I’ve just returned from holiday – or rather, from the annual obligatory visit to see my family. To be fair, my family has two separate parts that do not interact, and one of those I do love dearly and enjoy spending time with. It’s the other side that makes me very aware of my need to practice self-care and the Steps, and of the fact that I didn’t choose my family.
There were a few NMW’s that happened during my vacation, and I thought I’d share what I have learned in the hope that it may help someone else…
- I arrived on a Saturday afternoon. I had packed backup, but also made a quick trip to a supermarket to make sure I had good, fresh food for dinner and breakfast at least. All shops are closed on Sundays in Austria. Arriving at my grandmother’s I discovered she had NOTHING AT ALL that I could eat. That presented a problem – I had dinner and used all of my backup cooked vegetable. Breakfast I had bought; I was then able to get a double portion at the restaurant we went to for Sunday lunch, so things were taken care of. However, for the future I have learned that I can’t assume that anyone has even got very basic food stuffs. The backup I had would have been plenty in any other situation, but since Sundays are completely shut days there, I should have packed at least two days’ worth of food.
- For the first half of my stay I stayed at my grandmother’s, who’s part of the difficult side of the family. She’s the only one who lives in central Vienna, though, where I needed to be. She gets more forgetful and more quarrelsome by the year – meaning that we had to have the same arguments every day because she’d forget we’d already had it. Partly it was funny – for example, she somehow got it into her head that I wanted my coffee to be as weak as possible (WRONG!!), so every morning she greeted me with brown-ish hot water and beamed, happily, that she’d made me an “extra weak one” today. Thanks very much! Partly it was annoying; but overall, I simply took care of myself and let her talk. I figured she never has anyone else to talk to as she lives on her own; if I make her life a little better by providing a sounding board, let it be so.
- My father’s first reaction was to look me up and down and comment, “definitely got fatter.” – thanks, dad. He’s another member of the difficult side. I neither ate nor stopped eating because of that.
- There were no signs, either going out or coming back, about fresh produce/food any more. It used to be that you were not allowed to import or export any fresh produce or non-prepackaged food, but that rule seems to have relaxed.
- Thankfully I moved over to my cousin’s house after the first three days, where I am accepted and catered for, and from then on there was no trouble any more.
I’m very grateful for my abstinence today. I’m grateful for all the abstinent experience I’ve had in the past, and starting over was and is humiliating and painful at times; but I did need to experiment, as they say. I needed to prove to myself that I could not eat normally. Having proved this, I hope and pray that I won’t need any more proof for the rest of my life… but be that as it may, I just won’t eat today, NMW.