Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thank you, Universe, again

A while back I wrote a post on things I was grateful for, in an effort to avoid the negative tone of some other posts I'd written. I think I'll update you on some things I am currently grateful for.

Here goes:
1. My cat. I love my cat. Spooky (er, Princess Spooky) is a black, long-haired feline goddess, and she lives the life of a very spoiled brat. She also offers comfort, someone to "talk" to, and a fulfillment of that weird nurturing thing that apparently comes with being a woman (I don't like the term "maternal instinct' in reference to my feelings for my cat, but you get the drift).

2. I live in Florida! I hate the heat, yes, as my car has no air conditioning. I sweat on a regular basis, and often curse the sun. Yet, I live 5 minutes from Clearwater Beach, in a bright, sunny (even when it rains it's sunny hear) mecca of the worldwide vacationing tourist breed, and I do, when I think about it, appreciate that.

3. Friends. I wrote in my last post about how online friends are different from real life friends. Yet, I have a few online friends who have come to be very real to me, as friends, and who I value very much. So I am grateful for the technology that allows me to meet and communicate with these people, and for their kindness and willingness to be my friend. Also, my friend Dr. Byrd, a former professor of mine, has been an encouraging and very helpful force in my life.

4. My friend Kathy. We are good pals who keep each other company, and regularly laugh at ourselves (er, at each other), and have fun. I met Kathy when we were roommates at a group home a few years ago, and we clicked, so we've stayed friends ever since.

5. Family. I see my mom on a regular basis, and I keep in touch my brothers, sisters, and my dad. I'm glad most of them live not too far from me. I'd like to be able to visit my out-of-state relatives - particularly my grandparents - in Baltimore, but funds have not allowed me to do that in some time. I don't feel particularly close to some of my extended family, because we really don't know each other very well, and although I wish that was not the case, I am glad that I am close with my immediate family.

6. Personal willpower. I am determined to lose weight, and I am doing it. To that end, I'm also grateful for Phentermine, which is helping.

7. Risperdal injections. I couldn't easily go through a day of my life without this medication. I know this because, up until a few months ago, I had a long period of time where I was not on this medication and my days were riddled with psychosis and all the disruption it brings to one's life. I am grateful there is a medication which works for me, however much I hate the weight gain it has caused. It helps me to live in peace.

8. Music. I listen to music when I walk for exercise, and every night to help me sleep. It's helped me to go to sleep since I was about 15 years old, and I love the soothing tones of flowery folk songs especially.

9. NAMI. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has allowed me to meet others with similar life stories to mine, meet people who understand my illness and who care about ending the stigma that surrounds it, and, most importantly, to speak to the local police officers during their CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Training a few weeks ago, which was the first time I did any public speaking in my life. I loved being able to describe situations that involved the police in my life to police officers who are learning new ways to deal with people in crises. I loved being able to tell them what it feels like to be psychotic, something that they may never hear about in a clear, direct way again any time soon, but which they may witness frequently.

10. Feminism. I'm not going to list the names of any organizations here. I'm a member of one, and a fan of many, but what matters is the root connections of all of those groups, and not the work of any individual organization. For me, feminism is a major part of my life. I see the patriarchy's roots in many of society's problems, and I feel camaraderie and great joy in having contact with other women who feel the same way and are not afraid to use the "F" word.

11. My therapist. She has to see me less frequently now - twice a month instead of every week, and only in a group instead of individually, because of funding cuts. But my therapist has fit me in during periods where there was no funding for her to see me, and she has let me stay late to talk about important issues many times over the past couple years. She has helped me to gain better insight into my problems, and to think more positively about my self, my life, and the world around me.

12. My caseworker. She said she'll have to close my case soon, since I haven't been hospitalized in the past year and a half, but I've had her in my life for 4 years now. She has been someone I could call in a pinch, and who has visited my apartment even when it was in disastrous states of disrepair. She is kind, compassionate, smart, and unique. I hope that I can always stay in touch with her.

13. You. I am grateful for everyone who has read this blog and listened to my story, and particularly for those who have taken the time to leave comments and encouraging words. You mean a lot to me, and you are the ears that have heard things I could not voice out loud.
I think that sums it up for now. I may think of more things I'm grateful for later, and come back to add them. But for right now, I think I've laid out the topics pretty thoroughly.

If you like, feel free to list some of the things you are grateful for, also, in a comment here. It would be interesting to see others' responses.

3 comments:

Ken Albin said...

I am grateful for my wife, my 9 cats, bunny, and cockatiel, the fact that I have a home, live in Florida, have pretty good health, and could retire early enough to enjoy doing other things. There are too many others to list but I am also thankful for your honesty in your post writing all of these years.

The Medcalfs said...

Things I am grateful for...
My faith--lost without it!
My marriage because we work at it!
My boys-- I am so proud of them!
My dogs-- unconditional love!
My NAMI friends! Enough said!
My family--supportive!
Just a few, could put lots more!

Jennifer, aka beautiful mind, complex life said...

Thanks for stopping by again, Ken! Wow, both of you have great lists right off the top of your heads. Maybe this means most people can easily think of things they're grateful for if they stop to consider it. I remember when Oprah used to tell people to make "gratitude journals", which I thought was a neat idea. Thanks for your comments.

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