Holiday reflections and gifts of recovery

Today is the day after Christmas and this one was particularly special. I gave birth to my second son 17 days ago. My dad and stepmom traveled all the way from Pensacola to be here. And we my parents, my new family, and my husband’s family all spent the day together. It really was a gift.

When I was a kid, my dad never got any of us more than one token present each. Christmas was not about presents. It was about going to Grandma Mary’s house across the street, visiting with my millions of cousins, and eating cheese grits. My dad hated the commercial materialism and pressure of Christmas and refused to participate in it. 

It’s a great lesson, isn’t it?

We do not have to bow to social pressure. We can live out our values and be proud of it. In fact, life will be more enjoyable for it. I do not remember a single present I got for Christmas as a kid, but I do remember listening to my dad tell a story that somehow combined Santa, Batman, and the Nazis. It wasn’t the most coherent story ever told, but “the cousins”, as we were called as a group, were riveted.

This year, I saw my dad hold my newborn and play with my eldest. We shared a meal. We all laughed and told stories about my brothers. We were missing a few people and the cheese grits, but otherwise, it was a an amazing day.

As we leave the holiday season, I must also reflect on recovering from an eating disorder. My first Christmas in recovery helped me remember who I was and figure out who I wanted to be. Being recovered allowed me to have the children to whom I will pass these lessons. It is because I recovered that I have my new family and can enjoy my parents. It’s a beautiful gift…so beautiful I feel unworthy of it.

I’ll take it though, and hold it tight. I might be unworthy but I am not going to pass on it!!

What has your recovery brought you? What is better about your life now?

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