Thankfully Christmas is over for another year! I hope that whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate, you all got through it okay – at the very least. I wish, more than that, that you managed to enjoy it, to share some time with the people who are special to you, and not let your problems steal any more of your lives from you.
I had a really good one this year. And I can see again, that I’ve come SUCH a long way. For years, Christmas was not something I could even ditch the ED for one day for. I would pretend I was festive while eating my same lettuce salads, turn down every chocolate or sweet with a big (crazy?) smile.. determined to show I was ‘having a good time’ when in reality I was miserable and I was making the people around me miserable too. And I barely connected with any of the people who were in my life then, because I was just too wrapped up /obsessed/distracted/freaked out in all that was going on in my head.
It wasn’t easy though! I am like a duck on a pond – I can seem fine, and like I’m calmly coping with everything thrown my way, but under the surface where you cannot see it there is a heck of a lot of franticness going on. The difference now is that I DO the things that terrify me despite the same struggle and the same inner screaming of insults, panicked adding of the calories eaten, etc as before. I do it anyway.
On Christmas Eve I went to stay with my long time best friend, her partner and her family. They gave me a bunk in a super-duper caravan with my friend and her partner in the queen sized bed – this thing was a hotel on wheels, I have never seen a caravan with it’s own air conditioning, toilet, shower, oven etc before! (Then again, I’ve never slept in a caravan before either haha.) So that was an adventure in itself!
We had a really lovely (scary) dinner of salads, rolls, leg ham, veggie patties, cheeses and crackers, and I ate a bit of everything – a reasonable sized plate. I also had a glass of red wine, a really nice one that smacked me in the back of the head a bit (cannot remember which, I think it was Brown Brothers Pinot Noir). I am not much of a drinker – I don’t like being drunk, don’t like how it feels at all. I also haven’t had many opportunities to drink at functions or parties as an adult – eating disorders rob you of things like that. So a little will affect me a lot, and one small glass left me pretty giddy for the evening – but not too giddy to enjoy it.
I also sampled some traditional eggnog – it tasted a bit like junket, a bit nutmeggy, a bit custardy.. was really nice.
After dinner we went out for a drive around the Christmas lights – there were some amazing displays, and it left our night feeling magical. We came home and played a few games on the Wii (another new experience for me) before I fell into bed exhausted. I had some strange dreams that night, probably because the ‘people’ in those Wii sports games are freaky, does anyone else think this? The way they stand there and BREATHE with their mouths in that open smile, the way they often have no arms or legs, especially in the bowling game, the people on either side bowling then jumping up and down with no legs… freaky haha.
Now Christmas day! It was awesome! The magic of being part of this traditional family Christmas continued. Lunch was huge – again, I ate a bit of everything, and appropriate servings. We started with HUGE king prawns, and oysters. I have never had an oyster before, mostly because the thought of it squicks me out. But with some encouragement I tried one. It was gross going down, but really does taste of the sea.
Our main course was a table groaning with food. Leg ham, turkey with stuffing, pork with crackling, sauces, dressings, two different salads, steamed potatoes. I had some of everything, even a bit of crackling! And I finished my plate. Not only that, I had about 3 smallish glasses of wine to try the different types. Was pleasantly buzzed haha.
We spent the day talking, opening presents, and watching the carols on TV. Unfortunately I had to leave in time to get home before it was too late so missed cake, pudding and pavlova with fruit which I’d helped my friend decorate earlier – but I was relieved. I seriously felt like I would have to roll myself home, I was SO beyond full.
It wasn’t easy. I might have appeared fine, but inside, my head was screaming. About how could I possibly be eating these things or even entertain the thought of eating them. About how everything was ruined. How I’d pay. My head added up every single calorie as it was consumed and tormented me with that the entire time, still does a few days later.
But despite that, I did it, ate that food, kept it down, enjoyed the party and the people. You lose, ED.
A few years ago, this would have been impossible.
I’m so quietly but deeply overwhelmed and thankful for how far I have come – and the hope that I can continue down this path. Who knows where next Christmas will see me?
Santa was good to me too, VERY good to me. I still find it hard to believe people would buy me such beautiful gifts as they did. Among them, I got several outfits of clothing, a pretty beaded necklace, a beautiful New Zealand paua shell necklace, a brand new phone (!!!) and my favourite of all, a duck!
Yes, a duck!
I can’t stop smiling every time I see the card – it’s really a feel-good present. It’s wonderful to think that someone overseas is a lot better off because of that duck, and it’s amazing how much good a single duck can do. This was my first experience with being given a charity gift and I’m over the moon about it. I hear a lot of people expressing that it’s not a ‘real gift’ and that they are grumpy about someone donating to charity on their behalf, but in my eyes, it’s the gift I’ve enjoyed the most this year, from the moment I opened the card and burst out laughing, to now, thinking about the duck and how it helps, and thinking of my friends and how lovely they are.
So that’s my Christmas! How was yours? And would you love getting a donation to charity as a gift, or not?
Next up, New Years Eve!
Shalimar also enjoyed Christmas, I bought her a few better than usual cat food varieties, and she pretty much spent the time I was away sleeping and eating. When I returned, we had lots of cuddles She’s a gift every single moment. A very precious gift.
ETA (28/12/12) – I just wanted to add that the presents above were among what I opened on Christmas day. I also got some really lovely gifts from my other best friend and little sister – a foot care pamper pack with slippers!! and divine smelling lotions, chocolate coated ginger (I LOVE dark chocolate and I LOVE ginger!), lemon and ginger tea!!!, and a very pretty set of cutlery that now makes my meals that bit more special – pretty green handles, and they are NICE. Meal times should be NICE.
I have just felt so overwhelmed this year by the generosity and the love from my friends (FAMILY) and I didn’t want my little sister and other bestie to think I’d forgotten her!