Well, it’s that time of the year. The time where everyone (at least in Northern America) sits back and asks themselves, “What am I thankful for this year?”
I think now as I reflect, I have a lot to be thankful for – even if I have been spending the past 3 months being more depressed than I’ve ever been in my life.
Here are some of the things I’m thankful for:
- I am thankful to be married to a unique and brilliant man – a man who daily strives to be better than he was yesterday, a man who tries very hard and never gives up. He may have been diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (Asperger’s) but he is the kindest, most understanding soul I’ve ever met. He is also very loyal, loving and generous – an example of his generosity is in his tips. He once tipped a server $10 for $8 meal which made the server fight to give his money back to him. When I point out his amazing deeds, he shrugs it off as just being human and being nice to another person who might need it. He also doesn’t think that giving $10 for a tip is enough and often wishes that he could give more.
- Related to my husband, I am thankful to be married to him because he brings out the best in me. He brings to my attention things that I never even knew I was capable of or was good at. He has made me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to.
- I am thankful that my husband brought my ADHD traits to my attention – it is because of him that I reevaluated my life, what I’ve done and how I’ve done it. It is because of him that I decided to get myself tested for ADHD in March 2015. It is also because of him that I sought out therapy.
- I am thankful that I am able to go back to college. I never thought I would because back in 2008, when I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Languages and Linguistics, I told myself that I would never go back to school again. I am thankful that I was wrong and I’m thankful that every time I say that I’ll “never” do something, I end up doing it. An example was when I told myself that I’ll never be a teacher. My first job after college was teaching English as a Second Language to college freshman. Another example: I told myself I’ll never like math. Now I love it and I’ll be pursuing a Mathematical Science minor.
- I am thankful for the people I’ve met this year who have become my friends. I have lamented for many years now that “I have no friends” – At least, not the way I would define friends to be. I define friends as people that I not only communicate with often but also people I can talk about profound things with, people who care enough to ask me how my day has been and really want the true answer, people I can rely on when I need them, people I can do the same for. A lot of the people I’ve met are friends in a more superficial level. What I’ve been searching for have been friends on a deeper level. Believe it or not, I have made better friends here through my blog than I have in real life.
- I am thankful for C, the guy I met in my Algebra class – who though eccentric, was the first person to ever say hi to me in school. He turned out to be just as quirky and weird as I am. He encouraged me to do well in math and always pushed me to compete with him. I didn’t like him initially but he stuck it out with me and grew on me. I am also thankful that he never stops pestering me to get better. It is also because of him that I am switching my major to Computer Science.
- I am thankful that by some random chance, I sat next to El in my Trig class this semester. She is fast becoming a really really good friend who not only always reminds me that I am worthy of love and respect but also that I am smarter than I give myself credit for. She is someone I find a kindred spirit in and I marvel at how much I’ve grown as a person just from knowing her.
- I am thankful for L whom I met through work and became friends with. He spurred me on to do well in school and believed that I could do it. He would often tell me that he could forsee me being a really amazing Interior Designer in the future and be someone who would do something great. He was one of the first people in my life this year who had told me that.
- I am also so very thankful for M, R and E who along with myself and El, are going to start a club to help Non-Traditional Students adjust to life back in college. These people are giving me a sense of purpose in my college life. They’re a source of encouragement for me and I can’t stop being thankful for the privilege of being amongst such a group of positive people.
- I am thankful for my psychologist, S, who is not only incredibly patient and kind but also has shown that he is on my side and is ready to help me work as hard as we can to improve my mental health. I am thankful that he never gives in to my desire for easy answers and that he always answers a question with another question – he makes me think and evaluate for myself. If he had just given me all the answers, I might not be as aware of myself as I am today.
- Believe it or not, I’m actually thankful for my mental illnesses. I’m not thankful that I have to suffer daily because of them but I am thankful that by having them, I was able to become friends with El, that I was able to meet and get to know S, that I was able to learn mindfulness (still learning), to find my passion in advocacy for mental health, to apply to become a Peer Educator on campus, to understand myself and others better and to improve myself daily. Without this aspect of me, I might never have done all those things or have gotten to know all these amazing people.
- I am thankful that someone mentioned that I should start this blog. I am thankful because through this blog, I have met some amazing individuals like Cavelle of Mental Break in Progress, Ndumiso of Music Smells Like Noise, Alex of The Literal Feminist, Josh of My Friday Blog and Q of La Quemada. I’ve met so many more that listing them all here would make a huge list for sure. But I just hope that all these people whom I follow and who follow me back realize just how much they have impacted my life.
- I am thankful to still be alive. Though I have trouble finding the purpose to live and have had many bouts of suicidal ideations for the past 3 months, I have also realized through this and the last week alone that I am always somehow able to impact someone’s life. If I had succeeded in taking my own life, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn that.
- I am thankful that this year I’ve been able to break out of the box I and others have put myself in. I have done so much and experienced so much that I can safely say that 2015 has been a year of tremendous change, physically, mentally and emotionally.
I hope that I will keep reading this list in days to come just to remind myself what I need to keep going for. It does shift things into perspective when there is a list of things to be grateful for despite the negativity and the dullness of depression.