Call it part of a Depressive’s “12-Step” Program, but I feel the need to say thank you to the people in my life that have contributed to my better health and wellness. Considering the decades that I’ve struggled, this list can become rather lengthy but I will narrow it down to my latest and greatest (note sarcasm) episode of Major Depressive Disorder. Some people listed may shock you, but all have helped in bringing the strength trifecta back to me. I now feel strong.
Thank You To:
My Parents: You have never given up on me. Although we all struggled to understand exactly what was going on with me in my teenage years, you never pushed my thoughts and feelings aside. You never told me to “suck it up”. You never told me to “just get over it”. From the beginning you both have sought out ways to get me help starting with group therapy, to Cognitive Behavior Therapy and even medication. You helped when I was a few states away in college. You both have cried with me, constantly worried about me but never ever left my side. I am extremely thankful to have you two as parents as many others do not have such caring and understanding parents in their lives.
My Husband: Oh, what we have been through… first and foremost, thank you for never taking me up on my offer to leave me. I must of told you dozens of times to go, take Sophia and run. But you didn’t. You stayed and took our wedding vows seriously. You loved me when I was “crazy”. You sacrificed so much when I was hospitalized. You never gave up on me. Although now you are unsure of what to say or do when my illnesses make themselves present, I know you care. As Bon Jovi said, “Thank you for loving me”.
My Sophia, my baby girl: How did I get so lucky?! You are the light in my darkness. So compassionate, kind and empathetic. You have never made me feel guilty or unloved by you. You worry about me to extents you shouldn’t but I appreciate it. You are always there for a big hug. Thank you for being you.
My Therapist: Hmm… I don’t think I would be here without you. I came to you in the darkest moments of my life. Lost and completely hopeless that I would ever recover this time. CBT therapy wasn’t working this time. I needed something more. It was fate that all I did was Google EMDR Therapists and narrow it down to who was more convenient in location. It just so happens that the most convenient turned out to be my saving grace. I had huge doubts that EMDR would work. Highly emotionally draining in the beginning, you helped me to reprocess the loss of Tyler and in turn, the loss of Sophia’s infancy, my Postpartum, loss of more children and even the loss of my former self. Thank you!
My Friends: From visiting me in the hospital to checking in on my through social media and texts, I am grateful for each and every one of you.
My Gym: Again, another choice of convenience to work and home, the gym has been a wonderful addition to helping me get strength in all areas of life. Aside from building up my physical strength (I can barbell squat 135lbs currently!), all the trainers, instructors and the owner have made me feel welcome, like I belong. I am not just a number lost among many. It is a close knit family that I am thankful to be a part of. Thank you!
My Medications: Although the stubborn weight gain and selective side effects are an annoying pain in my ass, I am completely grateful that they exist. I used to hate taking these tiny pills to feel ‘normal’ but now I am thankful they help me to feel like myself. We have a strong bond that will never be broken.
Myself: I think this was the hardest person to thank. I spent years hating myself, years internally abusing myself. I didn’t matter. I didn’t deserve love. At points in my life, I thought I didn’t deserve to live. I have come a long way. Battling Depression and Anxiety both physically and mentally, sometimes draining myself into complete despair… I’ve finally learned acceptance and because of this have become kinder to all aspects of myself. I am now happier and understand I cannot change the past. I am starting to live in the present, enjoying the little things in life… my daughter’s smile, a chirping bird, pretty flowers. I want to live. I want to see what the future brings. Thank you Stephanie, for learning to live. You are truly an amazing strong being!