Depression is a devourer of happiness and contentment. What better way to battle the beast than to actively work at being happy and content if only for a brief while. So, in honor of the month of gratitude, I have decided this November to post on my personal Facebook page one thing a day that I am grateful for. You’ve seen it done before, I’m sure. It isn’t a new and radical idea, but for me, right now, it seems like a monumental task. I’m in week three of this bout of depression which is exactly why I am challenging myself to publicly declare an attitude of gratitude.
All too often those of us with depression will sit back and concentrate on the bad or the worst that can happen. We must force ourselves to see the good. Force ourselves to see the light. It takes a lot to take a negative thought and turn it around into a positive one. In fact, it is downright exhausting. Yet it is something that must be done in order to stay on top of the darkness – to keep it from consuming you.
I realize that some of you really have no concept of how intensive this can be so here is a list of thoughts that I’ve had recently that I have had to rethink in a more positive way.
- “You should skip your physical therapy appointment today. It’s not like it’s going to work anyway, and you know you’d rather stay in bed.”
Response: “NO! I need to go so that my arm and shoulder will eventually quit hurting. The pain only makes me miserable and I don’t want to stay that way.”
- “Why make the bed? Nobody is going to see and who cares anyway?”
Response: “I see it and it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished at least one thing even if the rest of the day goes south.”
- “Why are you bothering brushing your hair? It looks stupid no matter what you do with it”
Response: “I’ve gotten many compliments on my hair in the past. Leave me alone – I look fine!”
- “Your jeans are too big. They make you look like you can’t pick out decent clothes for yourself.”
Response: “They’re too big because I’ve lost weight – go me! I’ll get some shopping done soon.”
- “You should let Ry sleep. He doesn’t need to go to therapy either. It’s not working anyway, and you know you’d rather go back to bed yourself.”
Response: “As tempting as going back to bed sounds, Ry needs his therapy too. It is working! He doesn’t slouch as much now. Sure, it’s slow going, but it’s worth it.”
- “Nobody likes you, ya know. Seriously, why would they? You’re so old and ugly now and you don’t have anything of importance to contribute anymore.”
Response: “I may be older than I used to be, but I’m not ugly and people do like me. I have lots of people who care about me and what I have to say.”
Those were from this morning between 7am to 9am and only a handful of the thoughts that actually ran through my head. It’s been a long day.
So – an attitude of gratitude is totally in order! Here’s my starter list:
- I am grateful that I have a home that has a real bed in it. So many people right now – especially in Florida – don’t.
- I am grateful for my kids who keep me moving every single day. If it weren’t for them, there are days I would never get out of bed.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and stories even if no one reads them. So many people are too afraid to put themselves out there.
- I am grateful for my husband who loves me no matter what and lets me know that he loves me. There are many women who aren’t so lucky.
- I am grateful for every day that I open my eyes. Life is precious even on the darkest days.
I encourage you this month to take on the Attitude of Gratitude and share your positive thoughts with everyone you can. We all could use a smile and some hope.