As a proud Mom, I have dozens, if not hundreds, of pictures of my daughter: school functions, dance recitals, basketball games, laying out by the pool.
But there are only a handful of photographs in which you will see me.
That's by design. I was unhappy with my appearance. And honestly, I was a miserable human being. There were many tears - filled with both anger and sadness - in those five years.
In recent weeks, I realized this has changed.
These days, everyone talks about our "Facebook life," the persona we portray on social media, showcasing only the moments we want others to see and envy. But many of us know a snapshot of what happens when we are not posed can often tell a far more interesting story.
This past spring, various friends have captured candid moments that would never have happened a few years ago. Back then, you would typically find me at the bar - not quite the perfect backdrop for photos. Or you would find me searching for the nearest rock to crawl under, hiding from the world.
What you see now are spontaneous moments I never want to forget. Cliche as it may be, I see a twinkle in my eye and joy radiating from my smile. These pictures show me, in a natural and vulnerable state.
And that's ok. I want to be reminded of this life so I can stay grateful for it. I know when I recognize these little moments that happen each and every day, I will be blessed with even more happiness. These moments make me thankful for my program, my doctor-prescribed meds, and the support of my loving (and patient) friends.
There's no need to ask me to "smile for the camera," because I already am.
To read more about my journey in recovery, click here.