I have anxiety at the table at holiday meals. I have anxiety before even getting to the table for holiday meals. When the focus is on consuming a variety of dishes of food, it brings a certain pressure that feels to me like a heavy load of lead sinking into my stomach. Eating a variety of foods for me increases the risk of having a reaction, and I worry about ruining the holiday meal with an allergic reaction and possible trip to the hospital. For me, holiday meals have become as much about making it through without causing a fuss as they are about enjoying a culinary tradition around a table with people I love.
That being said, I still get to sit around a table with people I love.
As a mental health counselor by trade and an optimist by heart, I believe that there is something for which each of us can be grateful, no matter the circumstances. I may have heightened anxiety at the dinner table, and I may not be able to eat some of the old favorites, but I still have a lot of things for which I am thankful. I’m thankful for my family, I’m thankful for my growing ability to cook, and I’m thankful to you for reading this. Thank you for reading, for participating in this conversation, and for sharing your own food, love, and understanding with those around your table this Thursday.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.