Day 272: Let Me Tell You About My Birthday Cake

Hi guys,

My party last night didn’t stop for Ed, and my birthday celebration didn’t stop for Ed today either.

Today was my final birthday celebration (I guess it’s about time being that my birthday was two days ago), and it was by far the best one because it was truly symbolic of everything I have been writing about the past few days in terms of where I stand in my recovery.

My best friend and her boyfriend took me out to a beautiful brunch, which in itself is symbolic of how food has the power to be such a bonding experience, but then at the end of it they brought out my birthday cake.

This cake was so special, thoughtful and symbolic that it truly deserves an entire blog post of it’s own, so here it is getting one, and it starts with a picture of it so you understand what I am talking about.


What does this cake show?

1. It shows my favorite picture that I have yet to take in recovery (I wrote about it once too). It was my favorite picture because it was with my best friend and it was a night that I remember was filled with laughter, and fun and food–all worlds of recovery coming together.

2. It shows my newest article that ran on the cover of my university newspaper last week. The fact that this article is on a cake means so many things.

This cake is sweet, it’s bright, and it’s delicious. It’s self indulgent. It is everything Ed would never let me have. And my article is the result of where recovery can take me; not just with my perception of my body , but with my entire life, like with my career.

I wrote a post earlier this week about how my recovery and how eating and nourishing myself kept me focused and was a big reason why this article was so well written.

3. This cake shows a cake! The word cake is like a forbidden word to Ed.

But this cake was all for me-with my name on it, my picture on it, and my successful article on it-three things that Ed cannot take from me; rather, they are three things that recovery gave back to me.

Recovery has given me that smile that I am wearing in my picture, it has given me the tools to stay focused to write that story, and it has made me proud to own my name, my story, my life, and all that goes with it.

So now, even though I am looking at all the pictures that people posted on Facebook from yesterday, and feeling really full, and thinking about how I don’t like my body in each one, I sit here and remind myself that those things, while they might seem so important in this moment, are really nothing.

The way my arm looks in that one photo is not important.

The way my leg looks sitting down on another photo is not important.

What’s important is this: I am blessed with the love and support of the greatest family and friends, and I am blessed to have celebrated my first birthday in recovery that I worked so hard to get to with E.

I want to say a special thank you to my beautiful best friend for not only making my birthday incredible, but for literally being my rock and so many times, my sanity during this process of change and recovery.

What’s important is everything¬† that I listed that my cake symbolized to me.

And if that isn’t enough, then the fact that a huge birthday cake got an entire post dedicated to it on an eating disorder recovery blog definitely is.

Hello life.


3 thoughts on “Day 272: Let Me Tell You About My Birthday Cake

  1. I want you to think of tug-of-war. When a person senses that they are about to lose, that is when they hold on the hardest and pull with every ounce they have. Perhaps thinking about the ED can be in the light of a tug-of-war. When you feel its grip closing tight on to you, that it means you are on the brink of winning. Laugh in it’s face and look forward to those moments of overwhelming ED thoughts knowing that it is just an indicator of its impending demise.

    You are no longer Shira -> eating disorder recovery woman -> finding a life

    You ARE Shira -> new life of journalism & potential -> having more good moments than bad -> history of an eating disorder

    Love the cake!!

    • “You ARE Shira -> new life of journalism & potential -> having more good moments than bad -> history of an eating disorder”

      Wow. All my days in recovery and I could never have worded anything as perfectly and beautifully stated as that. I love that. I love the part about the history of an eating disorder, and how it’s now moving into a history, not a present. And The tug-o-war is so true. I feel like every time I move away from Ed, he pulls back on me and him and recovery are in this big fight-but his side of the rope will always lose, and slowly slowly, I laugh at him a little more =) Thank you so much for this beautiful comment!

  2. Melody is amazing and I’m so happy you were able to defeat Ed on your birthday even though it was hard for you , you still allowed yourself to have fun and enjoy the celebrations , I’m very proud of you xoxo

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