I hate Thanksgiving.
The large plates of food.
The ‘holiday diet’ trends being advertised everywhere.
Family members telling me they didn’t eat all day just for this meal even though I had to follow my meal plan and still eat breakfast plus my morning snack.
Hearing people justify why they are allowed to eat a second slice of pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving is a tough holiday for someone with anorexia.
I know the holiday is supposed to be about being thankful, but that doesn’t stop anyone from still making the main deal be about food.
Let me give you an example about what this holiday feels like for me.
Let’s say you’re terrified of spiders. Well imagine waking up completely covered by every type of spider. The spiders are everywhere. Crawling all over you and theres nothing you can do to get them off.
That sense of fear is what I get every time I am faced with a large meal. Sometimes I can shake the thought away fairly quickly, but the fear is still there. I want to escape, but there is no excuse to not participate in Thanksgiving. I want to use avoidance or hide my food, but I am now at a point in my recovery where I know hiding my food will only send me spiraling.
Food terrifies me.
I try to focus on the relationships and the memories I can create rather than the panic attack building up inside me as my plate of food is set in front of me.
I try to take deep breaths and remind myself that everything will be ok- I know I can’t just eat my safe foods every day of the year.
Sometimes I do enjoy my food. Some years I enter Thanksgiving super confident because I feel I have a strong grip on my eating disorder. But no matter how good I feel I can’t shut out the guilt after eating each time.
Recovering from an eating disorder is by far the biggest challenge I have faced.
The thoughts lurk everywhere and while most of the time they are muted; they still can come blaring without an invitation.
However, this year I will try to shake away my fear and enjoy the holiday.
This year I will enjoy a glass of wine AND have a real dessert.
This year I will not let my anorexia take control.
I just ask that whoever reads this, to be careful with your jokes around food.
You may think its harmless to mention things about restricting to enjoy the big meal, but to others like me, it can really hit hard.
I hope that everyone tries to enjoy their food without having to mention ways to compensate for it. I hope that everyone has a great holiday with the people they love.