I don't believe in being grateful only on one day of the year. I don't believe Thanksgiving is a good holiday. It's a day that represents the genocide of the Native American people; I don't consider that something to celebrate. But I do believe in being thankful for the things in life that I'm grateful to have in my life, the people, the happy times, the "solids" the universe does you every so often.
So here is one of my "things I'm thankful for" posts. I don't only write them on Thanksgiving.
1. I'm thankful for my 2 cats, Ribbit the Little Lion (the violent one), and Spooky the Princess (the victimized one, who is beautiful and sadly passive).
2. I'm thankful for the dozens of people I've gotten to talk to about mental illness since this time last year through my involvement with NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness).
3. I'm thankful for the fact that I have a family, even though I don't always get along with them all, nor do they all particularly like me all of the time. I'm thankful they're alive, that both my parents are still alive, that my brother who tried to drink himself to death in recent years is, despite the odds, somehow still alive, that my sister is still alive, that my other brother and sister (the littlest ones) seem to be happy young people. I'm thankful for the one grandmother and one grandfather who are still alive. I'm thankful that I got to see them both this year.
4. I'm thankful that I have plenty to eat, warm clothes when it's cold, and cool air conditioning when it's hot, and a nice, comfortable bed to sleep in every night with a roof over my head, no bed bugs, and no police arresting me for breaking any laws by sleeping illegally on a park bench like so many homeless individuals in this country and around the world. I'm thankful I don't live in a shelter now, like I did before. I'm thankful I have lived in the same apartment building for six years, the longest period of time I've lived in one place during my adult life.
5. I'm thankful for my Associate's Degree, and that I'm still able to go to college, and that, in spite of everything, I'm working on that Bachelor's Degree, and I only have about another two years to go part-time. I like my university, and I'm grateful for student loans, even if they are putting me in debt for life.
6. I'm thankful for my four mental health professionals I deal with on a regular basis: my psychiatrist, my therapist, my case manager, and my recovery specialist. They are each helpful in their own way, and I appreciate all of their help.
7. I'm thankful for my neighbors, who remind me every day that a lot of people aren't thankful at all for what others do for their country *(my neighbors are mostly formerly homeless veterans).
8. I'm thankful for my friend Mary who lives downstairs and tells me I'm her "very best friend", and smiles and hugs me every time I see her. I'm thankful for my friend Kathy who is fun to hang out with and who helps me clean my apartment when it's really messy. I'm thankful for all my friends in NAMI and in the National Organization for Women (NOW), who stand up for what they believe in, which is also stuff that I believe in myself.
9. I'm really thankful my friend Dr. Byrd is now cancer free! He got through chemo this year.
10. I'm thankful that when my grandmother died this year, I was able to tell her, via my aunt, goodbye, and I was able to go to her funeral, and I was able to be there and see her and watch my grandfather give her a kiss for the last time. I'm grateful that when my other grandmother, on the same day as that funeral, almost had bleeding on her brain after falling, she got lucky and came out of it okay.
11. I'm thankful that I don't have a terminal disease, that even though I'm not entirely healthy I'm also not entirely sick, and that my body still does a lot of things properly. For example, I don't, as far as I know, have Type II Diabetes yet, which is something I've been really worried about since I became prediabetic years ago due to medications and weight gain.
12. I'm thankful that I have a car that works right now and that when it didn't work, I actually had a way of coming up with the money to get it repaired, so I didn't have to just give it up like I once did with my old car, when I was psychotic.
13. I'm thankful that, every time this year when I was psychotic, I knew I was psychotic.
14. I'm thankful for medications that work at least somewhat effectively, despite side effects.
15. I'm thankful for daisies, the smell of fabric softener, the feeling of wind in my face, the sky right before it starts to storm, the sound of babies laughing, music, art, museums, computers, the internet, blogging, my blog, people, the universe, and chocolate.
16. I'm thankful for you, reading this.
17. I'm thankful I don't live in Palestine, or Israel.
18. I'm thankful Barack Obama got elected and not Mitt Romney.
19. I'm thankful for the written word, and the ability to write it.
20. I'm thankful for love, and someone special on the other side of the world.
21. I'm thankful for Florida turning blue!! Go Dems!