Gratitude Challenge, Day 6

As promised, I am writing an additional entry for the day to cover my gratitude challenge.

Today, I find myself grateful for my friend Laurel, who comments here occasionally (it’s not her real name, so I’m not outing anyone). We met at Menninger, and I found her to be an extremely intelligent and interesting woman. She has been a great support for me; she tends to think more logically and rationally than I do, so when I start freaking out while talking to her, she almost always has a useful suggestion – often one of the skills we’ve learned in treatment, but usually one I have forgotten in the heat of the moment. She’s a good person, and a great friend, and I don’t think I’d feel as secure in Houston without her.

For that matter, I’d like to extend my gratitude to all the readers of my blog. it started out with just a few fellow patients. friends, and family members reading it, but I have acquired several more people along the way who have chosen to follow my mad scribblings. I don’t know how they found their way to my blog, I’m just happy they did; knowing that people read my blog, and that it is circulating beyond the small initial group of readers, is part of what makes me keep writing it. As always, I encourage anyone – and everyone – who reads this to feel free to add comments, criticism, or questions; I try to answer most, if not all, of them.

Finally, for today I am grateful for Jane McGonigal. She wrote a book called Reality is Broken, gave two TED Talks (two links there, one for each talk), and created an online game called SuperBetter, all because she believes that changing the way that society sees and plays games – especially video games – can change the world for the better. I know I have found SuperBetter to be a fun way to do a few things every day to make my life a bit more positive, and the idea that all of the time I have spent playing games – video, roleplaying, and otherwise – doing something productive with my time makes me feel good.

As for a positive experience over the last 24 hours, I think I’ll go with one of the groups today, where a former client of the step-down program came in and spoke to us about how coming to the step-down changed, and possibly save, his life. Where before he had been dealing with problems including alcoholism, now he is sober, healthy, and has a decent job. It as nice to get a chance to see that for at least one person, a year down the line, life has actually improved significantly from where it was when he entered the step-down program. I am glad that he was able to do that, and I appreciate that he felt willing and able to come in and speak to us, current clients of the step-down, about how he was doing. I hope that in a year I’ll be able to say the same thing.

As far as exercise goes, today I went swimming for 40 minutes – which, after moving furniture yesterday, means that I am sore. No, really sore. I still managed to get in a few minutes of meditation despite all the soreness, though, which surprised me – I would have thought the pain would be distracting, but it turns out that it focuses the mind really well.

As far as writing an e-mail to a friend, I sent one out to a friend who I lost touch with after she left Menninger; I hope she gets it and responds, because I worry about her and would like to know how she’s doing. I know she’s a strong woman, but I always feel better knowing that my friends are OK.

That’s it for now. Tune in again tomorrow.

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