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My Easter Shame

Easter was always a love/hate relationship for me.

There was a time when I was the little girl that loved waking up on Easter Sunday ready to devour the sweet sugary chocolates I was given. Deep down though, the guilt had already rushed through my body before I’d even taken my first bite.

I’d take them into my room, sit and look at them for hours because once I’d opened it, that was it. I would eat the whole lot to get it ‘over and done with.’ I couldn’t leave it no matter how much I tried. I envied others who could eat half an egg and then finish it a week later. I worked on the equation, that if I got rid of mine all at once, then they would torment me no more.

I’m sad when I think back; it was never those shiny glossy eggs that tormented my head…it was my eating disorder trickling through my veins. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was all part of the bigger picture to come. The self hate, the disgust at my stomach rolls, the comfort of escaping painful feelings.

In the years that followed in my anorexia, I actively asked not be bought an Easter Egg; to be honest no one bothered anyway…they knew it end up in the bin. It was just another part of growing up that I’d lost to my eating disorder. It wasn’t so much about the Easter eggs, it was the relationship with myself and my body that they symbolised. It was the self-loathing and guilt that followed in the days to come, that pained me throughout.

This Easter was thankfully very different. I celebrated a family birthday by going out for a yummy lunch. I sat around the dinner table enjoying home cooked food and some nice red vino. I was super happy to receive three Easter eggs, and I am grateful for the connections and conversations shared with loved ones. It’s occasions like these that I realise just how many chats I missed out on in my eating disorder; how many relationships suffered as a result of the mental torture I was experiencing. I can’t rewind the clock (I actually don’t want to…I am who I am today because of everything that I’ve experienced along the way) but I can choose to enjoy many more weekends like this one just gone.

My Easter eggs have been opened, but I still have some left. They aren’t tormenting me; they’re there for me to enjoy as and when I want them. They no longer represent the guilt or shame that they used to. That is why recovery is worth fighting for.