Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Though when I was young, I may have associated it with the gifts, it was never simply that. As we’ve all learned from Cindy Lou Who, the true meaning of the holidays isn’t in how much we receive, but rather it is found in the connection and joy.
When an individual is so enthralled in the intricate webs of a disorder, however, the ability to be present and experience is often significantly drained. The distractions of a constant rumination take away the chance at experiencing the small miracles which create the aura of passion that Christmas exudes. The watching of TV specials, the savoring of candy canes, the laughter, and the memories go amiss in place of fear, disconnect, and distance.
Although focusing on protecting my recovery during the holidays is in no way ideal, it is in many ways the greatest gift I can give myself and others this Christmas. When I think of the way my circumstances have impacted my family, my friends, and myself, I remember that it is only disappointment in comparison to a life of freedom. I remember that the alternate option wouldn’t be a Christmas of connection and joy, but one struggling in disorder. I try to place any disdain or frustration on the fact that I have been having a hard time, and bask in the glory that I am far more free working towards a life filled with the fuel that keeps me engaged, instead of living in the corners of my mind.
This Christmas, I am surrounded by relationships that are new and old. I can appreciate both. I am safe, I am warm, and I am grateful. I get to know my reality and walk towards the pieces that revive me and turn down those which do not serve my highest self. I am alive. I am in recovery.
P.S. I can’t take too much credit for the title of this post (thank you for your incredible wit, SNL).