Our family doesn’t eat Thanksgiving dinner until 7pm.
So the kids are napping now, preparing for a late night.
And I’m sitting here thinking.
Thinking about all the things that I’m thankful for: family, yes. Health, yes. A new home, yes. Good friends, yes. Prosperity and comfort and the advantages afforded to me simply because I was born in the USA. All of that.
But mostly I’m thankful that this holiday doesn’t scare me anymore.
This morning I took a picture of the toilet. I’m not even sure why. I think I’ve adopted a habit of taking pictures of things that feel significant–often with the intention of posting them on social media. Because in a way what you post is documentation of who you are. It gives people a glimpse into what’s important to you.
That sunrise made me feel peaceful. Snap.
That mountain made me feel strong. Snap.
That toothless smile made me feel love. Snap.
That ninja jump off the coffee table made me laugh. Snap.
These are the things that are important to me: the sunrises, the mountains, the toothless smiles of my children, the mid-morning ninja moves off the coffee table.
The toilet. Snap.
Weird (you won’t find that one on social media).
But it made me feel thankful.
I spent nine years with my head bent over a toilet forcing myself to vomit. For nine years my life revolved around purging as the escape from a fear of being not good enough.
Things would always climax during the Holidays, where two months of bingeing and purging would leave me feeling ashamed, depressed and sick. I was scared of the holidays, with all its parties and food and people because it revealed the consuming nature of my disorder. I had no control over my behavior and as much as I tried to hide it, it was on display, as ugly and embarrassing as it was.
I am so thankful that I’ve overcome that disorder. That I’m not afraid of the Holidays with all its parties and food and people, because now I can enjoy it.
So that pic of the toilet–it makes me feel grateful. It’s part of my past and I’m thankful for it because without it I wouldn’t really be present in the life I have now with my family and health and good friends. It was my fire. I went through it, it was hell and now my life is far better than it ever was before.
Without that past I wouldn’t really be able to be thankful at all.
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