Christmas was better than I thought it would be, seeing as though I spent it virtually alone. I had my cat, my miniature Christmas tree, and even a touch of snow. My mother shipped the presents she bought me overnight so that I had something to open on Christmas morning. It was sweet of her. I called home and spoke with my nieces. I miss them so much. They're growing up so quickly. They asked why I didn't come home for Christmas. They don't understand the tension that exists between me and the rest of our family. Then again, it's better that they don't.
This is the first time in 6 years that I treated myself to a special meal on Christmas. And, I did it all for myself. There was no one else to cook for. There was no reason I should eat anything at all. For the past 6 years, I ate nothing on Christmas, or at least very little. This year I made myself some vegan lasagna, some garlic bread, and vegan chocolate chip cookies. I only ate one, but I can't even begin to stress the progress I've made. I've never felt like I was worthy enough to eat. Maybe that sounds strange, maybe it doesn't. I always thought I didn't deserve food. I hated myself so badly. I realize now there is no reason to hate myself. I shouldn't torture my body. It has done nothing wrong. It has never failed me. It has never asked for anything other than to exist as it is, without me torturing it. I decided to treat myself out of respect. I respect my body. I want to feed it, nurture it, and keep it strong.
I've spent too much time and energy being sick. Now, I'm focusing all that time and energy on being healthy.
I know that respect for our bodies is something a lot of people struggle with, even those who have never had an eating disorder. Most women and girls especially hate their bodies. They starve them, nip them, tuck them, tan them, criticize them, torture them, overexert them, abuse them, hate them, loathe them, wish and pray for nothing else but to change them. Why is it so hard for people to see how beautiful they are?
Why was it so hard for me?
I don't have the answer, but I have the solution: love yourself the way you love those dearest to you. Treat yourself. Nurture yourself. Believe in yourself. See the beauty and divinity and strength that exists naturally in yourself, just the way you are.
I've posted this before in another entry, but I've been thinking about it a lot today. At my old church in Las Vegas, one very memorable sermon was about self-respect. The pastor spoke about how critical people are of themselves, especially of their bodies. Then he asked:
How do you think God feels when we criticize his creation?
Because that's what we are: his creations. Beautiful. Holy. Special.