We’re going to play a game. Kind of like tag, except I can’t smack you and get away with it (because, “YOU’RE IT!”) because I can’t reach you.
Holidays are great.
Holidays are lovely.
But we also have a way of sucking the joy, humanity, and reason for the holidays right out of the season.
NO *shakes head*
So, screw whatever we’re supposed to talk about during this time of year. We’re going to talk about being grateful. And I’m going to ask you questions, even some personal ones. Well, if you stick around I’m going to do this. If you click out I am so not going to chase you down, chain you to a desk, and force you to answer. I’m too worn out, cuz you know, I have my own life that I’m working on.
Let’s get to it.
These questions need the following answer: how you’re grateful for them and why.
5 Life Lessons
- Budgeting – boy will I not mess up on this one.
- Forgiveness – it’s hard but has helped me heal and gain strength to put up healthy boundaries.
- Eat Healthily – seriously.
- Healthy Boundaries – no joy without them.
- Attitude of Gratitude – focusing on what I’m grateful for doesn’t erase the nastiness or pain. It does, however, give me more joy and less suffering.
5 Trials You’ve Lived Through or Are Still Living Through
(you didn’t think I was going to make this easy on you, did you?)
- SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
This gut disease has taught me a lot. I’ve changed how I eat entirely. I eat completely healthy and when I eat chocolate (daily, come on now) it’s healthier with real sugar and no GMOs or fake ingredients. I feel so much better. I’ve discovered that how I eat has a huge impact on how I feel physically and emotionally.
- RLS (restless leg syndrome)
Okay, so for a month I was walking around in the bathroom and sobbing at night because I couldn’t sleep. I’d pass out in bed for fifteen to twenty minutes on and off at night, equaling up to two hours of sleep in every twenty-four hours. Not fun. I finally got on a medication that stops, for the most part, the RLS. What this taught me is how important sleep is. Getting eight hours, every night is needed. But what I feel most of us don’t do, is make it a priority. We act like because we have work or children or other obligations that it isn’t possible. It is. And I’ve decided to make my health a priority and see to it that I get the sleep I need.
- Psychological Abuse
I would never sign up for abuse. But I can say that living through it has taught me a lot. Most people don’t want to exist inside their own skin and so distract themselves out of it. We walk around numb and ignorant of ourselves. Being abused caused me so much issue that I had to take a look at myself and get help from other human beings. This is how I learned to get out of denial and choose my own life.
It’s also taught me that a lot of people turn their noses up at emotional issues. They think therapists are idiots or pointless and think people ought to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, smile and bear it, and/or simply knock it off, get over it. But never, ever talk about your problems and never ever, need help. Let me tell you, there is so much arrogance and ignorance in a person like that, that it’s unbearable. And they’re generally not all that happy.
I’ve heard so many people tell me to pray to God and He will take this away. I’m Christian so I can tell you, they’re not saying this out of faith or belief or spirituality. It’s a load of crap. Let’s just get that out there. Some tests in life are for life. I truly believe God (or whatever your Higher Power is) doesn’t give us more than we can handle. And yes, much is expected of us. Life is hard work.
Being diagnosed has allowed me to stop thinking there is something wrong with me. I honestly didn’t know what my issue was. How was I so messed up? Knowing I’m on the bipolar spectrum has allowed me to view my past and realize why.
Now I have a name to put to what I feel, what I’ve experienced. And life is a lot less scary and a lot more doable. I can’t deny part of who I am. Trying to would only bring more misery.
- Jobs I Loathed
It took me a while to realize I didn’t love them, didn’t even like them. But having jobs I didn’t enjoy has shone a light on what I want to aim for.
5 Things from Today
- Petting Lucky
- My religious practices (brings peace)
5 Things from the Past Week
- Thanksgiving – really enjoyed this holiday this year. I love the focus of gratitude this holiday brings into focus. I don’t care how it came about or how many lies its steeped in. I love what it’s become.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly happy white men tried wiping Natives out, I simply choose to focus on the goodness in humans at this time. Which is a lot harder than one would think. We humans can be terrible. But we have goodness in us, if we so choose.
- Birthday – my twenty-sixth. I did absolutely nothing and loved it. Hung out with family. Best.
- Walking Lucky – I love my sweet, fluffy boy. He brings me so much joy and taking him for a walk, away from everyone else and simply being outside, watching him sniff around in curiosity – it’s peaceful.
- Applied, Paid for College Class – SO excited for this one! I’ve never been to college before.
- Ability to Change – can you imagine never being able to change, grow, learn and make different decisions? We’d all be screwed. There’d be no point to life. So I embrace change.
5 Things About My Health
- I can eat solid food.
- I can walk. I can run!
- I have all my limbs and they all work properly.
- I don’t have a disease that is going to kill me.
- I have my mental faculties in working order.
5 Favorite Traditions
- Birthdays are important in my family. We always celebrate, regardless of age. It’s the day we came into this world. Of course that should be celebrated. It’s a time for reflection and goal setting. A time to take stock of what I’ve done and become and what I want to add to my life and self.
- Hope Chest. In my family, when you turn sixteen years old, your parents buy you a chest and begin filling it with things for when you begin your own life. I love this tradition, I will be passing on.
- Dating. We don’t take this one for the gift it is, I believe. We have the right to choose who to date, dump, and stick with. In other countries, people don’t have this option.
- Marriage. I don’t feel we take this one seriously as a society any longer, but it’s still important to me. I feel like marriage has become a joke, sexless, loveless, and well, okay, a joke! That’s not what I want. I’m going to marry for commitment, for love, for a real relationship. A sharing of souls. It’s easy to make fun of, but that doesn’t make it any less important to me.
- Allowing people to think for themselves. It’s something I very much intend to carry on. If my children have different likes, desires, hopes, dreams… go for it. I find that many of my friends in high school were given no choice in their life. Their parents had planned everything out for them and they lived in a rigid world without freedom of character, choice, or personal lives. It’s a strong truth in my life; we are each a unique person and what we each need and want, is what we need to go for.
- To work. As a woman, that wasn’t always an option. I couldn’t imagine living in the past. I don’t want to imagine it. I won’t even read novels in the past because the way women were treated disgusts me.
- Control over how I deal with my mental illnesses. Stigmas are still alive and strong but at least my freedom isn’t stripped from me. I can look at what is happening, realistically, and choose the healthiest way in which to deal with it.
- We aren’t exactly, “of the people, by the people, for the people” any longer, but I am extremely grateful that I live in this country, which allows me to make my own vocational and life choices.
- Freedom to worship. I love my spirituality and religion. It brings me strength, choices, respect for life and love, and peace. I wish all humans on planet earth were allowed to practice their beliefs (as long as they’re not abusive) in their own lives.
- To marry whomever I please, whenever I please. I mean, come on, we all know that at age 26, I’d be an old maid in the past.
- What do I wish I wouldn’t take for granted?
Technology, running water, modern conveniences.
- What is something I am grateful for that I probably partake of too much?
- What is something helpful I have that my parents did not?
Internet. Thank you, Google, for helping me adult properly. Also, the ability to talk about things. I cannot tell you how annoying it is that people didn’t “talk about things like that” in the past. You know, human things.
- What is something I have that my parents did not that is not helpful?
Too many options. TV stations, internet stuff, etc. How much time have I wasted on something that doesn’t matter? It all comes down to personal choices, but sometimes I feel all the unnecessary choices make life harder.
- What was I most grateful for as a young child?
Feeling safe. It was a rarity I appreciated more than any treat or toy.
(pretend I just smacked you upside the back of the head)
Erase my answers and add in your own, then tag someone. And check back for my next blog gratitude challenge in the weeks to come. And don’t forget to link back here so I can see your answers. 😀