>Food for Thought

>So this is Christmas…

Or rather, the awkward week after when no one knows whether or not to keep up the tree and when is the right time to throw away the left-overs.

It was an amazing, amazing Christmas, one that will not be easily forgotten. The boy and I were able to spend a lot of quality time with each other and with our families. Mine was very generous in “letting me” spend Christmas day dinner with Brian’s family, and I must say, if I couldn’t be in my own home on that blessed day there was no where else I would rather be.

This time last year I got together with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a long, long time, one who I spent a ton of time with in my pre-bulimia days. She was my eating-buddy. We rarely got together unless it was to hit up Boston Pizza or Dairy Queen. I knew she would never judge me for getting refills, as I never judged her, but underneath that non-judgemental-facade I knew that the truth was we were bad for each other. Very bad. When I saw her last year, having come through many years of bulimia and then recovering, it was like stepping back in time. We met at my work, and immediately ordered pizza and went to Save-On for snacks. All the healthy lessons I had learned slipped my mind and I was easily dragged back to a place I ran long and hard from. That day was hard for me, but it wasn’t a total loss. Because saying no wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I ate the pizza and snacks but I was able to stop. And that was a breath of fresh air. I will probably see her again, but I’m not worried.

The reason I told you that is because I know over-eating is something most of us deal with this time of year.

On command I can hear my Gramma’s gentle voice with that German accent of hers in my ear…

Eat, eat, eat.

Bless her heart. I know she means well and it delights her to no end to see her children nourished, but eating isn’t always the right answer.

On the last day of Preschool this year, I hit a wall. And thank GOD my good friend was working with me that day because I needed her. For an entire week little kids were coming to us with boxes of chocolate and homemade cookies and cupcakes and candy and birthday cake and Rice Krispy squares, and gingerbread men. I had a very hard time. As you all know, my job can often be under-challenging so I am bored a lot. And bored people eat. So I ate. More than I needed to. On that last day I knew I had to reach out for some help, so I went to the window in the kitchen that divides our rooms and I told my friend that I wanted to throw up. This is and was a big deal. I hadn’t had serious thoughts about this for a long, long time. She was pretty amazing. Without blinking an eye for a second she told me that it wouldn’t be worth it; wouldn’t be worth it to flush away (no pun intended) all the hard work I had put into my recovery only to start from the beginning again. Then she said she understood how I felt because sometimes she has those thoughts too. Then we packed up every last treat I had been given and went straight to the staff lounge to drop them off. Those treats are now someone else’s problem and apparently made quite a few people’s day. It felt way better than throwing up. I felt so responsible and so strong in that moment.

Life has been a little hard these days in the way of routines for me. In the fall I house/pet-sat for 2 different sets of friends for a combined 2 months and I haven’t really gotten back in the groove since then, especially with the chaos of Christmas. It’s been hard, and I have noticed that my eating habits are taking the brunt of it. I’m not very motivated to buy groceries these days because I have dinner with Brian a lot (he’s an amazing cook) and haven’t felt much like eating breakfast. So I need to get back on that.

I’m happy that my friend from work taught me to give things away. Not everyone deals with the negative consequences (mainly emotional) that come from eating too many sweets, and it’s nice to share with my coworkers who do such a great job at what they do. I am going to make a habit of that from now on.

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas this year. I know I have.

~C~

Advertisements

>Grown-Ups

>I’m not sure when.

I’m not sure how.

But…
I think I have become a grown up.
The thought came to me on Sunday night as I attended a Christmas party with some dear friends. There was laughter. There was a good ol’ bottle of Baileys. There was music playing in the background. And there were children running around. Children that belonged to people the same age as me. And it was then that I realized I no longer belong at the Kids Table. I belong at the Boring Grown-Up Table. Only I am delighted to discover that it isn’t at all boring!
I remember being 3 or 4 and looking at people taller and waaaay older then me and feeling like they didn’t know how to have fun at all. I felt lucky to be the one to get away with sitting on people’s laps and getting spoiled and breaking ornaments and spilling eggnog and running wild on a sugar high. Now I feel lucky to be the one sitting beside someone so very amazing, sipping my eggnog (and never spilling it…haha). I feel lucky to have friends who are intelligent and fun and funny and caring. I feel fortunate to have little ones around to call me Auntie and sit on my lap as I quietly sneak them bits of cookie when their parents aren’t looking.
I. LOVE. The. Grown-up. Table.
I am seeing this revelation in my relationship, too. How easy it is to be childish and foolish when someone upsets you, yes? But the boy and I have learned to have grown-up conversations without being childish. And it’s so, so lovely.
Christmas isn’t the same as it used to be, that’s for sure. But I have learned this season that it is so much more. I see it through the eyes of my young, impressionable students and Brian’s amazing nieces and nephew, and it’s so magical. I have also seen it through the eyes of a grown-up, now, too. And it’s a different kind of magic, but so very enjoyable nevertheless.
How are you enjoying your last few days until Christmas 2010?
~C~

>Ten Thousand Thank Yous

>I need to say thank you ten thousand times, because that’s how many times you guys visited His Heart, My Song. Ten Thousand times in less than a year.

Thank YOU

Yes, you.

And you and you and you and you and you and you and you….

That’s a lot of times for this blog to get clicked on, and that’s a lot of thank yous. You have to know I am so, so grateful for the massive support, outreach and empathy you have all shown. It’s been amazing.

Oprah Winfrey considers herself a teacher. For almost her whole life she has sat in front of millions of viewers and shared her opinions and views and insights. And she for sure has had some amazing things to say. When I first started this blog I saw myself a little bit in the same light. I thought I was gonna sit here and share my opinions and views and insights where bulimia is concerned.

But something very different happened.

I quickly discovered that I am not, in fact, the teacher at all here. I am most definitely the student. While I may have facilitated or opened doors to the world of speaking out about eating disorders, there is an inconceivable amount of information that I have gained rather than shared, thanks to you guys.

Shortly after I started writing His Heart, My Song, I disabled the option for people to leave comments. I’m still kind of on the fence about that choice, actually. I will tell you the truth: In the beginning of this writing adventure of mine, I found that I would pour my heart out, hit ‘publish’, and wait for comments to appear. A lot of the time they did, and they were so appreciated. But when they didn’t I saw it as rejection and it wasn’t healthy. Feedback wasn’t really the aim for me, and I didn’t want to fall into a trap of expecting it or relying on it to fuel my writing. The problem now is that there are several ‘followers’ out there who are not my facebook friends, and in the event that they want to be in touch or maybe even reach out for help with a similar struggle, they have no way of doing that. But in any case, the emails that I receive following really honest posts are so encouraging, and you have indeed taught me more than I expected to learn through your writing as well. Yet another thank you.

So, stay tuned. The well is not dry. The pen hasn’t run out of ink…or in any case, my keyboard hasn’t broken! Stories have yet to be told.

Can you believe there are only 23374 minutes left until Christmas? Soak it up, friends. Be joyful. Have so much fun.

And thank you, once again.

~C~

http://emailsanta.com/clock.asp

>Reconciliation

>Thursday felt a bit like Christmas day. I felt like I was given a huge gift. A priceless gift. A long-awaited gift.

It was a day of reconciliation.

In 2002 I met a girl at summer camp who was to become one of my best friends—the type of friend who will stay with you in your heart for the rest of your life…whether you are speaking to each other or not. For 4 years we built up a beautiful friendship and learned to lean on each other through thick and thin. We saw each other through hooks ups and breaks up, adventures and trials, good times and bad.

Throughout those years I was changing a lot, as most people do as they try to gracefully leave their teen years behind and become a 20-something with character and poise. Let me tell you, for me that wasn’t a graceful time at all. I struggled a lot, developed bulimia, tried hard to define myself by how many friends I had; by how many people “needed me”. I guess what ended up happening was that this dear friend of mine felt pushed away and less important or less wanted after awhile. That’s really a huge shame because it wasn’t the truth at all. At that point in my life I wasn’t even aware that I had a problem. I had never owned up to my bulimia, hadn’t reached out for help at that point, so I was really messed up.

In 2006 we had a fight. A big, big falling out. I will spare you personal details as I don’t want to cross any confidentiality lines here, but misconceptions and miscommunications were flying in each and every direction and it wasn’t pretty. There were insurmountable tears on both our accounts and I didn’t ever forget that day, because I thought it was the last day I would ever see my best friend this side of heaven.

Years and years passed. Weddings were held, babies were born, life-changing events occurred in both our lives. I never forgot my friend. Her picture was on my fridge all this time. There was a piece of me missing, cheesy as that might sound. I missed her.

A few weeks ago everything changed, and although this doesn’t happen often, we reconnected literally overnight. I didn’t know what to make of it, but I was really excited and hopeful. Words were exchanged, apologies made, regrets expressed, love reaffirmed.

I saw her on Thursday. In so many ways she is the exact same friend I met almost 9 years ago. 9 years hasn’t robbed us of our humour, of our kindred spirits, of our matching personalities. Sure, we may be dealing with a few more wrinkles, a few more years under our belts, some experiences we didn’t share and can never get back, but what we have now is a second chance. And I’m not letting her go again because I know that life without her is no life at all.

The most unusual thing happened later that night. I got home late from Brian’s birthday dinner, hopped on facebook to check my messages, and another old estranged friend of mine from that same summer of 2002 came online. On a less intense scale, a similar falling out occurred between us and we, too, lost many years of each others friendship. But low and behold, the very same night, we were able to reconcile as well.

It felt like my birthday, only this wasn’t a gift that can break or be returned or traded in. It’s way better than that. It’s friendship. It’s sisterhood. It’s amazing.

Oh, and the icing on the cake? My best girl is moving back. Life just keeps getting better and better.

Merry early Christmas!!

~C~