It was a good Christmas for me, for more than all the usual reasons.
There was the usual joy: Being around family, getting the chance to lie around much more than usual, watching the kids go Christmas crazy.
Mass was good, with a homily that pointed out that Jesus was as human as they come during his 33 years of living as a mere mortal. He got scared, angry, enjoyed friendship, passed out exhausted after a hard day’s work.
One of the joys of the day was that I didn’t make it about binge eating like I used to. I had a normal breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was actually done eating for the day by 3 p.m.
To some it would seem like I deprived myself. After all, one of the things we like to do at Christmas is stuff ourselves. For the average person that’s fine. Most of the year they eat in the normal fashion and can afford to indulge on holidays.
But if you’re a compulsive binge eater like I was, chances are you stuff yourself holiday-style every day. Holiday eating becomes just another day in the dysfunctional neighborhood.
As part of my recovery from this crippling addiction, the holiday eating has to be reigned in considerably. To indulge is to fall off the wagon into relapse. I came close to doing that on Christmas Eve, 2009. Not this time, though.
And while that might seem like deprivation, to me it’s a gift.
I don’t have to pollute myself and fall to my eating disorder to have a Merry Christmas. In fact, it was a Merry Christmas BECAUSE I didn’t eat.
I’ve kept it together, but got sloppy. I’m about to make some significant changes in my program as a result.
But for now, I sit here by the glow of the Christmas tree listening to old-school Van Halen and drinking coffee as my kids play with their new toys.
I’m not a bloated mess with a head possessed by flour and sugar.
And I’m grateful.