Noticing How Far I’ve Come in the Recovery Process

IMG_1597I am excited!  I am going to visit my oldest daughter and see my one-year-old granddaughter today.  I love watching what a sweet mother my daughter has become.  It seems to come so instinctively to her, and you can tell she has an incredible bond with her baby girl.

For a long time I had intense regret about the time I perceived was lost during my daughter’s first two years of life when my eating disorder came back with a vengeance after a brief hiatus during my pregnancy.  I was extremely immature at that time, having spent a good deal of my formative teen years entrenched in a serious eating disorder, and I was also having trouble adjusting to being a working mother, and being married to someone who seemed oblivious to it all.

The one thing I had going for me during that time was my extreme motivation to be a better parent than my mom was able to be because of her mental illness.  This led me to attend support groups, 12-step meetings, and counseling on a regular basis, oftentimes with my new little baby snuggled against me.  Often I had this underlying feeling that I wasn’t the best candidate to be her parent, and my desire to keep her safe sometimes led me to fluctuate between allowing others to care for her more often than I would have wanted, to wanting to take her with me wherever I went.

Fortunately, my strong desire to recover paid off over time, and I am lucky to have such a close relationship with her today.  I can’t help but think her reserved manner and ability to keep things locked up inside are the result of those early years when I was emotionally volatile, but I try not to be too hard on myself.

Today I’m thankful for all of the people in my life, such as my sisters and sister-in-laws, my mother-in-law, my father and the many friends who helped to shape her life and were there to step in when I was not at my best.

IMG_1178I look forward to a great weekend with my daughter and her baby.  I see so much of her in her child, and it brings me great joy to know we’ve made it this far.


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