EDCare Recovery Advocate Guest Blog | Mindy
If you have been following my blogs and vlogs this year, you have heard me share the ways my eating disorder, Coach, has taken away so many wonderful and joyous moments of my life. In the depths of my disorder all I could focus on was the negative. It had control over everything. I’d tell myself I was a horrible person, how I couldn’t do anything right, and how I would never be enough. My focus was toxic; however, when I could find even the smallest amount of gratitude, hope followed close behind. As we enter the holiday season, a difficult time for many in recovery, I think it is important to help ourselves and others foster an attitude of gratitude! Here are a few things I am thankful for. As you read, I hope you begin to build your own list!
COMMUNITY: I have INCREDIBLE friends in my life. A community of people who know and accept me through my ups and downs. Community is an integral part of who we are and has been one of the main reasons my recovery has been sustainable.
FOOD: This one was hard to come to terms with. I endured many years of Coach telling me it was shameful to eat and I didn’t deserve food. Through recovery I learned food isn’t JUST fuel – it is also meant to be enjoyed! We all need it to function and engage in life. You deserve to nourish yourself, no matter the size of your body.
MOVEMENT: I’m thankful I have the energy to move. Skiing and being outdoors, in general, is an important part of who I am. Our bodies are capable of so many wonderful things and I am grateful mine has remained strong in recovery to allow me to participate in the activities I enjoy.
FAMILY: I’m thankful I get to visit my family for Thanksgiving. In the past, going home and eating a holiday meal with lots of food and people was very anxiety provoking. In recovery, this anxiety has turned to excitement and joy at being able to celebrate with those I love.
FAITH: I don’t often talk about the spiritual component of my recovery, but I believe the process has been a solid mix of bio-psycho-social-spiritual. I’m grateful I have mended this connection and am beginning to believe I am loved by God and was created for so much more than an eating disorder. The disorder is part of my story, but I wasn’t made to live in fear, isolation, the need to control everything, and negativity. I was made to live loosely and love deeply. I’m grateful for the freedom, strength, hope, and redemption I’ve found in my faith.
If the holidays seem like a daunting and overwhelming time of year, remember to take it one day at a time. Creating a list of things you are grateful for can be grounding and help you remain connected to the present.
So, what are you thankful for this holiday season? Don’t keep it locked up in your head, write it down – hang it on your fridge, on your mirror, or wherever you can see it frequently and be reminded of all the good we have in our lives.