2. We’re two days away from Elise’s seventh birthday, meaning I’ve succeeded in keeping a child alive for almost a decade. WOOT!
3. That I know on Christmas/Elise’s birthday, she will be thrilled with the things she unwraps, especially the Kurio that my mom purchased for her, which will mean we won’t have to fight over the use of my iPhone any longer.
4. That I’ve completed my first week of group therapy and already feel so much better than I did a week ago.
5. Knowing that tomorrow I get to go home and spend the holidays with my family, and knowing I’m luckier for that than a lot of people in this world.
A big part of group therapy is learning new skills to cope with life. It sounds so lame, it really does. When M.A. explained this to me during my intake I couldn’t help rolling my eyes and thinking, I’m thirty years old, do I really need someone to teach me how to cope with life? But the answer is Yes, DUH, that is what I’m essentially here for. I am slowly coming to the realization that part of my depression and anxiety is because of the chemicals in my brain not functioning properly, but another part of it is that I just don’t deal well with stress and pressure, and I react in a more extreme way than the “normal” person.
The skills we learn and practice will change from day to day, but this week we have focused a lot on mindfulness – paying attention to the small details in life and finding depth, joy, happiness and meaning in them. It’s the small things, is what I keep hearing. The taste of our food, the feel of a cat’s fur beneath or hands, the warmth in our hearts when we hold babies, all of it.
In the past I’d tried to make it a point to keep up with Schmutzie’s battle against bitterness and participate weekly in her group, Grace in Small Things. I found that it is hard sometimes to think of things to be grateful for, and yet, paying close attention to those little things in life is a big part of finding happiness, and boy do I want to find it. Here’s to starting new traditions and being more grateful for everything I’m lucky enough to have.