To everyone living in the U.S., happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. This brings me to today’s post, which is about my first Thanksgiving in recovery.
For those who don’t know, Thanksgiving is a holiday that is completely, 100%, totally centered around food. The whole point is to have a huge dinner with a lot of yummy food with your loved ones.
But it’s also about taking a moment to realize what your thankful for.
During my time in recovery, I honestly feel like I’ve learned how to become thankful for life’s smallest gifts every single day. Sometimes just making it through the morning without checking my stomach out in the mirror is something I am thankful for.
Sometimes having a day of piece and quiet from Ed is something I am thankful for.
But today, because it’s Thanksgiving, it was more of a time for me to be reflective.
Last Thanksgiving, I weighed myself in the morning. I weighed myself in the afternoon at my aunt’s house before dinner, and I weighed myself at home after dinner.
That number was my Thanksgiving.
Who cared about the food, the family and the dessert that I helped make? Ed didn’t care and therefore, I didn’t care either. I cared about my number, my one and only number.
It’s weird to think that I saw that exact same scale today, and yet just walked past it. I had my power back.
This Thanksgiving, my first Thanksgiving in recovery, while I sit here uncomfortably full, I also sit here and smile because recovery and I rocked this Thanksgiving.
We took over this Thanksgiving and we let Ed sit back and watch.
There was no meal plan today, there was eat whatever you want because it’s Thanksgiving plan.
Today, I am thankful that I was able to bake with my aunt and get to experience and enjoy tasting everything along the way.
I am thankful for being able to see the smile on the girls face who I tutor when I surprised her at her house and gave her her birthday present (her birthday was today).
I am thankful for the text messages I got from my family and friends that were so beautiful.
I am thankful that I was able to save the day when our apple pie fell onto the floor right before we put it into the oven, and I decided that the 10 second rule would turn into the 2 minute rule, and I put the whole pie back together with my cousin, and it was the best pie I ever had.
I am thankful for my family.
But mostly, I am thankful for the gift of kindness.
I can truthfully say that I was able to be kind to myself today.
I don’t know if that many people can understand why this is such a big deal,but let me try to explain.
Being kind to yourself means giving yourself permission to be proud of yourself.
It means giving yourself permission to taste the food you worked so hard to make.
It means loving yourself enough that even though your physically uncomfortable from eating, you hug yourself tight and know that deep down, you put yourself first, not Ed.
Being kind to yourself means eating the food at Thanksgiving; it means being part of your family and being present with them.
It means hoping on a plane to Las Vegas tomorrow despite the fact that Ed will try to tell me I don’t deserve it because there is food there and fun there, and things that I don’t deserve because I ate what I wanted today.
Being kind to yourself means even through your physical pain from fullness, you smile and laugh and almost cry out of happiness because hell yes, you didn’t listen to Ed.
Above all, being kind to yourself ultimately means that you are learning to love yourself–even on days where strong forces, like Ed, tell you not to.
Ed never appreciated my soul, and that’s why he’s so hollow, so empty and so void of warmth.
But me–the more I love myself, the more kind I am to myself and the more I value myself, based on internal things, not based on my body or how I look, the more I am able to not only appreciate my soul, but the souls of others.
Kindness is the best gift I can be thankful for this year.
Kindness to myself.
Kindness to others.
Kindness to my body.
Ed doesn’t know how to be kind because he only knows how to be self deprecating. And for a long time, I didn’t know how to be kind to myself either.
But now, I do know how to be kind to myself, and instead of fighting Ed along the way, I am going to teach him how to be kind to me too.
Today’s lesson to Ed for learning how to be kind to me : It’s Thanksgiving, and therefore, I am allowed to be like every other American and eat the yummy food–oh, and also, you don’t get to stop me from having fun in Vegas.