Darkness and lights…Christmas Lights

I was never really afraid of the dark as a little girl. Now mind you, I didn’t love it but it didn’t scare me the way that it does many children. In fact, unbeknownst to me the darkness became my friend for the longest time. Not only did I not know I was living in darkness, but I also didn’t have any idea how to get out of it. And there began my life in the darkness…

Christmas time is my favorite. I love the joy that spreads across strangers faces. I love the smell of peppermint. I love giving presents. I love Christmas Carols and Nativity Pageants. I love the true reason for the season. I love grace that encompasses the story of Christmas. However, I speak for myself and many others when I say that the holidays can be one of the most difficult and darkest times for those with a relationship with Ed, sad but true. From the holiday shopping, the family togetherness, the overwhelming amounts of baking, the huge amounts of holiday food, the endless parties, all of these and more for someone with Ed can truly make it one of the darkest times of year. And I all too well know and understand that pain and darkness.

Hard to admit but amongst my season of favorite things were some of my darkest days. While the beautiful Christmas lights shined outside I on the inside had a darkness that truly consumed me. It was hard to make it out of bed those days, much less put on a smile as bright as the Christmas lights outside my window. Christmas was an opportunity to be surrounded by food I couldn’t eat, people who noticed my weakened nature and parties that were torture to attend. Sound awful? It was…more than awful it was torture.

As sad as that story sounds, life and Christmas time is different these days and I don’t live in the darkness. Even more, I am at completely more recovered stage now than I was last year. Does that mean the holiday season is a breeze? No not necessarily. There are still more stressors and triggers during the holiday season than normal for me. And yes, that is frustrating and I could let it consume me and get me down, but I can’t and I won’t. We all have bad days and I myself am not immune to them either. However, now everyday is not a bad day, in fact the bad days are very few and far between and for that I am beyond blessed.

There was one time when I couldn’t imagine my life without Ed. Today I know what that is like and I have more than tasted that kind of freedom, so now the holidays are a million times easier. I know that is not always the case for many of us who struggle with Ed and because of that I want to encourage you during this tough season. A few Sundays ago at my church, my pastor said, “We are a church that celebrates with you when you come out of darkness, because we have all been there and know what it is like. We want to rejoice with you as you come into the light and out of the darkness.” So my friends, those of you who know that darkness of Ed, those who are living in it, those who are coming out of it, those who have come out of it, I want to celebrate with you because I have been there and I get it and believe me there is no shame or judgement on my part because I have lived it. I only want to rejoice in that freedom with you and let you know it is possible. I want to encourage you during this incredibly wonderful but also seemingly difficult time, there is a holiday and life without Ed. I want to celebrate and rejoice with you as you come out of the darkness and live in the light of recovery, this is my Christmas wish for you and believe me it will shine brighter than any Christmas lights. Because this freedom from Ed is one of the best presents you could ever give yourself on Christmas. Wishing you joy, peace, and love this Christmas and hoping you ALWAYS REMEMBER…

YOU are LOVED and YOU are WORTH it!