Why I am Thankful to be Recovered

Eating disorders make the holiday season almost unbearable. Here is my list of thanks for finally being able to enjoy this time.

Recovery is the regaining of something lost. A light at the end of the tunnel after years of trying to rebuild yourself into someone you remember. It is hope that a body so abused and hated can finally be loved again. It is a word that rests heavily on my heart.

With the holiday season approaching I wanted to share why I’m thankful to be fully recovered from an eating disorder. Eating disorders are illnesses of silence. Many of us suffer alone until it is too late. I am writing this to spread awareness, to hold out a hand to those in need, and to have my voice heard for those who cannot speak. Recovery is not easy, but the feeling of loving yourself for the first time is worth more than anything in this world.

I am thankful because I can finally breathe. There is no longer a weight on my shoulders that prevents me from living. It has stopped defining me. My body was a battlefield for far too long.

I am thankful because I can sit next to my family and eat without feeling guilty or uncomfortable. There are no more suicide notes left on empty plates or nights spent on the bathroom floor. I don’t feel the need to weigh myself 30 times a day or over-exercise until I faint.

I am thankful because I can no longer recite the amount of calories in every single piece of food I put in my mouth. Food is not my enemy, but my nourishment.

I am thankful for the simple things in life. For the things I missed out on when I was sick. I am grateful to be alive and to be a woman that others can rely on. Rock bottom was never home. It destroyed everything important to me, but it has shown me that life is precious and being a good person is far more important then what the scale reads.

I am thankful for a body that can run, lift, ski, swim and dance (even if it’s not good). My body is healthy and strong. That is beautiful.

I am thankful for a family that stood by my side even when they couldn’t understand. A family that cried with me at my lowest points and laughed with me when I needed it the most. I would not be the woman I am today if they hadn’t loved me at my darkest.

I am thankful for amazing friends that opened their arms to me and lifted me from the ground when I wanted to stop breathing. Friends that believed in me and appreciated me when I could barely look at myself in the mirror. I would be completely lost without them.

I am thankful that my life is filled with unconditional love for myself, for others and for God. My faith was instrumental in the recovery process.

I am thankful that I am no longer at war with myself. I have confidence, motivation, and ambition. I saved myself because I was meant to succeed, not burn to the ground.

And finally, I am thankful for every morning I wake up and remain recovered. I am a woman of strength and resilience. I rise and rise and rise again and I stand with pride, not shame, for the battles I have fought against myself.