Holidays, funerals and other events

December 10, 2008 at 9:47 am Leave a comment

I only mention funerals because I have a certain one in mind. Around 26 years ago, my grandmother died. I didn’t go to the funeral because I didn’t want to be around food afterwards. I knew I would binge and puke, and I thought that would be extremely disrespectful to her memory. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the self-control to go and behave myself. So I stayed home and thought about her, writing down my thoughts.

In that situation, and during the holiday season, food can be a real party-pooper for the eating-disordered. Especially during the holidays, there is even more emphasis placed on food than usual. What to do? I don’t know. Back then I generally avoided the situation whenever possible.

On the flip side, it’s sad to think about how many nice events the bulimia managed to screw up. I was out with people, and then all I could think about was a good excuse to get away so I could go binge. Or I would set up a date to meet a girlfriend on the weekend, and never get there because I couldn’t stop bingeing. I would think: Just once more, then I’ll stop. Just once more. I’d call her hourly to postpone. That was quite inconsiderate of me as well. I was desperate. I kept telling myself it would be the last time.

I’m sure lots of you know that feeling. It is nasty. There is no easy solution. And yet the path is simple, as opposed to complicated. When my priorities became: being nice to myself, feeling good, allowing myself to partake without eating so much that I felt nauseous, staying alive and being healthy, that’s when the turnaround came. Recovery had to do with being nice to myself. It had nothing to do with being strong or behaving myself or having will-power. Suddenly it became so clear to me: I don’t want to do this anymore. Or without a negative: I want to eat normally and live normally. And then I set about doing that. I gave to myself, and I didn’t do without. I figured out what I honestly needed, and was willing to enter into an agreement with myself that I would provide. I chose to meet my needs.

I wish I knew a magic formula that I could share. The above is the closest I can get. Afterwards, it always seems much simpler than in the moment. What I want to say is: Keep up the hope! Believe in yourself! You deserve to be healthy, eat well and enjoy life — that includes food, other people and whatever activities you like to do in your free time. 

When the food insanity subsided, I felt clean and unburdenend. I still do. The magic hasn’t worn off. Not even after 20 years. I am forever grateful for recovery. Now and then I am sad about what the disease screwed up in my life. Yes, there were some MAJOR screw-ups! But it also gave me valuable insight. The bottom line is: It happened. I have managed over the years to clear up the mess. It seems like every couple of years I find a new mess, or am willing to lift the rug and sweep out one more pile of hidden dirt that I put away for a day or time when I had more energy or clarity. Once again I come full circle: Disease or no disease, my life is about learning and growth. I deal with one thing after another, sometimes with several things simultaneously, but there’s always more! Be it food or personal growth: I can’t eat or solve it all in one day. It’s a life-long process. One step at a time. One mouthful at a time.

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Entry filed under: holiday challenges. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

‘Tis the season Holiday season

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