Depression Marathon Blog

My photo
Diagnosed with depression 18 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 24, 2016

Gratitude Season

If you're not a fan of gratitude, you may not enjoy my blog for the next month or so. I can't help it. Recognizing the blessings of my life and expressing gratitude for what I have is a huge part of maintaining my mental health. In fact, I'm grateful for the ability to feel grateful. That wasn't always the case. Gratitude was something I had to learn.

Gratitude season has begun for me. Of course, today is Thanksgiving, and the focus of the day is gratitude. I'm grateful for my friend, Wendy, and her large, extended family for including me once again in their very festive holiday. We ate a lot of really good food, watched a lot of football, and laughed a ton. It's so nice to feel so welcome and included in her clan.

My gratitude season continues in a few weeks when I celebrate another birthday. For the past several years my birthday has been a time of reflection and thankfulness. I need a lot of support and assistance to get through each year, and I'm grateful to all in my life who play a role, no matter how big or small. In fact, I usually begin my birthday by sending a thank you note to those role players, and this year will be no different.

Christmas follows closely on the heals of my birthday, and just a few days after that I will celebrate another year of sobriety. If there's ever a time for me to be grateful, celebrating the day I took my last drink is the time. Nothing in my life today would be possible if I was still drinking. Nothing. In fact, I'd likely be dead. So my sobriety anniversary is a very special day filled with gratitude. All these years later, I'm still amazed I'm sober. I'm more amazed I've learned to live life on life's terms. And I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunities gifted to me as a result.

Living with a chronic illness like depression doesn't stop me, can't stop me, from recognizing the gifts in my life. Depression sucks, and I wish I hadn't had to face it, but then again would I be the same person I am today without the challenge of persistent depression? Probably not. And I kind of like who I am today. Guess what? I'm grateful for that, too.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.


Wendy Love said...

Once again, beautifully written! I love your perspective on things, you give it a slant that gives me courage and after I read your blog I think 'if she can achieve some positive perspective through this negative chronic illness, then so can I!'. Thanks for sharing your courage. I am thankful that you share.

etta said...

@ Wendy: Thank you so much. Your genuine thoughts mean a lot. I appreciate you taking the time to share with me.