This post is written by Emily Costa, Project HEAL’s Blog Manager
For those overcoming an eating disorder, Thanksgiving can be a challenging feat to overcome. Instead of posting a list of survival tips or anything like that, I wanted to write a letter of encouragement to whoever needs a little reminder that they can handle this day.
I know Thanksgiving can be scary. The plethora of food, the relatives you haven’t seen in a while, the memories of behaviors used in past years flooding your mind. But I wanted to write to you to remind you that you can handle this. Lets take a moment to remember how far you have come. You are here, alive, and dedicating every fiber in your being to recovery. Did you forget how strong that makes you? Because I certainly haven’t.
I want to remind you that this meal is just like any other – and just because there may be more delicious sides on the table, does not mean it has to be any scarier. Give yourself permission to enjoy the food and the company that surrounds you. What you eat at this meal is not a determining factor in how great of a friend, daughter, sister or person you are.
If things get tough, remember you are not alone in your struggle. Remember that there are many people who want to be there for you. Remember that whatever happens during this day – does not determine what will happen tomorrow.
Lastly, this is a holiday about being thankful; so let yourself be thankful for recovery.
Because, recovery has opened so many doors for you to live a happy and healthy life. Let yourself sit at the dining table with a sense of strength. Let yourself laugh with loved ones reminding you that food simply has the power to connect. Let the meal be a small part of a day that slows us down, brings us together and ignites wonderful conversation. Let yourself be thankful to the friends and family that have held us close during our journey of recovery.
But most importantly, let yourself be thankful for YOU. YOU are the one who decided to get better. YOU are the one who chooses recovery every single day. YOU are the one who doesn’t give up despite how challenging things may get. YOU are a warrior and I hope you enjoy a slice of pie and freedom this year.
With much love,