When I was younger, I kept a diary. I made my own tradition that at Thanksgiving, I’d write about what I was thankful for. On New Years’ Eve, I’d write all the things I’ve done – both regrets and accomplishments, and reflect on what impact those things they had. I’d think about things I wanted to change and wanted to be, and make resolutions in line with that. I did it from elementary school until about junior high.
It’s been a very (Very!) long time since I did anything like that. It wasn’t really like I had any anger or resentful over the way my life turned out. I just had other priorities. I was busy, and was caught up in commercial aspect of the holiday. I liked the idea of getting together with the family, but we didn’t do the cookie cutter get togethers. I also didn’t really let them know what they meant to me, or show any gratitude for the part they played in my life.
Last year…well, last year I was glad I was even able to get out of bed.
The good thing is though, is that it’s not too late to make changes. It’s not too late to pick up old habits or start fresh. This year, we’re doing a low key Thanksgiving. We’ll have the easy meal, and spend quality time with family.
The past year has been a battle. There were so many things that challenged in me in ways that I didn’t think was possible. My fears were exposed, and I felt more alone and scared that I cared to admit. Yet, despite all this, I made it through. I didn’t do it alone, and I think it’s about time that I give credit to the people that help save me.
This year, more than ever, I am thankful for my family. My husband, who did everything he could to help me find peace and relief. Even today, he sacrifices a lot so that I can enjoy parts of my old life. My mother-in-law, who did everything to comfort me, from making all the family meals to driving (at my request) to my home at 1am because I was scared. My siblings, who made sure that I didn’t feel alone during the worst of it all. My brother even stayed home for a while after my husband went to work. He knew nothing about newborns, but stayed so that I wouldn’t feel deserted or helpless.
I’m thankful to my long time friends, who made so many efforts to check in on me and give me a break. They gave me advice only when I asked, and checked in on my from time to time. I’m also appreciative of my mama tribe, who just like my other friends, have always been there. They relate to my experience on a level that others aren’t able to. I am not afraid to share my feelings with them, nor do I feel any judgement for doing so. They make motherhood feel like a sisterhood.
I’m also glad that I was lucky to find a wonderful support group early in my PPD period, which led me to find the mental healthcare professionals that I have today. Without these people, I might have never really dealt with my pain and anxiety as well as I’ve done. I continue to grow and improve because of them.
I’m thankful for this blog, and all the people that it has connected me to along the way. I’ve always loved to write, but never really had the opportunity in this stage of my life. Because of it, I’m able to fulfill a dream of mine, and at the same time, reach out and help others who may have gone through similar experiences. The support from everyone has given me more confidence and the drive to keep writing.
Lastly, I’m thankful for my son. His arrival changed my life, my outlook and my goals. I felt in the past that I wanted to be childless. I wanted to be a driven and successful career woman. I thought my life wasn’t compatible with being a mom. My son taught me that despite those ideas, I am and will always be his devoted mother. I am stronger, more courageous and more at ease because of him. I love the clarity and the focus that he brought out in me. I love his smile, his goofy and sweet personality, and the many hugs and kisses he gives me everyday. I look at him and know that he saved me in so many ways that he has yet to understand.
These five reasons make me who I am today. They’ve changed me for the better. For that, I will always be thankful.