Hurricane Annie.

Today is a popular day for hurricanes. As a Louisiana girl, I have become accustomed to these beasts of Mother Nature. Hurricane Katrina battered my beloved bayou seven years ago today and now Hurricane Isaac is beating down as I type. But these ferocious storms do not hold a candle to the force of nature that is my mother. Today is my amazing ‘Momma’s’ 2nd 30th birthday. My momma is a feisty one…like really feisty. She is a strong, southern woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. She gave up her own dreams to be a stay at home Mom to my sister and me…something I am forever grateful for. She pushed my sister and me to be strong, smart and independent. We are the women we are today because of her. But beneath her tough exterior lies a simple woman with a soft and sensitive heart of pure gold.

Not many girls can say their mother is their best friend. Lucky for me, I can. She has been my one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders on my recovery journey. However, her support has come much differently than others. While my husband has been my sturdy rock, my friend my constant support, my mother has walked beside me…tearing down her own walls as I tear down mine. She has admitted her faults and grown with me every step of the way. She is not perfect. She is not a perfect mother. But she is perfect to me.

Now that I am a mother, I cannot imagine the pain and heartache of seeing your child struggle through something like an eating disorder. As a parent, you are rendered helpless, unable to pick your baby up, put a bandaid on the bobo and kiss it better. I know my mom was heartbroken as I left for treatment…but I know she was not disappointed, just devastated that for the first time she could not “fix” me and make it all better for her baby girl. This journey was uncharted waters for her. She was forced to stand on the side lines and not only support me from a distance as I delved within, but also look within herself as well.

My dear mother gave me the best piece of advice as I went to treatment. It was something simple that would ultimately alter my time in treatment. It was my first day in residential treatment, and like most first days go…I called home in sheer panic. I wailed to my mom on the other end, “I’ve made a mistake. I don’t need to be here. I need to come home now.” In a calm, motherly voice she simply said, “You are right where you need to be. Do you know what I would give to have the opportunity that you have in front of you. You have this amazing moment in time to focus on you…to rediscover and redefine who you are. This is a blessing…take it and soak up every day. Come home to us healthy and strong.” And that simple advice was all I needed. I woke up the next day with a new outlook…I was going to take this experience as a blessing. I was going to work as hard as I could and return home whole again. And while it was not always easy, that is just what I did.

My recovery journey has brought us even closer together. Recovery has made our relationship so much more authentic and real. We acknowledge flaws and vulnerabilities and constantly work to improve them. We love each other for who we are…celebrating triumphs and hugging it out during the tough times. I would not be where I am today without here. And I know she would not be where she is without me. We are strength in numbers. I’m honored to call her my mom, lucky to have her by my side and beyond blessed to call her my friend.

Happy happy birthday, Momma!
Love you always,
Your baby.

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