It’s been a while since I’ve done a gratitude challenge, and while I don’t really feel the need to do another at the moment, I though I might do something different. I’m just going to make a list of people and things I’m grateful for at the moment, and why; obviously it won’t be complete, because there are a number of people I am grateful to who choose to maintain anonymity here. But I will try to make a list of those who aren’t anonymous, and try to express my gratitude for those who are anonymous in my own way.
First, I am grateful to my parents. They have done so much for me; they supported my coming down to Menninger, they went along with my decision to move to Houston, they have provided valuable support, emotional, physical, and financial, and they have helped me to figure out where I am going. This is, of course, in addition to the support they gave me raising me, educating me, and supporting me even thought they might not have understood what was going on in my head. Without them, none of this is possible.
Second, I am grateful to my sister. It was her recommendation that I come to Menninger, and her education in social work has provided some valuable insights. This is in addition to the support she has given me as a family member; even though I haven’t seen her in months, she’s been a strong presence in my life. I don’t tell her how grateful I am to her enough.
Third, the rest of my family. While many of them may not be aware of the full extent of what has happened with me in the last year, they have all proven to be supportive, and I’m glad that, unlike some people I know, I haven’t been shut out of family support.
Fourth, Calla. She became a very close friend – and possibly more – in a short period of time, and I can only hope to provide the kind of joy to her that she has to me. I look forward to hearing from her, and every time I do it lifts my spirits.
Next, to Laurel. Though we may not always see things the same way, she has been a supportive friend and has helped me to shake myself out of some pretty unpleasant times. I know she’s been having a rough time, but I hope she knows that I’m always here as a support.
After that, Alicia and her husband. They are old friends – my oldest – and they were great supports to me even before I came down to Houston. Even though we don’t talk as often as we used to, I still value their friendship extremely highly; I don’t know when I’ll see them again, but I hope it will be soon.
On to AV and his wife. After Alicia and her husband, they are my next oldest friends, and have stood by me even in my darkest moments. Though we’ve moved to very different areas – both mental and physical – and our lives are very different, they’ve been a great help to me.
To my other friends, you are all very dear to me. While some of you may not be in as much contact with me as others, and many of you may never read this, I owe you more than I can say. You are all amazing people, and I’m honored to be a part of your lives.
To my therapist, you have been invaluable in helping me to realize where I am, where I’ve been, and where I want to go. You listen to all my problems, even the ones that seem trivial and stupid, but you help me to work through a lot of things – and lead me in directions – I wouldn’t go myself. I wouldn’t be where I am now without your help.
To my doctors – both psychiatric and internal – you have helped to keep me physically healthy – something which is invaluable in treating my mental health. Being mentally healthy doesn’t mean much if I can’t also keep my body going. Your work keeps me going.
To my fellow patients, peers, support group members, and class participants – your help and understanding have been invaluable in helping me to where I am. The things I have heard, and the things I have told you, and the confidence they have all been kept in, have helped to build my understanding of both myself and other people, and my knowledge of all kinds of mental illness. I only hope that I have been helpful to you.
To my co-workers, getting to know you has been a breath of fresh air; it’s one of the few areas of my life that really has little or nothing to do with mental illness. Your knowledge of books and the way bookstores work is fascinating to me, and I am glad to be able to spend time with you. My back may not appreciate standing at the cash register, but talking with you has been great.
To my followers here, and on Twitter, and other social networks – your interaction with my words may be silent, but it is nonetheless there. I don’t know if what I say here helps anyone, or provides any insight into the kind of experiences in mental health care and mental illness, but I hope it does. I’m glad you take the time to read what I write.
I’m certain I am leaving some people out, and for that I apologize. These people are all the ones that come to mind, but bear in mind that it is late and I may not cover all my bases. I just felt the need to try and do this, and it feels like a weight off my chest to have this out.