For My Mother

Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.

Dear Mama,

I love you. I may not say it as much as I should, but I love you and I am so grateful for all that you do. It’s almost unbelievable, how someone can give so much—her whole heart and entire life—and yet not expect anything in return. Your love and compassion knows no bounds, unconfined to the limits of rationale. Yes, your unconditional, selfless love is irrationally beautiful. It would have been so easy for you to just give up on me….you would have definitely avoided many tears, sleepless nights, and heartache. Yet, something inside of you, some crazy, inexplicable, wholly irrational force, kept you going, despite my relapses, my defiance, and my unspoken “thank yous.”

Mama, you saved me time and time again. You saved me even when I didn’t know I needed saving. You saw I was struggling far before I, or anyone else for that matter, did. You have been my biggest advocate since day one. You were my rock, and somehow, on top of being a mom to four children and a full-time doctor, you managed to take on a new, continuous role—one that involved giving up countless hours, days, and weeks of your life on my recovery. You were the one who, no matter how loud I screamed “Just give up on me!”, kept going. You forced me to accept the treatment I needed. You forced me to see the beauty in life. You forced me to believe in myself and a life after my illness. You forced me to look at life through rose-colored glasses, to look at the good jumbled in with the bad, to show fortitude through anguish. And it’s because of your sheer force, your ability to see my strength even when I seemed so weak, that I am still here.

Mama, you are no ordinary mother, you are a literal life saver. When I lost my voice and fell deep into an abyss of obsession and pain, you pulled me out, reminding me that despite what my disorder tried to trick me into accepting as fact, I was my own person and a beautiful one at that. When I was stuck in the darkness, you brought me the sun, making me feel the warm rays soaking through my skin once more. You were the one who drove me to the countless therapy sessions, and who, despite all the unwarranted attitude and anger I directed towards you, drove me again the next week. You were the one who traveled miles and miles to visit me at inpatient, even when you very well knew the girl you were going so far to see would not appreciate your long journey, but instead scream how much she hates you for forcing her to be here. But you were able to see behind my disordered mask, knowing this girl did not actually hate you, but was just scared. Absolutely and utterly terrified.

There are so many reasons that I am forever thankful to have been given such an incredible, strong, hard-working, inspirational mother. I am forever thankful because you give me everything that I could ever want or need—love, education, courage, friendship, many laughs, and expensive clothes of course! (hehe) I am forever thankful because you have given me a life of unconditional love, comfort, and strength. But, I am most thankful for that seemingly senseless kindness and support you have shown me throughout my recovery process and every stage of my life.

So, to my mother, my rock, my inspiration, my role model, my best friend, my life saver, and everything in between: I love you today and every day. If I don’t tell you this enough, it’s only because no such words exist to convey the immense gratitude I feel towards you. You have given me the world, the excess of everything concomitant to life. But the only reason the world is worth anything is because you’re always right there to experience it with me.

Love, your first and favorite child,