In the last month, my son, husband, and I have seen three films: 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster, and No Country for Old Men. (Yes, all three are violent but when you're the mother of an 18-year-old male, chick flicks aren't an option. To be honest, I really enjoy action-adventure films as a genre.)
Each time, we capped off our evening by going out to eat. Last night, we went to a Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in Pho. As we were driving home, I realized how lucky I feel that I'm well enough to go to the movies.
There were years when going out at all--because of my depressive episodes--was truly difficult for me. I'd have to force myself to get out of bed. By the time I got showered and dressed, I was so tired that I had to rest. The process of driving to the theater, walking inside, sitting through all the previews, watching the film, and going home was interminable.
Going out to eat was even worse. For years, the medication I took caused such an array of side effects that I was frequently nauseous, and had to order bland food. And it took all of my energy to participate in dinner table conversations. I was doing so little in life--that there wasn't much to say. And I felt so lousy that it took a tremendous amount of energy to try and be upbeat for the sake of my husband and son.
Now...all of that seems like it happened to someone else...so very long ago. It's inconceivable to me that it dragged on for so many years. I can't imagine how I withstood all the pain and suffering.
I am so grateful for my husband for standing by me. I am so thankful that my son has blossomed--despite my illness--which had to have a huge impact on his life. I am so glad that my mother, who was always there for me--lived to see my recovery--and that I could be there for her when she needed me.
Today, on my parent's wedding anniversary, I thank God for my mother and father. I believe that my ability to survive adversity was because of my high self-esteem and strong personality. Who knows where that comes from? But from my earliest memories, I have felt fully and unconditionally loved and supported.
For another look at gratitude, check out Syd's posts on Bipolarity.