I cringed this afternoon as I walked into the grocery store and was greeted with “On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”. I mean, I know that Christmas is a mere 6 weeks away and that it’s not unusual to hear Christmas music in stores even before now, but I long to live in a society that first allows me the quiet gratitude, the humility, and the closeness that is Thanksgiving.
Since that’s impossible in this consumer culture, I decided to rebel and write one blog post a day from now until the end of November in which I mention something I’m grateful for — a kind of Twelve Days of Thanksgiving, if you will. But this isn’t just an ordinary Gratitude List (though I think it’s wonderful to keep a journal full of things we’re grateful for, paging through it from time to time). No, these twelve blog posts will be the things related to my recovery from binge-eating disorder for which I’m most grateful.
Day 1 – The journey to “recovered”.
When my own journey towards recovery started, it was just a dying ember of an idea seemingly buried beneath the blanket of snow that was my heart. By 2004, I was separated from my husband, had lost interest in most things, isolated myself from friends and family, and wasn’t sure much of anything was going to change. I comforted myself in the short-term with the numbness that came from bingeing and loathing my body. But something inside told me to hang on and have faith that things could be better.
The first time I tried to stop bingeing, I wasn’t even sure how to get started. But I took one step forward…and then another…and another, often stumbling and retreating to old habits before getting up and taking another step. Eight years later, I am amazed to look back at the journey — the valleys that were my low points after binges; the triumphant peaks of successfully avoiding a binge, the quicksand of negative thinking, the desert of forbidden foods I had to learn to eat again, and the ocean of love I felt when I was finally able to receive it and give that love to myself. I am so thankful and humbled to call myself “recovered”.