I deal with depression.
I'm usually pretty good at keeping it under control but lately, well.....not so much.
Which is why I'm struggling to feel thankful today.
That's not to say I have a shitty life by any means. Au Contraire! I have friends, family, a home, food, and a job I like to go to. But knowing I have a pretty good life and FEELING it are totally different things.
There's something about this time of year that makes old hurts flair up and losses feel particularly strong. Call it seasonal depression or not, the holidays are frickin HARD. Doubly so when you're already sad.
It's hard to feel grateful when your past haunts you. It's hard to feel grateful when you're acutely aware of the pain felt by indigenous communities over the decimation and corruption of their culture and the ruination of a tradition that was originally theirs by non-indigenous Americans. It's hard to feel grateful when you live far away from the people you love and their absence at the table makes the day seem incomplete. It's hard to feel grateful when you wake up hurting. Sometime's it's just really hard to feel grateful.
I actually never really liked Thanksgiving (I know, I know....Sacrilege!). I don't care for the food (too rich, too much meat). I absorb the stress and negativity that surrounds the guaranteed family bickering like a motherflippin sponge. I feel obligated to spend the whole day eating and cleaning and mediating and doing things that I'd rather not do, all at the expense of being able to do what I would like (go be outdoors, read, sit in silence, paint, enjoy a nap). The mythical Thanksgiving of a day spent relaxing and not feeling stressed with friends and family totally alludes me.
Since I'm being a huge Debbie Downer today and I know it, I've decided to take charge and come up with a list of things I'm grateful for. Below I have listed what I was able to come up with before I started getting hassled into helping (sorry Mom!). I'd love to know what you'd add to your list. Feel free to leave me a comment below! And oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving. :)
- a home with functioning heat and not having to live in a box on the sidewalk under a bridge
- friends who truly GET me and embrace my own unique psycho
- my new perfect grunty niece
- margaritas. also tacos
- my sweet kitties who give me all the snuggles when I'm sad
- snuggly blankets and a fireplace
- the ability to make my own autonomous decisions (even if they're bad ones!)
- the most amazing and chill manager of all time
- days when the sun comes out
- days where nothing hurts
- the smell of breakfast cooking
- my poor broken little vehicle that still gets me around without complaint
- having paid off at least some of my student debt
- having shoes and a warm coat
- my prior travels
- anyone who buys my art
- Joe Biden
- being able to afford Christmas present for people this year (something I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do just a few months ago!)
- my heaps of books
- Colorado, mountains, desert...the west in general
- still having both my parents
- any time spent with my sister
- being able to see color