Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day, Everyone!

Sitting here stuffed with stuffing…and turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and pie, I thought I’d wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day was as uneventful and peaceful as mine. I worked at the hospital for 5.5 hours prior to attending a sober get-together with many friends. The food and the company were exquisite. I had some very interesting and fun patients today, too, so it’s been a good day. (Although I could have used a longer nap!)

Today’s events remind me; I am so grateful for my sobriety and for my sober “family.” I know many people with mental illness and/or addiction issues are separated from their families by choice or necessity, and holidays can be very difficult. I am separated by choice today. I suppose I could have called the brother who rudely insulted and belittled me more than a year ago and asked him what he was doing. I suppose I could have called my other brothers and done the same. But I didn’t.

Instead of obligatory invitations or half-heartedly visiting, I chose to keep my life simple today. I chose to give the gift of time by volunteering to work. I chose to spend the day with people I care about and who graciously care about me. I chose the rewarding path of recovery today. Sure, it would have been nice to see my out-of-state mom and step-dad, but other than those two people, I couldn’t have spent this holiday with nicer, more sincere people than the friends with whom I chose to celebrate.

I didn’t have that option prior to recovery. Mental illness, even recovery from mental illness, does not come with an instant community. While those of us suffering from brain disorders can share our experiences individually, we do not have the advantage of multiple weekly gatherings in rooms filled with healthy, happy, and grateful people. So today, with all the sincerity I can muster, I can honestly say I am genuinely, truly grateful to be a recovered alcoholic.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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