Today is a holiday I used to believe to be a waste of time. I used to say selfish things like:
What do I have to be thankful for living with bipolar disorder?
Should I be thankful I didn’t commit suicide this year?
It used to be an unhealthy day for me, one where I couldn’t see the people, places or things in my life that were worth being thankful for. Rather, I saw only the bleak light of surviving another year.
This year, I felt as though the holidays were going to destroy me. With the break up of my 5 year relationship, the 2 suicide attempts, the messy career moves I made that nearly put me over the edge, and the horrible people I allowed into my life under false pretenses, I was uncertain that I would be thankful for anything again this year.
Fortunately, I am.
I am thankful for bipolar disorder and my ability to be more open about my life with bipolar.
I am thankful for my children and my family who have had my back through the darkest of times.
I am thankful for my beauty, and my heart that is always full because of family and friends.
I am thankful for my will power to survive the darkness even when I thought it would eat me alive or I wouldn’t survive the emotional pain.
I am thankful for Bali and all the amazing people that brought healing, love and kindness into my life without expecting anything more than honesty from me.
I am thankful for my breakup from a toxic relationship that brought the worst out of two good people. The change was hard to accept but I am beginning to realize that he was a part of my journey to healing myself and he will always be in my life because of our child.
I am thankful for the difficult lessons I learned in life and in my career, the exciting opportunities I have barely tapped into, and even the frustration with websites that have had issues or were more work than I realized.
I am thankful that the truth always wins and that eventually the harsh truth, whether we like it or not, can save us from making mistakes or not learning from our mistakes.
I am thankful for the home I live in and the amazing neighbors and friends I have been blessed with.
I am thankful for the food I am able to buy and the bills I am able to pay.
I am thankful for my Lord for protecting me through the dark times, even when I didn’t think He was there.
I am thankful for myself. For the strength I earned through picking myself up from every disaster and finding new reasons to be balanced.
Rocking the sick look to remind myself that I am still beautiful and worthy of love!
Lastly, I am thankful for my three close friends that all make me feel loved and cared for regardless of my choices or mistakes.
My Andrea who turns the negatives into positives and always shows me how much she cares! ♥️
Lastly, I am thankful for my parents who always worked hard to care for me and give me every opportunity, and every experience I needed, to be the best version of myself. They also combined all their best qualities in creating me.
There are always things to be thankful for, and I guess this year, rather than believing that my “issues” are not worthy of being thankful for, I choose to be grateful and thankful for them. After all, I wouldn’t be me without them.
While this has been a tough year to go through, I struggled a lot and I felt a lot of loss, I realized that today I have more reasons to be thankful than ungrateful. I always have in fact, and it took some reminding to myself that I am stronger and braver than I ever believed.
I can and did overcome the hard times and learned from those hard times, that I can walk away even if it hurts, I can say goodbye without coming undone completely, and I can live with bipolar disorder without medication because I will not let my brains chemical imbalance live my life for me. I feel blessed to have found my balance during the hardest of hard times, that I have found strength when I wanted to be weak, that I found hope when a situations seemed hopeless, and that I found joy when I felt joyless.
I can only hope that at this time of year, when giving thanks is the theme of the season, that you all will find your reasons why being alive, and being grateful as well as thankful are the true healing sources of living a life with a brain disorder or mental illness. The goal is to create the life worth living by pushing yourself past what you may think is holding you back, and finding joy on the other side of the heartache and suffering.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May you find one or many reasons to be thankful for the little or big blessings in your life. I encourage you to embrace your journey today and to find new meanings for the dark or less favorable realities of your life.
Even if you feel that getting out of bed seems impossible, you will get through the storm with determination and patience if you believe, have faith, be kind, and let go of the things that are done.
Xoxo 💋 Niki