Thanksgiving in Recovery

This isn’t my first Thanksgiving, nor its it the first one I’ve had in recovery from my eating disorder, but every year it still a struggle and now we face that time of year again. This year I will have not only one but three Thanksgiving feasts, I had one at a holiday luncheon at work yesterday and this Thursday I’ll have one with my boyfriend’s family, and one with my own.

This year I honestly thought this Thanksgiving would be a breeze, but yesterday I started to doubt myself and have lots of anxiety over the whole holiday. As I mentioned yesterday I had a thanksgiving luncheon at work and the food was delicious, loads of yummy main courses, but also loads of my favorites, sweets. I ate mindfully with my meal and ended at the high end of comfortably full, but also craved one of the big chocolate chip cookies that were sitting out on the buffet table. I got up and got that cookie and ate the whole delicious sweet, I savored and enjoyed every single bite. After the meal I felt good, content, proud of myself for eating with a large crowd and challenging my eating disorder thoughts. I was proud of myself because even though I’ve been at my job for two years this was the first year I actually stayed for the thanksgiving lunch, it was to terrifying to do the past two time but this year I did it, and I was proud.

Later that afternoon things changed, I started to overthink, my mind turned into a calorie counting machine and was suddenly adding up and measuring from memory everything I had eaten, the pride I had felt for myself quickly turned to shame and self-loathing, and I spiraled down into a negative place. Eating Disorder thoughts flooded my mind with ideas of compensating, and the urge to restrict was suffocating me, I felt helpless. Eventually I broke down and cried, it was challenging to deal with, to have a voice in your head screaming horrible things at you all day, it really does get to you.

I didn’t give in to the Eating Disorder that night, I ate pizza for dinner and had chocolate as my night snack. It was a huge challenge but despite the loudness of the eating disorder voice I still pushed back.

Today I feel brand new, all of yesterday’s self-loathing has turned into todays body appreciation as I remind myself of all the things I’m thankful my body lets me do, and how it deserves to be properly nourished, how I deserve to be properly nourished.

So, for my multiple Thanksgivings this Thursday I will go into them with excitement and happiness over the fact I get to eat delicious food with people I love and celebrate a holiday, all in which I’m incredibly thankful for.

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