping I can let myself relax this year, even if it’s a little uncomfortable. I don’t need to control everything all the time, and I don’t need to eat perfectly. Just being able to give up a little control, and loosen up a little about food rules would be a huge step towards a happier holiday. I think I can do it.
I’m heading into this Christmas season with a positive attitude. This year, I am going to enjoy it to the fullest, and leave my grinchy attitude in the past, with Ed.