I remember every year when I was a child, crying myself to sleep on Christmas night. I was sad that all of the hype was over. I was feeling down because the year was about to come to an end. Like most kids, I wanted to grow up and be independent. Get my driver’s license, and find a job. But I think I was also very aware of how fast time was passing. Each year that went by meant I was yet again, one year older. Last year I cried on Christmas too. If I cry this year, it’s going to be tears of joy. This Christmas season, this year has brought nothing but blessings, even if some of them were in disguise. I have nothing to feel melancholy about, except the fact that the magical season is over until next year.
Last year, I tried so hard to steer clear of contact and avoid food. I spent a lot of time on my own, and was totally out of it. This year, I felt so present. I loved playing with toys with my little niece, and hearing her adorable voice instruct me on what to do. I shared so many laughs and jokes with my whole family. My mom made a delicious Christmas dinner, and we took a portion of it to a family in need who has really made an impression on my heart this season.
Everyone in our family was around me this year, except for one of my sisters. It was so good to go to a Christmas Eve service with everyone. I have everything I could ever want, or think to ask for. A wonderful job that I wake up every morning excited to go to, lovely friends; old and new, a treatment team that is dedicated in helping me recover, extended family that lives far and near, a little brother that brings joy and laughter to every moment, good books, and all of the necessities that life involves.
I have always loved Christmas, but I think I loved it this year the most. I received many gifts, and I am thankful for all of them, but the one I am most genuinely thankful for is my health. So many people have walked beside me on this journey, and so many continue to. That in itself is a gift. Though I spent many years thinking otherwise, I have come to be able to believe that I am someone who matters. I matter. You matter. What a time to be alive.