I promised myself that I wasn’t going to make a Thanksgiving post.
And maybe it’s the fact that Delta is already playing Christmas music, but, as I’m sitting here at the airport, waiting to go home to visit family, I’ve decided to shed some light on my recovery. What it is that I’m truly grateful for … because to be 100% honest, when I was entrenched in my anorexia, I did not even know what a life in recovery would look like. What freedom would actually feel like. I was so enslaved to my anorexia that I couldn’t even imagine a life without it. Truly.
I’m grateful that I can be truly present with my family.
Especially around the holidays, there was always stress, always tension about food and my health and how it was tearing my family apart. I’m grateful that I can have fun with them, drink alcohol, share hearts and have the focus of our time be on each other, and not on ED.
I’m grateful that I can wear clothing and have it fit.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but celebrating my healthy body is something that is not only liberating, but also fun. Dressing up in lovely clothing and actually filling it out is an amazing thing. It was literally an agonizing thought during my disease, but wearing clothes that fit and — dare I say it — look good on my figure — is something worth celebrating. And spoiler alert: weight restored does not mean fat.
I’m grateful to have my body temperature back to normal.
Always being cold is not fun, or attractive, or something to be proud of. It is a sign that your circulatory system is shutting down: read: your heart muscle is weak.
I’m grateful that my bones have rebuilt themselves.
I’m grateful for friends, and for having opportunities to socialize.
I spent years – literally years – during my anorexia saying no. Not answering the phone, not returning calls – in isolation with my one “true” companion: ED. I’m grateful for the friendships in my life and all the fun I’m having! I work hard all week and live for the weekends. Friday night. Saturday night. Sunday brunch. (Followed by Sunday church) 😛 But seriously, I am so grateful that I’m finally allowing myself to be loved. Allowing myself to receive love. It is still a journey I am on, but I’m making great strides and that is something to be grateful for.
I’m grateful for the lessons I had to learn the hard way.
Not that I’m grateful for the anorexia I endured, but I am grateful for the lessons I learned and the growth obtained from it. My anorexia shattered my pride. It is an ugly, disgusting, thing, but I was very prideful, very self-focused, making my body and my “social status” an idol in my mind. And I’ll tell you what, looking in the mirror at rehab, having destroyed (temporarily, thank God) the relationships in my life, having missed my high school graduation, skeletal, having my hair fallen out, grey/blue skin with peach-fuzz all over from the absence of nutrients, without passions, faith, hope – lifeless in every sense of the word – that pride was completely annihilated. Nonexistent. I was no longer the “golden girl.” I was the girl needing saving.
Which leads to my last thing I’m grateful for.
I’m grateful for being saved.
When I was at that bottom of rock bottom, I couldn’t get out by myself. I was unable to save myself. I did not want recovery. I wanted to cling to ED. My anorexia was all I had left. But Jesus came in. Jesus loved me through that pain, that shame, that brokenness. And it was only because of His doing that I was able to leave that pit of ED hell. So I am grateful for that.
Lastly, I am grateful for you.
Which is insanely cheesy, I know. But I have so loved and appreciated getting to know each and every one of you through this blog. Sharing my heart with you, and having it be received with warmth and love is a gift that you have given me, that you will never know the impact that has had on me and my recovery. I pray for all of you every night, and I want you to know that I am grateful for your friendship.
I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving. Whether you find yourself with family or friends, know that you are loved. And there is so much to be grateful for. And a life in recovery will be one of the greatest gifts you will ever give yourself in this life.