Day 311: Thankful For The Gift of Kindness

Hello everyone,

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.

Hello life.

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14 thoughts on “Day 311: Thankful For The Gift of Kindness

  1. I love that you are so focused on truly recovering, in mind and soul as well as body. So many people I know focus strictly on following meal plan, on surviving, on coming up with a new tightly controlled lifestyle. But you really look for ways to break the rules and relax and enjoy life, and not be controlled by anything. You let yourself eat Thanksgiving food because… it’s Thanksgiving. Not because it’s what the meal plan says to do… just because it’s Thanksgiving. And this is how you’re celebrating with your family. Your life isn’t run by food anymore. It’s so beautiful. Reading about you live this way gives me more reason to live that way myself. Thank you. ❤

    • No, thank you for sharing this with me!! I love your honesty on your blog and the amount of fight you have within your inspires me and lifts me up. I really like the way you put that “you let yourself eat Thanksgiving food because..it’s Thanksgiving.” No explain or justification necessary, just Thanksgiving! Ah, it makes me smile a lot =) Thank you for sharing this with me, and knowing I can help someone else along the way of helping myself brings me so much happiness, I can’t explain in words. Keep fighting and writing <33333

  2. Shira,
    I have been reading your blog every night before I go to sleep for a few weeks now. You’re reflections are often similar to mine, showing me I am not alone. Or, you talk about ways to think of things that are completely new to me, and open up my mind. You have helped me so much in recovery you don’t even understand. I look forward to your daily posts from the moment I wake up because they give me strength on my weakest days. I, like you, chose to be a normal American on thanksgiving and ate what I wanted, despite the fear. I am grateful that I was able to do that and that you were, too. I just wanted to let you know how much you inspire me. I will miss your posts come your 1st anniversary if recovery! Happy holidays!!

  3. Shira,
    I have been reading your blog daily for a few weeks now. I wanted to let you know how much you inspire me in recovery and as a person. A lot of the time you share insights that are so similar to mine, making me feel less alone. Or, you talk about ways to look at things that I never thought of, opening my mind. Either way, I look forward to what your posts, because they can strengthen me even on my weakest days. I am so grateful that this thanksgiving we both had the strength to eat what we wanted and enjoy the simple pleasures of being with friends and family on this holiday. Here’s to kindness and to strength!
    Xx Bianca

    • Hi Bianca,

      Wow thank you so so much for writing this comment! I woke up this morning with my body feeling sore from eating yesterday and I was feeling a little down, and then I read this and it totally lifted my spirits. One of my favorite parts about what you wrote, besides the fact that it confirmed to me that we are all in this fight and journey together, is that you also had a beautiful Thanksgiving with your family and friends, that brings me such joy, we all deserve these holidays, no eating disorders can take that from us. I love that—cheers to kindness and strength and to beautiful people like you who are all fighting for the a same thing: life =)

  4. I knew you weren’t telling me the entire story about the pie ! Lolll besides the point im thanful for you and your recovery, your happiness makes me happier love you

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