Friday, May 25, 2007

Top 10 Reasons for Feeling Grateful

(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.


Howard said...

Great post, Susan. I, too, wrote yesterday about being grateful, so I empathized with what you wrote. The bummer of this disease is's a disease. But on the other side, after you come out of it, it provides us with the kind of perspective you wrote about here. Thanks.

P.S. There are few joys like a supportive spouse!!!

marja said...

We should all make lists like that periodically. It's good for our mental health. Thank you for sharing.

I look forward to your book coming out, though I will wait for the paperback.

Lynn said...

I am grateful too...........
I was diagnosed with depression in 1991 and bipolar disorder in 1995. It took until 2005 for me to really feel like I have this illness under control. I would like to say I have beaten it but I do still take medication. This illness for me has been all about the universe trying to give me a wake up call that I needed to make some changes in my life. I stay healthy now by staying out of unhealthy relationships. I stay away from people that "bring me down." I put an end to my people pleasing ways. I do what I need to on a daily, weekly, monthy and yearly basis to be happy. Some of those things are talk about my recovery, I wrote and published a book about my recovery, I dance every week, I play games, I do puzzles. I work very hard at getting talks booked. I also do a motivational talk. I have goals and know how I am going to achieve them. I journal. I eat healthier foods, I exercise. Medication is only 25% of the recovery process. Working on yourself and your issues is the other 75%.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Great comment. I couldn't agree more. If it's okay with you, I'd like to post your comment on tomorrow's blog and respond. You're doing things that I agree with but forget when I get depressed.