(When I tried to find an image for "feeling grateful," the stuff was insipid. But when I Googled "feeling happy," I found the photograph to the left, which made me smile. And I guess I feel grateful that a picture of kids having a wonderful day at the beach makes me smile.)
As I wrote yesterday's post and thought about how difficult my life was for a decade, I'm so grateful for how well I feel now. It's not that things are always easy. I've only been completely done with my latest depression for less than a week. But yesterday, as I was walking around the J. Paul Getty Museum taking photographs, I felt so very grateful and I'd like to share my top ten reasons:
1. I feel grateful that six weeks ago, despite being in the last stages of a five-month depressive episode, I felt well enough to sign up for an eight-week class and was confident--for the first time in years--that I would be able to sustain my health for eight straight weeks.
2. I feel happy that once a depressive episode is over, I'm able to think of new hobbies and interests that I can feel passionate about as well as returning to activities I've enjoyed for many years.
3. Sunday night when I played my Autoharp at my mother's assisted living facility-- accompanied on the harmonica by her 89 year old friend--I felt grateful that I could bring joy to my mom and her friends.
4. Yesterday, as I picked up my son at school, I felt grateful that despite my illness, my son is a wonderful person who is thriving.
5. Every day I feel grateful that my husband is a saint who has been so very supportive during times that have often been so painful that I try not to think about them.
6. I feel grateful that despite my illness I have friends (and some relatives) who I love and who love me.
7. I feel grateful that my parents loved me so much when I was growing up--and provided such a solid foundation--that despite the difficulties of the last 14 years, I have retained my feelings of self-worth.
8. I feel grateful that despite experiencing disappointment in my career at many different stages, I have continued to pursue my dream.
9. I feel grateful that I was finally able to sell my memoir, Bipolar Depression Unplugged: A Survivor Speaks Out, and that it will be published as an e-book in July and a paperback in October.
10. I feel grateful that I finally figured out a topic for a bipolar blog that would enable me to find a community of people who are upbeat, supportive, intelligent, and caring.