Yesterday was the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, which of course makes today the biggest shopping day of the year as everyone gets the jump on Christmas shopping. (Well not everyone, I haven’t even left the house today, though I do have some plans with a friend for dinner, so I’m not a complete hermit!)
Anyway, traditionally this has been a time to stop and consider all the things that we are thankful for in our lives, which for abuse survivors, or depression sufferers, can be quite an unpleasant task. Taking stock of a life filled with pain, and suffering, might not be as pleasant as most people think it is. Sometimes it very difficult to put things in perspective and find the things you are truly thankful for.
That’s ok. Sometimes, it’s simply enough to be thankful for ice cream. I’ve gotten in the habit every year and stopping to consider all the things I’m thankful for, the love of my wife, the good friendships I have, my nieces and nephews, work that I find interesting, the ability to communicate with all of you, and on and on. I cannot express to you how thankful I am for all those things, and all the people who make my life better.
On the other hand, there was a time, not that long ago, where I was really only thankful for the small things in life that I could manage to enjoy. Life had become such a struggle and so exhausting, that if you asked me what I was truly thankful for, I might have told you a cold can of Dr. Pepper. That was something I could enjoy! It wasn’t much, but it was something. Having something I enjoyed, right there in the midst of all that pain, at least hinted at the possibility that there would be other enjoyment in my life. That I could find, and revel in, the things I truly enjoyed, eventually. That hope meant a lot.
So, if nothing else this holiday weekend, treat yourself to your version of the “cold Dr. Pepper”, and look forward to the future, and all the things, small and large, that future will bring for you to enjoy.