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Thanksgiving In The Great White North

Okay. It’s not white and snowy up here yet, but if you’re beneath the 49th parallel, Canada is definitely north and in many ways, great.

For one thing, today is Canadian Thanksgiving, a national holiday that always corresponds to your Columbus Day, and a great season for thanksgiving, too. Harvest Time.

All over my neighbourhood, walking my two Dandie Dinmont Terriers today, I’ve encountered people harvesting or clearing out their gardens, a little prematurely placing Hallowe’en pumpkins on their porches and celebrating the splendour of the autumn colours. You have to see them to believe them.

This Thanksgiving Is My Happiest Ever

Last Thanksgiving, I was starving, skeletal and anxiously waiting to start an eating disorder program.

Right now, there is hope ahead. More hope than ever before.

Working is, as you know, great therapy and my work is fascinating. You can see some of it here. It’s utterly and in some ways “awesomely” different writing than any I’ve ever done. I don’t quite have “it” yet, but I’m getting there.

I’m learning a whole new world of work. Entering the 21st Century. Tenuously at times. It’s health-related because it’s about safety. Mental health and stress will definitely play a part, but not yet.

It’s also about business, something I know nothing about and, it’s about time I learned.

Being a poor struggling writer sounds romantic, but it’s no fun when the bills come in.

So that explains why I’ve not been here much lately. I’m struggling to think differently and write differently. A new skill set for me. To “streamline” myself. It’s more complicated.

Learn self-discipline. Never been my strong point. I’m sporadically self-disciplined.

Either way, it’s an opportunity and I don’t want to blow it.

Other Things Are Going On, Too

I’m learning how powerful genetics are when it comes to being predisposed to bipolar disorder. (I’ve always pluralized “disorders,” but learning SEO and the power of Keywords, no more.)

You don’t need to be physically abused or traumatized. You don’t need to have difficult parents. You don’t need to be emotionally “abandoned.”

All you need are the genes, in some cases. I don’t know enough about neuroscience to explain why, nor do I have the time right now to give you lengthy explanations.

Trust me on this one. I have a birthday this month. I’ve been around psychiatry long enough to understand how it has evolved. I’ve learned from my first hand experience in treatment with a psychologist for my eating disorder to know the differences between psychology and psychiatry. They are profound.

So, all that aside, I want to say to you, even though you may not be celebrating today, “Happy Thanksgiving.”

I say it every morning before I get out of bed.

“Wow, I’m still here. Today is a new beginning.”


Photo Credit: Thanksgiving Weekend in Haliburton, Ontario, Glorianne Naiman



Thanksgiving In The Great White North

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2012). Thanksgiving In The Great White North. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Oct 2012
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