Thankfulness, 2016 Edition

A little over a year ago I started a gratitude journal, and today I’m browsing through it to remember all the things I’ve been thankful for in the past year.

I am thankful that I made it 365 days without inpatient, and soon after that I made it through all of 2015 without inpatient.  I’m also thankful that I was able to go to inpatient after that when I needed it.  Not long after my last stay there, they had to temporarily close because they had a staffing shortage, and when they reopened the census limit was so low that they still had to send people to other facilities.  They still aren’t up to full capacity, but I’m thankful that it’s high enough now that they wouldn’t turn me away.

I’m thankful for great friends that I spend time with regularly.  Shawna and her family have welcomed me into their home on multiple occasions, including a belated Thanksgiving dinner last year, and a birthday celebration for myself and her future daughter-in-law.  Glenda and Bea, my beloved coworkers, are always excited to see me and I sometimes make weekend plans with Glenda and her daughter.

I’m thankful that December 1st last year didn’t go as badly as it could have.  My mom called me at work, saying she thought she broke her wrist and needed a ride to the hospital.  I left work to get her, we discovered that her wrist was just sprained, and I took her home.  On the way back to work I had an accident, totalling my car and breaking a telephone pole in half.  Fortunately I only had minor bruising, and was able to find a new car two weeks later.

I’m thankful that the same day that I bought the car I also adopted a 4th cat.  She’s a gorgeous Russian Blue and I’m so glad that I didn’t let mom discourage me from bringing her home.  She had been shaved due to a flea allergy and was looking a little pathetic, but she now has the most beautiful, softest coat I’ve ever felt.  She also has a sweet temperament and has accompanied me to therapy several times.

I’m thankful that I accepted an invitation to a NAMI Christmas dinner, as it led to some exciting activities in the new year.  I took the 10-week Peer-to-Peer course, where I learned a lot and made several new friends.  I also began attending Crisis Intervention Team meetings and helping with a lot of planning for an upcoming 40-hour training on mental illness aimed at police officers and other first responders.  I’ll be attending the training to help out as well, for 5 alternating Tuesdays in January and February.

I’m thankful that I have attended several concerts and plays in the past year, and have more on the horizon.  I don’t have time to be involved in theatre right now, but I can still get my fix in the audience.

I’m thankful that I got to graduate from DBT group, even if I did end up returning a month later.  I’m thankful that I returned just in time to start the new edition of the material, and that after getting through the new edition I’ve been able to help explain things to newer members and provide examples that are more realistic than those in the book.

I’m thankful for the trip I got to make to visit Sabra and her family in Chicago.  All the transportation went smoothly despite my anxiety, and I was impressed with how well I handled Emily this time.  I’m also thankful that, after having another baby, Sabra included me in a list of honorary aunts for her girls.

I’m thankful that I’ve been able to donate activities to inpatient to help the clients pass their time.  In January, a few weeks after my last stay, I dropped off a bunch of velvet coloring posters.  Tomorrow I’ll be taking a set of puzzle books (mazes, dot-to-dots, and pixel puzzles).  I know how much I would have loved these things while there, and hope that others will appreciate them.

I’m thankful for the brief period in which I received a little bit of food stamps and the fresh fruit I was able to buy during that time.  I’m thankful for the items I’ve been able to get from a food bank in recent months.

I’m thankful that I was able to manage the annual February depression by writing blog posts to honor my grandparents.  I appreciate Sadie for coming up with this idea, and plan to do something similar again next year.

I’m thankful that I was invited to Bea’s anniversary party, and was able to see, talk to, and hug Deputy Wayne again.  I felt so special when he said that he’d been keeping tabs on me.

I’m thankful for the friends who donated money to help pay down my CMHC bill, and extra thankful that the rest of the bill was eliminated.  Since my insurance pays for all my appointments, I have a $0 balance and never have to pay when I’m there.

I’m thankful for the adventures mom and I have had going on weekend trips and nearby day trips.  My photography is mostly limited to travel now, and I’m excited when I have a new batch of photos to share.

I’m thankful to have completed a full year in my job at the hospital, and that it will be 18 months in 2 more days.  I’m thankful that despite many frustrations with my work situation I have learned to accept it as it is and make the best out of the situation.  I’m thankful for Jacey and Evelyn, the HR managers at work who have lent their ears repeatedly while I was still learning that acceptance.

I’m thankful that after several years of dialysis and a very low chance of finding a match, mom received a kidney transplant.  I’m thankful that she has been doing so well since then and was able to quickly reduce her transplant clinic appointments.

I’m thankful for the encouragement I received to return to college, and for the fact that I was accepted despite some pretty pathetic transcripts.  I’m thankful that I’m doing well in my classes and for the disability services that have helped reduce the stress and the writing center that gave me confidence about my first psychology paper.  I’m thankful for assistance from Vocational Rehab, which I will elaborate on in a later post.  I’m thankful that Sadie is supportive of my career goals and has started talking as though she assumes I will accomplish them.

I’m thankful for prompt treatment in the ER, first for a corneal abrasion and then for a broken pinky toe.

I’m thankful that I got to know Janie for 30 years and was able to attend her beautiful funeral.  I’m thankful for the many times I’ve been able to cheer up her sister, Jacey, by dropping by her office to say hello.

I’m thankful for the comfortable and beautiful LuLaRoe clothes I’ve added to my wardrobe, and for the consultants’ willingness to point me toward a different consultant in search of a specific item.

I’m thankful that Shawna was understanding about my opting out of the haunted cornfield, and that I still got to help by running the shop during her new daytime event.  I’m thankful that I got to face my fears three times in one day, by going through a corn maze, going through the haunted cornfield, and attending the after-party.

I’m thankful that I recently had to go inside inpatient to deliver slippers and was able to turn around and walk right back out.  It was empowering to have the freedom to leave.

I’m thankful for Liam, the guy I’ve been flirting with for months.  He appears to be flirting in return but hasn’t pursued a date, and I’m trying to figure out how to get it through his head that I’m interested without leading to embarrassment for me.  In the meantime, I’m thankful for his smile and his laughter, his appreciation when I do things for him, and the fact that he’ll often pop in while I’m checking their supplies, just to say hi.

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