Day 337: Christmas Eve With Ed: Recovery Edition

Happy Christmas Eve everyone,

Thank you to everyone for sending me your emails if you want to be part of the email fighter support group. I am going to give it a few more days for people to send me their emails if they would like, since I know everyone is busy with the holidays, and then I will send out the first group email message.

Today and tomorrow are some, if not the absolute hardest days of the entire year for people in recovery for an eating disorder, or actually in recovery for any kind of addiction.

When we spend time with relatives or close friends and family, it is easy for old memories or feelings to come up and trigger our Ed’s or our addictions.

I know that for us in recovery for eating disorders, these two days (Christmas Eve and Christmas) are especially difficult because they are two days that are totally surrounded by food.

As weird as it may seem, while I am Jewish, I actually do celebrate Christmas and it is my very favorite holiday.

My uncle is not Jewish and celebrates and practices Christmas every year, so just like any other family celebrating Christmas, so do we on behalf of my uncle.

I am not sure what Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas dinner looks like for others around the world, but for us, it’s basically like Thanksgiving all over again.

Wether you are celebrating with a dinner tonight, or a breakfast or dinner tomorrow, we are all going to be surrounded by food today.

If you’ve been reading my recent posts lately, you know that I haven’t been in the best place with Ed. Realizing that my big Christmas Eve dinner falls today was not an easy thing to take in.

My first instinct was to not go and stay home and eat what felt safe to me.

But I knew that would not only be selfish and disrespectful to my family member who celebrates this holiday, but it also would be taking away my joy from a holiday that I love so much.

Here is the thing with today: I would like to say that this is my Christmas and that this is my holiday and Ed can’t ruin it at all and he will be no where in sight.

But that is just not true.

It is indeed my holiday,and Ed will not ruin it for me, but to say that he won’t be anywhere in sight is not true and I don’t think it’s fair to expect it to be.

For a long time, I thought that if I had Ed next to me, it meant I was failing.

But I see now how wrong I was.

The fact that yes, many times I do have Ed with me, yet I am still succeeding in my recovery, speaks volumes.

That is strength and bravery.

I don’t expect Ed to not be with me at my Christmas Eve dinner tonight.

I know he will be there. He will be sitting right next to me on my chair.

And you know, I think that’s OK for the moment.

Ed was with me for so many years, to say that he would just disappear during my very first holiday season in recovery would be the perfectionist, black and white person in me speaking, and I have let that part of me go.

The biggest lesson I continue to learn is that none of us have to be perfect in our recovery.

Today, my recovery means being present and going to that Christmas Eve dinner, even when Ed is telling me not to.

And if he comes with me, so be it.

And if I need to wear my stretchy pants and loose shirt, so be it.

The fact is, I am there. Period.

I am there.

And to my dear friends and fighters, please know, that wherever you are, we are all going and fighting through these hard holiday gatherings together.

At least for me, knowing that I am not alone, during a time where I feel like it’s difficult for others around me to understand the anxiety around food, is a big source of support.

When you will be at your dinner table tonight celebrating Christmas Eve, I will be at mine doing the same thing.

When you will be around the delicious holiday treats tomorrow morning, so will I.

And so will our Ed’s too.

But that’s ok.

Last year, only Ed was present during this time of year for me; Shira was not.

I was physically there but my mind wasn’t.

Now I am here.

I might be here with my Ed next to me–my little, annoying Ed who doesn’t hold much power anymore. But nonetheless, I am here.

If we have our Ed’s with us at our tables tonight and tomorrow, let’s forgive ourselves for it.

If we eat what our Ed’s tell us not to, oh hell yes, let’s forgive ourselves for it, because it’s Christmas and we deserve it.

And if we feel our Ed’s are taking over us, lets forgive ourselves for it, because regardless of what our eating disorders want us to think, we are not perfect.

We are learning.

And for me and for many reading this, it’s our first Christmas in recovery.

Let’s love ourselves and give ourselves some slack.

Wishing everyone and their Ed’s (if they will be present) a very happy, safe and delicious Christmas Eve.

Hello Life.