I always find this holiday to be a time when I reflect on what I am thankful for. It can be hard. Mental illness stole my career and lifestyle. It made a 27 year old woman dependent on others for support.
Now I am 34. I can look back and count my blessings, the things that got me through all of “it.” I am most thankful for my family and the friends who have stood by me, for those who never missed a hospital visit (Mom) while I was in the psych ward. I am thankful for the thoughtful cards and gifts. I am thankful to be a part of a family who loves each other fiercely.
I am thankful for new friends I’ve made since I’ve been “sick.” A lot of my old friends disappeared and I can’t say I blame them. I was mood swing central. Crying jags. Angry outbursts. It was hard to be me. It was hard to love me. But I found new friends who know about all the “craziness” and love me anyway.
I am thankful for my dog. She cheers me up. When I am lying in bed depressed, she will put her snout on the bed and whine until I turn over and pet her. And you know what? It makes me feel better. I am her Momma. It is up to me to keep her well and happy and I think she thinks the reverse for me.
I am thankful for my new boyfriend. He makes me feel beautiful and sexy and smart and I need that in my life. I need to know that mental Illness isn’t the end of life, it is just merely a change in direction.
I know the holidays can be hard for a lot of reasons, but don’t let mental illness rain on your parade. Be thankful for all you have. There are things to be thankful for, you just have to find them.
Image courtesy of watiporn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net