It’s not over yet, I guess, but as of now I feel like this Christmas was a success. I’ve enjoyed my time with family, I’ve eaten desserts, and I’ve even felt like a normal person a few times! Crazy, hey?
That’s not to say that it hasn’t been a struggle, and that I haven’t been stressed to death on a few occasions over silly food things. We had dinner at my aunt’s one night, and as soon as I found out she’d cooked Chinese, I panicked. I got through it, but I was so disappointed in myself for having that food anxiety. This Christmas was supposed to be Ed-free.
The unfortunate thing is that a completely Ed-free Christmas is near impossible at this point. Eating disorders, like any other mental illness, do not just take a break for the holidays. Expecting perfection is really just setting myself up for failure.
So instead of beating myself up about the few times Ed does take over my thoughts, I’m focusing on the victories. I had dessert with my family after Christmas dinner this year, for the first time in eons (and good lord, was it ever delicious). I’ve felt happier and more relaxed around all my family this year than I ever have. Compared to last year, everything just feels so much better.
I read a quote the other day (and I wish I could re-find it to get the exact wording) that was along the lines of “Recovery does not look the same every day”. It struck a chord with me, and goes along with the expectations thing. You can’t expect every day to be perfect – but you do whatever you can that day to fight for recovery. Some days are gonna be a struggle, and that’s just the way things are.
I do believe that some day I’m going to have that normal, healthy, happy Christmas, where Ed doesn’t show up at all. This year, I am just grateful for the times I’m able to ignore him and enjoy my life. Not being such a grinch on Christmas is definitely another recovery perk!