I am pretty proud of this Christmas tree…and here’s why.
Christmas in my ED was shit…totally and utterly. I couldn’t have cared less about the tree, presents or being with my loved ones. Nope, all I cared about was how on earth I was going to dodge the food…for what seemed like an eternity.
For the first time ever, this year I will be spending the majority of the Christmas holidays at home. Work dictates, plus I have a distinct lack of desire to be pounding up and down the M25, trying to cram in every member of the family. Selfish you might think…but I like to think of it as self-care.
So this weekend, I decided to do some ‘adulting’ (a characteristic that my eating disorder distinctly lacked) and buy my very first Christmas tree. My initial thought was to go to the local homeware store and buy everything all at once. But, then I had a rethink, and unexpectedly my Saturday turned into a wondrously muddy adventure.
By chance I came across a local supplier. I rocked up (with what looked like the rest of Hertfordshire) and was greeted by Martin, who owned 10 acres of trees! Realising I had committed the epic fail of assuming a rural farmer would take plastic for payment, I was astonished when Martin casually said I could drop the cash in anytime I was passing. He took no name or number…just blind trust…who knew this kind of honesty and trust still existed?! After a 5 minute ride in the back of a tractor, I was standing in the middle of a huge field full of Christmas trees. “Just go choose your one, and I will cut it and wrap it for you.” I felt like a big kid let loose…I genuinely think I was more excited than the flurry of little people running around me.
Thirty minutes later and I was taking my tree home; car covered, floor covered and face covered in mud, but beyond happy. Saturday night was spent drinking mulled wine and decorating my very first Christmas Tree, and every time I look at it, I feel immense gratitude that my eating disorder will not rob me of another Christmas. It represents everything that my eating disorder hated…love, laughter, joy and hope.
This year I fill full of love for everyone who has been a part of my never-ending journey of learning. I have gone through some challenges (as I am sure we all have) but each one of them just reminds me of how far I have come, and how lucky I am to have some amazing humans show me the way. I have grown deeper in confidence, compassion and understanding for myself.
So, although this tree won’t have hundreds of presents underneath it, it is a gift in itself. It’s symbol worth more to me than any price tag, and a gift to myself that holds no monetary value. Oh and in case you were wondering…I didn’t swindle Martin, I promptly reimbursed him the next morning!
Amen to Martin!