November 28, 2008 at 8:41 am 2 comments

Oh, I nearly forgot! We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe and yesterday I was kind of busy. But this morning, it occurred to me that Thanksgiving has always had a rather unique meaning in my life. It was Thanksgiving of 1975 that I first “succeeded” at throwing up. Boy, was I pleased with myself! I had no idea that I had taken the first step into a 13-year eating disorder that would screw up even more of my life. (Things were already somewhat screwed up. Otherwise, I would not have grasped for an eating disorder to serve as a coping mechanism.) Then it took another 13 or so years to recover emotionally as well. What an ordeal! Oh well, to each his own.

I am grateful now for 20 solid years of recovery. When I first started with recovery, I didn’t think it would last that long. In fact, by the time I got started on the “final” recovery, I had long given up expectations of such a concept. All I wanted to do was learn to eat normally and to minimize the bingeing. By that time, I had learned to accept relapses. The goal became: to make the most of each day, and not beat myself up if I screwed up with the food. I could always start over, and that’s what I did.

Since moving the attention from food to life, other issues have come up. Struggle with food is very tangible. Now that the focus has shifted to invisible things (feelings, emotions, conflicts, disappointments, decisions and such things), there is a lesser degree of clarity. It’s easy to say I ate well today and that’s it. When I deal wtih the invisible, not so definable things, I tend to get confused or become unsure of myself. There is so much new territory, and no one in my immediate environment to encourage me. (On the contrary, there tends to be mostly resistance.) Yet I keep going.

Last night I hit another low. Once again the questions: What am I doing? What’s the purpose? What am I waiting for? Is it really necessary to wait? Am I being responsible or stupid? How could I have made such a mess of things? There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep. I’m not bouncy and cheerful, but this morning I am looking more clearly at plans and timetable for the next couple of years. I’ve gotten to be good at having faith and trusting in the universe, but during such long stretches I need to replenish hope. It helps to set up some kind of game plan or goal. Even if it doesn’t turn out that way (as things often turn out completely different than I expect), it gives me some perspective.

What to do? Thanksgiving is over, but today I will give thanks anyway. I am thankful for this life, for my children, for recovery, for coming this far, and for all the gifts I have received thus far — even if I didn’t appreciate all of them at the time. Today I am grateful that I have a messy room that needs to be cleaned, and lots of laundry that needs to be done. That’s more than a lot of people have.

While I’m doing those tasks today, and as I clear through the chaos and bring a semblance of order to my surroundings, I will focus on prayer. Lately I’ve felt the need to reconnect and ask for help from my higher power. I don’t need to hit bottom to ask for help. During the worst of times, I wrote letters to God in my journal. Part of recovery is learning to be less extreme. That means things don’t have to be totally unbearable before I am willing to work for change. I am grateful for that realization.


Entry filed under: gratitude. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Playing stupid Work, laundry and invitations

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. novice101  |  November 28, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I share your view ‘that part of recovery is learning to be less extreme. That means things don’t have to be totally unbearable before we are willing to work for change.’ That’s a great step you have achieved. In fact, in everything we do we shouldn’t go to either extreme – that only gives bias to our views.

    It is good to have one day in a year designated for the expression of gratefulness. We do not have one here in Malaysia. But I am always in the mood for gratefulness. Hope you don’t mind me joining in. Your presidents were so wise!

    The world would be less chaotic, it would be a more peaceful place if each one of us has the awareness in him that there are plenty for which he should be thankful for.

    Gratefulness gives us contentment and peace of mind. These two qualities help reduce our stress level. This means we become less stressed which is good for our health.

    To remind myself of my good fortune, I have drawn up a list for my daily expression of giving thanks.

    • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  January 12, 2009 at 7:19 am

      Thank you for your note! Sorry I didn’t find it sooner. It somehow landed in my spam folder. Yesterday I was reading someone else’s blog and she mentioned that she’d found a “real” comment among her spam, so I decided to look through mine as well.
      You are so right about being thankful. There is so much dissatisfaction in the world because so many of us see what we don’t have rather than all of our blessings! Have a wonderful day!


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