Monday, April 16, 2007

Feeling Grateful (Part 3)

So...given that Feeling Angry, Hostile, and Outraged, would have been a more apt title for my last post, I now wish to list the 10 ten things I felt grateful for during our brief college tour.

1. I am grateful I felt well enough to make the trip. It was very important for my son, my husband, and for me as well.

2. I am grateful I felt well enough to do so much of the driving and spend hours each day walking around the two campuses and the two cities. (Isn't it amazing how different our energy level is when we're not depressed? When I'm very depressed, I can barely walk from the bedroom to the bathroom, and now I was walking miles each day.)

3. I am grateful I was genuinely upbeat and truly could enjoy the excitement we all felt. (When I'm depressed, I know that my face changes and I have a pinched look. No matter how hard I try, it's difficult to pretend I feel well when I don't. I seem to lose half of my brain cells and all of my memory cells. My voice changes and I find it difficult to articulate fairly simple thoughts.)

4. I am grateful that I had excised my demons from Berkeley a few years earlier and could now enjoy the campus for what it has to offer--without any baggage.

5. I am grateful that the trip could focus on my son and his needs--as it should have--and that my health was a non-issue.

6. I am grateful that my son is a wonderful person, whom I'm so proud of, and that he has flourished despite my illness.

7. I am grateful that my husband is a saint who has stood by me for more than 20 years--in sickness and in health.

8. I am grateful that I've stopped being worried about my son's college experience. I'm not sure why so many people undergo their first depression or mania during their college years. (One would think this is an area that bipolar researchers would explore.) But, I realize that because of what happened to me, I will be able to provide much better help and guidance to my son--whatever his needs might be.

9. I am grateful that despite all my suffering and pain, I still am able to experience great joy and happiness.

10. I am grateful that despite a few years of feeling so angry and hostile because of treatments that didn't work and healers who didn't heal, I have retained my optimism and sense of humor.


Anonymous said...

This is nice. Glad you had a good time. You sound like a wonderful mother.

BD from Long Island

marja said...

That's a great list. We should all periodically make lists of things we're grateful for. It's good for our mental health.

I have a theory about why so many bipolars have their first episodes in college. (It happened to me too.) I believe it's the huge stress of leaving youth behind and becoming an adult and learning to be independent. So many changes.