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Giving Thanks, Saying Prayers and Taking Steps

As the Thanksgiving holiday approached, my family pretty much dispersed in different directions. By family, I mean mine on my mother’s side and by pretty much, I mean completely!

My NaNa passed away recently and I was not looking forward to surviving the day without her much less watching my mother suffer through the day without her own mother but I was going to “toughen up” and be there for everyone, I was going to have everyone over to my house, make a fabulous feast and hold everyone together. My husband agreed and we were set to go or so we thought. Then one by one my aunt’s called and said that they had other plans and were going with their kids or this or that or the other. My mom called and said as only she could that she was just “going to make a salad or thaw some peas.” She informed me that she wanted to “make use of her time” and get some of closets cleaned out. I felt dejected… how was I going to hold everyone together if they insisted on being apart? My sweet husband told me everything would be fine and that we would just go to his parents for Thanksgiving, that “they would love to have us!” I agreed and made plans to take food to his parents house earlier in the day as they have one of those houses where the front door never closes because someone is always coming or going, everyone stops by.

Then the day before, I felt it, the dread seeping in. How was I going to manage myself around all that food for an entire day? I pondered ways to discard and cover up food so that I did not actually have to eat but it would look like I had. I figured how many hours it takes for a laxative to kick in because I know they are not quiet in their attack and I wanted to time my elimination for when we got back home to some privacy. I preplanned the “upset tummy” excuse I would tell my husband. I thought about “accidentally” leaving important items at home so that I had to “run home” to get them, which would give me a chance to purge whatever I had just eaten. I pretended that I felt a little “cold/fluish” just incase I decided to stay home and avoid the whole food thing altogether.

Thanksgiving came and I started my day off with meditation and prayer. I worked my steps and I felt grateful. My mind was whole; my heart was open. The thoughts of the day before seemed like a weird book I read. I joined my husband at his parents’ house, which was full to the brim. There were even people out side.  My husband and I had a remarkable day. I felt closer to him than I have in some time. We visited with his family, we played games, we snuggled outside; I tended to his elderly aunt who has lost much of her sight and struggles to hear, I helped his mother in the kitchen; I was present and I was of service. It felt good to be helping others and not focusing on my issues. When we ate, I ate like a “normal” person. I ate what I needed nothing more nothing less. I kept not just the steps but the “actual work” loosely in my conscious and my heart in prayer.

At the end of the day, my husband looked me in the eyes, smiled, kissed me and thanked me for “not being sick.” I laughed from the shock of him knowing that my “cold/flu” had been faked. He told me how much he enjoyed seeing me relaxed and enjoying myself. He was right; I had been relaxed. I have been clinging so tightly to do’s and don’ts, how to’s and what not to’s, to eat’s or not to eat’s that I have lost control of my control. When I relaxed a bit, gave myself a break and started doing the actual work and not just reading about or hearing about it, my (and my husband’s) life went well.

We are glad you are reading Jessica’s blog and hope that you find encouragement in her candor. is here to help guide your through the steps on the journey to ED recovery and wellness.


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