I don't have anything terribly inspiring to say, nothing too heartfelt, but a couple of quick and super awesome things.
This year I did not have to:
- ask for a pass from the hospital or a program to spend time with my family
- be in photos with a tube hanging from my nose
- spend most of the day sleeping due to high doses of anti-anxieties or physical exhaustion secondary to starvation
- plan a tube feed or other schedule around any pass I might have
- stress about what meal came next and/or how to skip it
- sneak to the bathroom, backyard, or bedroom to throw up whatever I did eat
- take hundreds of laxatives now that I am home alone after a long day of eating and drinking
- regret losing the last year of my life to my eating disorder
- dread the year ahead
- wonder if this was my last Christmas because of the ED
- have to call and ask what exactly I should be eating for any given meal
- dread waking up to get on a scale
- feel guilt. At all.
- feel regret. At all.
I did, however:
- feel happy throughout the day complete with a few unexpected turns
- enjoy what food and drinks were offered, as I wanted them
- give and receive hugs freely
- maintain eye contact and engage in many interactions
- laugh and smile from the inside
- allow myself to be completely present in my moments, even slightly removed as a "spectator" at times, just to really take in the whole wonderful scene
- look forward to tomorrow's plans with friends
- refrain from giving material gifts as planned
- do what felt right to me as it pertained to religious traditions, without guilt
- get really excited to dress up and did not think about the size of the clothes I was wearing
- feel thankful for this wonderful opportunity to experience the season as the person I have become
What an amazing list, and I could go on. The difference is so remarkable but feels so completely natural. This is how Christmas was supposed to feel all along - joyful, peaceful, content, and loved.
Gone are the days of self-hatred so deep that I could not see past it; as are the days of years passing with me standing by, waiting for the strength, courage, and direction to change.
For all of this and much more that I cannot think to put words to because I am tired from this day - I am so thankful.