This wouldn’t post yesterday for some reason..
I ate Christmas lunch by myself & it was blissful. The fact that I was absolutely certain that nobody would come in or that nobody had looked at what I was having made me feel safe, happy and in control.
Although there have been a few too many social occasions surrounded by food the last couple of weeks, I really do love Christmas, and it has been a special day to me since I was very young. At a buffet today (family only) I told everybody I wouldn’t eat before we went to it. I am glad I stuck to that, but it was quite hard to be present in that situation; for some reason, being around food made me particularly on edge this afternoon.
It is exceptionally challenging to maintain relationships and maintain my fears and rigidity over food all at once, and I am so relieved to have done both this Christmas. A little piece of me does however feel sadness that I can’t join in with these things without it ruining me emotionally for the day/ week etc….
I wonder if anybody else even really cared about what I was doing… I suppose that most of us are too wrapped up in our own thoughts and judgements to truly focus on someone else for very long, but even so, I do worry that people around me resent my lack of willing to eat socially. (Here comes the essay on selfishness) Is it selfish of me to choose my own comfort about eating, rather than place myself under pressure for the comfort of others? I guess it is, but as a person I do not consider myself to be selfish. Although much of my time is dominated by thinking about my food plans. or exercise, or my body, this is almost exclusively a negative activity. It isn’t having a love for myself, or done out of not caring for anybody else. In fact, I try so hard to please others and help my friends whenever I possibly can, but this also brings me pleasure so it I guess it is partially selfish too?
Nothing is selfless. I believe that everybody has their own unique balance of being kind to themselves and being kind to others. How often you think about yourself or others is irrelevant: surely it is the manner in which you think of yourself and others that matters. I hate myself a lot of the time, but there are moments (like xmas dinner) where I was “selfish”, in that others may have felt happier had I sat with them. In my eyes though, this was a small act of kindness to myself.
Everybody is selfish, but sometimes that is the only way in which people can be easier on themselves for a while. Maybe some weird part of my eating disorder is that I can only ever do things that may be seen as selfish in order to be nice to myself, as then, I am still punishing myself in some way?!
Even though they will probably not read this: thank you to my family for (mostly) acting ok with me doing my own thing and being somewhat awkward about all the food parts. I love all of my gifts and did enjoy my Christmas day and boxing day, even if that seems odd all things considered!
Eating disorders can be selfish even when the people themselves are not at all. That said, someone very close to me used to tell me all the time, “Selfishness is underrated.” I think there’s some definite truth in that. 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to make such a good point. I think it is true that even if the choice to be selfish is because you have issues with certain things, such as food, it is still important to do things for yourself 🙂