I have read so many tips for loved ones who have family members, on how to act around those of us with an ED this thanksgiving. So I am not going to write or share those because there are plenty of those tips out there. I am going to write from a personal perspective and tell you how it is honestly for me.
Thanksgiving, for me, was a very stressful time because family would gather and the unpredictability of all that and how people would be with each other was one whole fear. Being around certain people made it even more difficult. I have always been taught it is the time of year to be thankful for everyone and everything, but I am not thankful for how I learned how to cope with stress in my life. Taking control of my food was the easiest way to ease the anxiety, so I thought, but now I know that I was letting the food control me.
Each Thanksgiving brings its own unique struggles. As I grow and get healthier in mind and body, it has allowed me to separate myself a little from the ED. So these are my personal tips for my fellow ED recovery minded friends.
#1 Before the meal, try to help in some way that will help you stay grounded and engaged with others so that we don't have time to think about the meal.
#2 During the meal, think about all the things you have to be thankful for. Some families are eating Thanksgiving alone, without their loved one who struggled. Be thankful you are alive.
#3 After the meal, sit down and chat with someone you haven't talked to in a while, catch up with them so that you do not have to think about all the food you just ate.
What is the gist of my 3 points, try focusing your attention and efforts on others around you so that you can't give any ground to your ED. It has no place at our Thanksgiving tables this year. It doesn't mean I or you will not have any anxiety at all if you follow these three steps, because I know I still will have some. These are just what I will be trying to do. I try hard to live what I preach.
Lastly, let me just say, I am thankful for every connection and friend I have made through this ED, and I am very thankful for each of you. You each have contributed to my recovery journey! Thank you!
It is with a heavy heart that I write....the more I connect with those that are hurting and caught up in this vicious cycle of eating disorders, the more I want to open this kitchen as soon as I possibly can. I listened to stories yesterday of a lady who was living free from an ED, and I heard about a young lady who didn't receive any help or support and she died from anorexia.
In this ED world there are a lot of highs and lows....and I suspect the more I get involved the more I will hear. This kitchen I want to start is so necessary. I have spoken to my friends who are also in outpatient and struggling to eat their meal plan alone. My dream is to provide community and support in the food aspect of outpatient. Trust me, this is a critical part of staying in recovery mind set.
My friend, Donata (who I am starting up this kitchen with), took me into her home and let me eat with her one meal a day, it helped me so much. That someone cared if I was eating....that someone wanted to see me succeed....that I was getting help doing the thing that made me so afraid....not enough words will ever come to me to say thank you to her for helping me like this.
Now, I want to give back! I am still in recovery, yes, but this kitchen can come along side people like me and other ED sufferers, and help us accomplish what we desire. Hope and Recovery!
So we have started a GO Fund Me page to try to start up this kitchen. We need funds to settle down somewhere in Greenville. We have several properties we are looking at and would love for anyone who is interested in helping us to go here:
We have also started a wish list of items from Amazon.com in case you would rather purchase an item that is greatly needed as we try to fill up our future kitchen.
We are also still fully involved with meeting people in Greenville who have also started up non profits and have succeeded. This kitchen is our driving passion right now and want nothing more than to start helping individuals as soon as possible.
We are so busy with meeting new people and every day another person with an eating disorder has a conversation with me about this kitchen and when will it get started...I can't tell you how much that feeds the flame for me to persevere through starting up a new endeavor here. I am thankful to have Donata by my side through all this and the Lord continues to open doors for us. We are very grateful.
The meetings we are having are with people who have done this before us. We are not looking to make a new mold here...we are in touch with people from Greenville who we would like to work closely with but are also now considering how to start things sooner to help people who need help sooner than later. I feel like the both of us work hours every day making phone calls, talking in meetings, or making our legal documents. Please continue to pray for us as this desire and need grows here in Greenville.
On that note, we are accepting names of clients to start to get on our waiting list so that when we are ready to start, these individuals can get right in and will be ready to hit the ground running with us. On the pop up on the main page is the place to put your name and email address in even if you are just a little bit interested.
Right now, we are buried in IRS nonprofit organization forms...but we will persevere because we believe in this project. We are also looking at locations for the kitchen to set up shop. There are a few options but not very many. One is in a busy, and maybe too noisy, for the calm environment, we are looking for. Some have no kitchens at all and we would have to install one. Another one may take too long to get completely finished, but we have already had a lot of interest in what we are doing.
The need is great, here in Greenville, for an Eating Disorder Kitchen. We are just pushing forward every day with meetings with business people, eating disorder dietitians, counselors, and therapists to be sure we listening to everyone's ideas.